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This Week...

News and events around the Burgundy

Happy New Year 2017! 

Coming up...

Our pick from the events on the 2017 calendar so far:
Brighten up the winter days at the annual festival to celebrate St. Vincent, the patron saint of winegrowers, taking place in Mercurey from January 28-29.
Will Burgundian Arnaud Monteburg get the Socialist nomination for the 2017 Presidential Election on April 23? Should no candidate win an outright majority, a run-off between the top two will be held on May 7, 2017.
Three stages of the Tour de France will be held in Franche-Comté and one in Burgundy at Nuits St. Georges from July 5-8.
Aviation enthusiasts - on July 9 head for Dijon Longvic for a huge military and civil air display.

More of What's On in Bourgogne Franche-Comté 2017

winter in the vineyards

The vines in Burgundy have gone into hibernation, but the winegrowers are kept busy pruning and fertilizing the soil for the coming year. Here is the BIVB rundown on pruning and soil management in the vineyards over the winter months.

There are different pruning styles depending on the region - one popular method is 'Guyot' pruning, another 'Chablisienne'. The canes and buds to bear the next harvest must be carefully selected and here experience is paramount. The pruned shoots stay attached to the wires supporting the vines and people known as tacherons are employed to remove them. The action is called “tirer le bois” and the clippings are then gathered up and burned in special burners, which are often homemade.

Maintaining the soil involves working it to break it down and aerate it. Earthing up, which is done before the first frost, protects the vines. If planting new vines, the soil must be ripped or tilled to a depth of 40-50cm on average in the Bourgogne winegrowing region, to break it down and remove any stones. The winemaker performs this task with a special plough called a “défonceuse.” To replace spent nutrients nitrogen is added for the vegetation, phosphate for fruit development and a healthy plant, and potash which helps develop the sugar in the juice as well as resistance to disease and frost. Daily monitoring of the vines goes on throughout the year and the growing cycle continues...

Tracing the past

The prehistoric site Solutré in southern Burgundy was discovered 150 years ago. To mark the occasion, an important exhibition of finds has been brought together from museums, towns and universities across the region. There are four major sites where traces of the Neanderthals have been found: Arcy-sur-Cure (Yonne), Solutré (Saône-et-Loire), l’aven de Romain-la Roche (Doubs) and La Baume de Gigny (Jura). The exhibition at the Solutré museum runs until October 1, 2017.

User friendly wineries to visit with Rue des Vignerons

Here's a new website for visitors to Burgundy or Beaujolais who would like to visit a cellar for a tasting along the famous wine routes in the region but are not looking for a full blown guided tour. In Burgundy the wine grower may be a one man band or a family affair and as Jancis Robinson points out in her article on visiting Burgundy's wineries, it is not easy to find them in their cellars to pay them a visit, often they are out in the vineyard tending their plants. In Beaune and Chablis the tourist is well provided for with tastings on offer but drive out to Gevrey-Chambertin or Aloxe-Corton and where do you start? Now help is at hand. Rue des Vignerons is a website which tells you of the user-friendly winegrowers offering tastings and cellar visits. There is no fee for their services, book online, preferably ahead of time but a minimum of 30 minutes before you want to go. Some of the tastings are free of charge, and the website gives full details of tours on offer and the prices plus a map and directions. The domaines' wines are often available at a reduced rate too. This certainly simplifies life and assures you of a warm welcome. Above, Domaine Famille Picard, Chassagne-Montrachet.

Internet connection wherever you are

Hippocketwifi, mobile internet connection in France

Being connected to the internet seems to be an essential of everyday life, no matter how much we try to resist it. Most hotels now offer a WiFi connection as do some self-catering holiday homes but a far easier option is to rent a mobile hotspot and receive the internet as and when you need it, securely, wherever you are in France or Europe. Take a look at hippocketwifi, a simple system from a young progressive company based in Lyon offering mobile connection. More...

Crossword Solutions

Burgundy Today Cryptic Crossword Solutions


1. Nevers, 4. Tenant, 9. Noël, 10. Prodigious, 11. Bateau, 12&23 down Burgundy Today, 13. Kilometer, 15. Père, 16. Acts, 17. Reveillon, 21. Exported, 22. Petite, 24. A Rare Error, 25. Dope, 26. Events, 27. Troyes


1. Neo Nazi, 2. Valse, 3. Rupture, 5. Emigré, 6 .Adieu Nell, 7. Trundle, 8. Double headers, 14. Outsource, 16. Auxerre, 18. Emperor, 19. Octopus, 20. Street. 23. See 12 across