Welcome to Burgundy with its fairytale castles overlooking its famed canals, its well-established vineyards, its quaint cities such as Dijon (capital of mustard), Beaune, Mâcon, and other smaller towns of distinct character. Stay in a yurt, a cottage, a breath-taking chateau or luxury hotel where you have the chance by foot, bike, or car to explore exceptional terroirs and mouthwatering delights that the Burgundy region is known for – beef bourguignon, escargots, coq au vin to name just a few. Think of the delectable and prestigious Premier and Grand Cru wines with flavors and tones of oak, cherry, black currant, floral, and citrus – smooth tastes in Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
Your gastronomic experience will consist of visiting the vineyards and its winemakers some of whom will provide a rich in-depth history of their family, vineyards and wines. Comprised of five main wine growing areas – Chablis, Côte de Nuits, Côte de Beaune, Côte Chalonnaise and Mâconnais, Burgundy provides significant and interesting history dating back to the Romans in the first century AD and the Catholic monks who started producing wines.
Your wine journey may include visits and tastings of Domaine de la Romanee-Conti, Domaine Leroy, Maison Joseph Drouhin, Louis Latour, Domaine du bouchard Pere & Fils, Domaine Dujac, Domaine Faiveley, Domaine Guffens-Heynen/Verget, Domaine Leflaive, and Vincent Girardin as examples. Visitors will enjoy the catacombs beneath the cities and learn about the cellars’ history during the medieval ages and WWII.
You’ll partake in truffle hunts (October), wine harvests (September/October), and learn the processes of making cheese and mustard at family owned factories dating back to 200 years. Culinary lessons by legendary chefs, market shopping from farm to table, and attending cooking schools will round out your knowledge of French cuisine and further appreciation of grape varietals.
Experience divine cuisine by Michelin star greats – William Frachot, Jerome Brochot, Frederic Carrion, Patrick Bertron and others. Did you know in Burgundy alone there are 30 Michelin Star rated restaurants?
Descend upon the vineyards and castles in a hot air balloon and toast with champagne. Enjoy intimate views of the vineyards on a moped or bike. Dining for lunch and dinner will be a daily treat – scenic settings in a historic cellar, in medieval gardens of a chateaux or vineyard. For those preferring an even more leisurely pace, consider taking a five star river barge down the Canal de Bourgogne where visitors will visit local shops, craftsman and historic sites.
Below are some suggested dates based upon popular wine and music festivals in the Burgundy region:
July: Toucy Jazz Festival
August: Blues Festival in La Charité-sur-Loire
September: Beaune Jazz Festival – vineyard visits and classical/modern jazz. Definitely a worthwhile festival and visit!
October- November : Dijon International Gastronomy Fair (Dijon is the capital of gastronomy for Burgundy)
November : The Festivities for the Hospices de Beaune Wine Auction. This is undoubtedly the best-known of the Burgundy festivals and is also considered the most famous wine auction in the world. What you’ll find: entertainment, street theatre, wine auction chapter (gala dinners organized by one of the Burgundy brotherhoods) and special wine-tastings by the merchant houses and family wine estates.
January By private invitation only – the exclusive La Confrérie des Chevaliers du Tastevin – 12,000 knights or chevaliers promoting Burgundy, its rich culture, wines and cuisine – a tradition since 1934.