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This Week...

pam elson brings you Burgundy Today's roundup of news and events

november 27

Best trips 2016

Cote d'Or Burgundy, ©National Geographic Magazine,Gunter Grafenhain SIMEThe photography in National Geographic magazine always inspires. The December issue on sale on December 1 features their recommended top 20 places to visit in the world in 2016 and the Côte d'Or vineyards are up there with the best of them. With a stunning shot of the Côte de Nuits by Günter Gräfenhain of SIME (right), they describe this as a 'go-now' destination. See article.

jancis robinson on Burgundy going forward

Frequently on the move, Jancis Robinson is ideally placed to take on overview on the world of wine in each region and report on it. Recently in Burgundy, in her article 'What Burgundians Dream Of', she says that what is often thought of as a traditional area, is in fact evolving as rapidly as anywhere else which is reassuring.  'The most common development', she says, has been 'a conversion to organic, biodynamic or at the very least certifiably sustainable viticulture'.  She mentions many domaines from Château de la Tour of Clos Vougeot to Antonin Guyon of Savigny. Another noticeable change is the buying of new vineyards and the building of new wineries with a few foreign buyers - American, Australian and even a Chinese owner. New generations are keen to join the family businesses and have a good knowledge of the wine business too, encouraged by the fact that 'wine in general and Burgundy in particular is so glamorous'. More...

Walking in the vineyards of BurgundyWalks around beaune

The Beaune tourist office has a new website with a particularly good user-friendly section on walking routes. There are thirteen suggested itineraries labelled easy, medium or hard, stating the number of kilometres for the loop and the estimated time it will take. In two and a half hours you can take the easy vineyard trail from Santenay to Nolay or for a more difficult walk, the goat trail stretches over four and a half hours. All the suggestions go through beautiful countryside, no matter the weather. More...

For other walking suggestions in Burgundy

november 21

This week our thoughts are with our families and friends in Paris.

the auction result

The Hospices de Beaune wine auction went ahead last weekend but of course it was a much more subdued affair than normal after the devastation of Friday 13th. It was announced that some of the money from the sale of the Pièce des Présidents, a record 480,000 euros, will be donated to the families of the victims in the Paris attacks.

new challenges in Franche-Comte

Cycling Le Zed Jurassien, photo CRT Franche-Comte, Michel JolyCycling in the vineyards, along the canals and through the Morvan Natural Park is very popular in Burgundy. In Franche-Comté it offers new challenges with routes in the Jura mountains and the valleys of the rivers Saône, Doubs and Loue. Whether you are looking for a full-on cycling holiday or just a leisurely pootle around the countryside there is good information available at all the tourist offices advising on routes, accommodation and places of interest. Particularly helpful is a booklet
 'Jura l'inattendu', free of charge from Lons-le-Saunier
tourist office. For maps and six routes in the region,
see Cycling in Franche-Comté.

Good news for cyclists from Eurostar

Eurostar has reversed its decision, which we reported on earlier, to make cyclists dismantle their bikes before boarding the cross-channel train after a fierce public backlash. Eurostar’s head of EU public affairs Pierre Delalande told the cycling charity the Cyclists' Touring Club: “You will be pleased to know that we are not intending to go ahead with the requirement for all bikes to be carried in boxes and will accept fully-mounted bikes.”

Dijon Developments

The centre of Gastronomy in Dijon - Cité Internationale de la Gastronomie - received a boost last week when Prime Minister Manuel Valls visited the city and pledged 4.35 million euros for the project which is costed at a total of 200 million euros. The six hectare site where the old hospital stood is due to open in 2018. During his visit, further funds of 1.4 million euros were given towards the modernisation of the Dijon airport site, la base aérienne 102 de Dijon-Longvic, which will be used for business and medical flights and developed at a training centre for the police.

the greatest of cultural cities

There is no need to stress the cultural signifigance of Paris - the museums keep getting better.

Rodin Museum Paris'For me, it has always been one of the great sights of Paris: perhaps the most perfect of the city’s museums, and the most appealing to visit' writes Nick Trend in The Telegraph. He is talking about the Rodin Museum which reopened last week on November 12 after a total revamp.

'So what is its great appeal' he asks? 'First, and most obviously, Rodin was a great artist. The Thinker and The Kiss remain some of the best-known three-dimensional images in Western art, and Kenneth Clark described his monumental portrait of Balzac as “the greatest piece of sculpture of the 19th century, perhaps, indeed, the greatest since Michelangelo”. He is also one of the very few sculptors whose work is instantly recognisable and appealing to a wide audience. And nowhere can you see such a complete collection of his work than in this Paris museum'. Read Nick Trend's article.

Over the last few years Paris has surpassed itself with new and remodelled museums - the Picasso Museum and Frank Gehry's latest work, the Fondation Louis Vuitton being two of the best.  

november 6

Traces of Early Humanity

 René Goguey aerial photographer and archaeologist Drones are now in widespread use for aerial photography and filming but that is a very recent tech development. René Goguey, (seen right) was from the old school - he got in his plane and flew, steadying the camera before taking his shot. His passion was archaeology and since 1950 he has taken some 100,000 images, mainly over the Côte d'Or, of some of the region's most famous historical sites. There was a big breakthrough in 1976 when he discovered a second Roman
amphitheatre in Autun, the theatre of the Temple of Janus.

Goguey died earlier this year at the age of 94 and he donated his extensive library of pictures to the Côte d'Or. On November 18 the Musée Châtillonnais where the Treasures of Vix are housed, is staging an exhibition showing sites such as Alésia with Caesar's fortification lines, Mirebeau-sur-Bèze and Autun from the air. His aerial work proved a great help to the archaeologists on the ground in unravelling the past. The exhibition will run until May 24, 2016.  

Absinthe or Pastis?

Absinthe from Pontalier Franche-ComteWhat is the difference between Absinthe and Pastis? Well, Absinthe is an anise flavoured spirit, high in alcohol, which turns white and cloudy when cold water is added. It is not to be confused with Pastis, also anise based, which is a liqueur and always bottled with sugar. Pontalier is the town in the Franche-Comté famous for the manufacture of Absinthe, a drink which has seen a great rise and fall in its chequered history.

The place for the factory was chosen in 1890  for the existence of an underground water source used for the distillation process. Then a stroke a good fortune occurred - the soldiers at the nearby Pareuses military camp were given Absinthe to combat malaria on their tour in the Colonies and when they returned, they had developed the taste for the drink. News of this highly alcoholic drink soon spread across France.

Popular in all strata of society, by 1910, the French were drinking 36 million litres of Absinthe per year, (as compared to their annual consumption of almost five billion litres of wine). It became the fashionable drink of artists and writers in Paris until in 1915 disaster struck - a huge furore broke out - it was thought that the spirit was hallucinogenic with the properties of an addictive drug. In that year it was banned in the USA and much of Europe, including France. It was illegal to distil any anise based products until 1921.

Absinthe has been made in Pontalier by the Guy family since 1890 (with the exception of  the banned years). Made from botanicals, the flowers and leaves of grand wormwood, together with green anise, sweet fennel and other herbs are used and the end product can be green in colour or colourless, with a high alcoholic content.

Visit the Distillery

Absinthe stills at the Guy factory in Pontalier Franche Comte Casks at the Guy Absinthe factory Pontalier Franche Comte

At the Guy factory the beautiful 100 year old copper stills and the huge oak casks are still in use. You can make a free visit and tasting from Tuesday to Friday and on Saturday morning at the Rue des Lavaux distillery in Pontalier.

october 30

Coupes Moto Legende 2016 Dijon Prenois Burgundy FranceCoupes Moto LEgende 2016

Ever popular with bikers across Europe, the Coupes Moto Légende at Dijon Prenois every May attracts thousands of piston heads. Here's the information many of you have been waiting for: the 2016 dates are May 21-22.

exacting cycling

Again this year, Burgundy has missed out and not been included in the 2016 Tour de France route. Franche-Comté however has, with the departure of Stage 16 from Moirans-en-Montagne on July 18. This stage through the undulating Jura countryside to Berne will prepare the riders for the alpine sequence of the tour.

delicious wine at delicious prices

Should you happen to be travelling on Brittany Ferries there is a great Burgundy wine promotion on offer. Six bottles of white Montagny La Framboisière and six of red Mercurey La Framboisière from Domaine Faiveley in a wooden case will cost you £99, a saving on the UK recommended retail price of £150! Worth planning a day trip to France with Brittany's winter offers.

october 23

Holidays on the move

Hire a Motorhome or Campervan from Auto EuropeBurgundy has some very good campsites to offer. Now you can rent a motor home or campervan through Auto Europe at a competitive price, cutting down on accommodation costs considerably. The motorhomes can be picked up at the airports in Paris or Lyon. The website has useful links with campsite information.

la part des Anges

La Part des Anges DijonAdjoining the restaurant Loiseau des Ducs in Dijon, "La Part des Anges" is the latest acquisition of the Bernard Loiseau group. It's a small wine bar and café in a beautiful 16thC vaulted cellar in Rue Vauban. Wines by the glass, coffee and light meals from 15.00-22.30, Tuesday to Saturday.

Dominique Loiseau was given the accolade of the top restaurateur in France 2015 at the association, Les Grandes Tables du Monde in Vienna this month. She made a special mention of other women in the business who often, she said, stand in the shade of their husbands but upon whom a great
responsibility rests for the success of their establishment.

october 16

honouring st Bernadette

Next July it will be 150 years since the young girl Bernadette Soubirous arrived in the town of Nevers from Lourdes to become a nun at the convent at St. Gildard. She was later beatified and her body lies at the convent. This has become a very popular place of pilgrimage (number ten in visitor ranking in Burgundy) and is, of course, important for the prosperity of the town. There have been discussions about Lourdes wanting her body returned to her home, and possibly to fend off these suggestions, Nevers is honouring the Saint by preparing a Son et Lumière on a grand scale next summer with the first performance on July 7.

A strange gallery of portraits

Olivier Culmann Exhibition at the Niepce Museum Chalon-sur-Saone, BurgundyIn the words of the Niepce Museum of photography in Chalon-sur-Saône, 'Olivier Culmann introduces us to a strange gallery of portraits. A guru out of his ashram, a sinister looking policeman, a simple office employee…The Indian man, split between his respect for traditions and his attraction to the western way of life. Without ever really revealing his real identity…' The exhibition of photographs entitled 'The Others' will run from October 17 to January 17 2016.

october 9

A sparkling prize - 12 bottles of cremant de bourgogne to be won!

Win 12 bottles of Cremant de Bourgogne from burgundytoday.comOur autumn competition prize comes courtesy of Burgundy winemaker Louis Bouillot in Nuits St. Georges, famous for the award winning Crémant de Bourgogne Perle d'Aurore. Think fine pink bubbles, and summer fruits - the wine has hints of wild strawberries, blackcurrants, firm-fleshed cherries and crushed raspberry, conjuring up summer even on wintery days. The lucky prize winner will receive 12 bottles of bubbly. Enter the simple prize draw  

Romance and Adventure Hemingway style

Balloon flight with Hemingway Cruises Burgundy over the Canal de Bourgogne' I still need more healthy rest in order to work at my best. My health is the main capital I have and I want to administer it intelligently' said that adventurer and master story teller Ernest Hemingway.

Cruising along the Canal de Bourgogne in a luxury barge hotel with Hemingway Cruises is one way to restore body and mind, eating top notch food, drinking Burgundy's famous wines, cycling and walking along the tow path and visiting the best attractions the region has to offer. Activities include a balloon flight, wine tasting in Beaune, the Dijon market and a visit to one of the most picturesque medieval villages en route. Your hosts have travelled the world and are adventurers themselves with many stories of their own to recount. More...

october 2

Putting over the passion

Discovering the vineyard climates of Burgundy Youri LebaultIf you need a reminder of why this wine region keeps beckoning you, take a look at Youri Lebault's book, 'Discovering the vineyard climates of Burgundy'. Concentrating on the Côte d'Or in the wake of its UNESCO ranking, Youri explains the 'climates' and origins of the vineyards leading up to the present day, he talks to some of the well-known growers such as Aubert de Villaine of Romanée Conti who has written the preface to the book, to Olivier Leflaive and Sylvain Pitiot. Lebault operates a luxury-end wine tour business and the final section of the book is devoted to tourist routes which he recommends. All this is presented with intoxicating pictures by Armelle photographe and good maps by Syvain Pitiot making you want to arrange your trip to the vineyards tout de suite. As one reviewer of Youri's trips says: he will 'enhance your experience beyond all your expectations'

The book is available in an English version and a French one, costing 25 euros, plus postage from Youri. A great Christmas present for any Burgundy enthusiast.

september 26

St Vincent Festival 2016

St Vincent Festival 2016 Irancy BurgundyThe 32 winegrowers in the Auxerrois will host the annual St Vincent Festival on January 30 and 31, 2016 in the pretty village of Irancy near Auxerre. The area was granted AOC status in 1998 and this prestigious event is a first for the village. More...

september 11

'cocooning de l'hiver' - Winter Warmer Offer

Abbaye de la Bussiere Burgundy FranceLiven up the thoughts of the oncoming winter by booking a luxury break. The Abbaye de la Bussière in the beautiful Ouche valley is offering a 30% reduction on their usual bed and breakfast rate from November to the end of March 2016. The offer is not online and is only available by reserving directly with the Abbaye either by telephone 00 33 380 490229 or email, through René at reservations. December 31 and January 14 are not included.

All mod cons in a 17thC Convent in Beaune

17thC convent in Beaune for holiday rentalHere's a beautiful old building exuding the charm of yesteryear which has been skilfully renovated to encompass today's contemporary design. The latest in property available for holiday rental, La Maison du Couvent dates back to the 17thC. Interior designer Caroline Gigandet has restored the building 300 m from the centre of Beaune, and included all mod cons. Minimum stay 3 nights, long term also available. More...

New Book launches - fiction

Last week we brought you three non-fiction books about France. Here are the latest 'good reads', each set in France. The Fires of Autumn is the prequel to Suite Française, showing life between 1912 and the start of WWII.  Citadel by Kate Mosse tells the story of a Resistance cell of women in south west France from 1942 onwards. Robert Merle's Fortunes of France series is described as 'swashbuckling historical fiction' based in the 16th C.

new book launches

In order to even begin to understand the French psyche, you have to look at the role history has played. Here are three new launches to shed some light on crucial times in the evolution of the nation during the Hundred Years War, from the Revolution to the present day, and more specifically, the French Resistance, with special reference to women and Jews..

Fighters in the Shadows, A New History of the French Resistance by Robert Gildea

Hundred Years War Vol 4: Cursed Kings by Jonathan Sumption

The History of Modern France from the Revolution to the Present Day by Jonathan Fenby

august 22

sumptuous conservation comes at a price

Library at Chateau Digoine Burgundy, photo Architectural Digest, Pascal Chevalier Theatre at Chateau Digoine Burgundy, photo http://chateaudedigoine.fr/theatre/
Chateau Digoine Burgundy, photo Architectural Digest, Pascal Chevalier Chateau Digoine Burgundy, photo Architectural Digest, Pascal Chevalier

Photos Pascal Chevalier, ©Architectural Digest

Architectural Digest has recently featured Château Digoine in southern Burgundy, shown above.  The sumptuous photographs by Pascal Chevalier alerted us to this fantastic make-over by French film maker and antique collector Jean-Louis Remilleux. This is his private home but the good news is that during the summer season, it is open to visitors making it one of the most beautiful historic places in Burgundy to spend some time.

This avid aficionado of antiques from the Louis XV and XVI period found just the right setting for his collection. Château Digoine was designed by architect Edme Verniquet and built from 1700 onwards. A later addition in 1842 was the private theatre frequented by Sarah Bernhardt and Offenbach and the neo-Gothic library, built shortly before, around 1825, for the then owner Comte de Moreton-Chabrillan.

Remilleux has spent the last two years saving the château from decay. In the Architectural Digest article by Mitchell Owens he tells how the creature comforts have been installed to make it habitable such as the addition of 150 radiators and carefully concealed new baths: . “I love history,” Remilleux says, “but I want a nice shower, too.” 18thC style with all mod cons.

But of course the renovation has come at a price and in order to carry on the work in the stables, the outbuildings and the theatre, Remilleux is putting part of his extensive collection of paintings, furniture and works of art up for auction. They will come under the hammer on September 28 and 29 when Christies will offer over 1000 lots.

Château Digoine is at Palinges, north of Paray-le-Monial, open to visitors from 14.00-19.00 each weekend from May to October and everyday during July and August.

links :
Architectural Digest article
Christie's Auction
Château Digoine

august 14

Wine Masterclasses

Masterclass in Burgundy Wine with Bringing Burgundy to YouBringing Burgundy to You is living up to its name and exporting its knowledge about the local wines. David and Lynne Hammond are giving masterclasses on Burgundy wine both in holiday homes in Burgundy and further afield in the UK and other parts of Europe. The class lasts three to four hours and is tailored to the audience which can be anything from two to 30 people. Ideal for a group of friends, a wine club or corporate event, the Hammonds start off with a glass of Crémant de Bourgogne with gougères, then move on to discuss the wine areas with tastings and an aroma session. A personal information pack and lunch of French cheeses and charcuterie paired with the wines up to Grands Crus is included. This year, venues have included a château in Puligny Montrachet and private homes in Guernsey and Norfolk. For more information, david@bringingburgundytoyou.com

wine news: Read David's report from the vineyards after an exceptional summer for weather

august 1

for Early birds

Luxury Hotel Barge Luciole BurgundyLooking ahead, French Wine Explorers, the leading luxury wine tour company in the States, has launched its 2016 programme with Burgundy and Bordeaux the focus. The Grand Cru Tour of Burgundy is an in-depth exploration of the Côte d’Or’s finest estates and a unique opportunity to taste the 32 Grand Crus of Burgundy, as well as experience special winemakers’ meals and exclusive tastings at some of the best estates of the region. The tour can take 10-12 people.

Another company specialising in the American market, the luxury hotel Barge Luciole (above) has the 2016 booking calendar up on its website. The barge can take up to 14 and there are still a couple of places left during the 2015 season too.

july 11

a week of celebration

Climats de Bourgogne, a UNESCO World Heritage site, photos BIVB Climats de Bourgogne, a UNESCO World Heritage site, photos BIVB

The long awaited news was announced on July 4, Burgundy was successful in its bid for the vineyards of the Côte de Beaune and Côte de Nuits, the 'Climats' to become a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This is great news for everyone involved in the wine and tourist industry in the area with the possibility of some funding for future projects.

 'We are delighted by the decision, which reflects eight years of hard work, raising awareness, and mobilizing communities,” said Claude Chevalier, President of the BIVB. “And we are even more happy that we can share our joy with our friends in Champagne. But this decision is by no means an end. It  is a marker in our history, the history of the women and men who have shaped these landscapes, built these walls, constructed these shelters, identified every plot, and constructed towns and villages across the Bourgogne winegrowing region,” he added.

It looks as if the hard work will continue apace. There are two large projects in the pipeline which will enhance the region further. Next June, Dijon will unveil La Cité Internationale de la Gastronomie, an exhibition centre covering 6.5 hectares in the centre of town on the site of the old hospital. And under consultation at present, Beaune is working on the Cité des Vins de Bourgogne project, an information centre devoted to the 'Climats' due for completion in 2018.

july 4

Savagnin, not Sauvignon

Savagnin White Wine from the Jura, photo burgundytodayWith increased interest in Jura wines, Jancis Robinson's latest article for the Financial Times is entitled 'Lifting the Veil on the Jura.' Savagnin is one of the five grape varieties grown in the Jura, and is particularly revered because it makes Vin Jaune which is aged under a film of yeast known as a voile or veil for over six years. (The other grape varieties are Chardonnay, Poulsard, Pinot Noir and Trousseau.)

'Until recently , says Jancis, 'the Jura has been an unusually hermetically sealed wine region, with virtually no outside investment – which has perhaps helped to retain the very special character of its wines'. This is changing, - Boisset from Burgundy for example purchased Henri Maire, the largest Jura wine producer, at the beginning of the year. Read the article

Suite Francaise

The film version of Irène Némirovsky's classic Suite Française starring Kristin Scott-Thomas and Michelle Williams comes out on DVD at the end of July. (Némirovsky moved to Burgundy when she fled from Paris although in fact the filming was done in a village in Belgium.)

'France 1940. As Hitler's armies descend upon Paris, Lucile (Michelle Williams) awaits news from her husband who is being held a prisoner of war. Leading a stifled existence with her domineering mother-in-law (Kristin Scott-Thomas) Lucille's life is turned upside down when a handsome and charming German officer (Matthias Schoenaerts) is posted to live with them. Despite the many taboos, they find themselves drawn to each other, until the realities of war threaten to destroy them'. The book is available in paperback at Amazon

june 27


Chateauneuf en Auxois from the Burgundy CanalDriving along the A6 in Burgundy, Châteauneuf-en-Auxois stands supreme in the distance on the rocky spur. The château was donated to the state in 2008 and the Regional Council has spent the last year restoring the great house at the château, once home of Philippe Pot at the time of the glorious Dukes of Burgundy. The visitor centre in this 'logis' opened last week to a huge fanfare by the choir Arsys Bourgogne.

During the summer months musical events are planned, there are workshops, night-time visits and overall, the place has been given a new lease of life. See programme. Châteauneuf is labelled one of the most beautiful villages in France.

a charm all of its own

Ornans Franche ComteLast week we spent an action packed time exploring the Franche-Comté. Over the next few months an eclectic mix of articles will be appearing on burgundytoday about this region to the east of Burgundy in time for the merging of the two areas at the beginning of 2016. We visited a salt mine, Comté cheese factory, Vauban forts, Le Corbusier's chapel at Ronchamp, discovered Courbet and Ledoux and the meadows of the Haut Jura, ate a lot of cheese and of course tasted the delicious wine around Arbois. The town of Ornans, shown above, on the river Loue, was one highlight of the trip.

We found Franche-Comté to be a gentle place, with very friendly people, beautiful scenery and good roads (lorry runs best avoided). As is the case with all the proud regions across France, the locals are concerned about retaining their identity. 'We are worried about being swallowed up by Burgundy. For example will Besançon university get taken over by Dijon?' said one spokesman. This area has been used to fortress tactics throughout history but if they embrace the new regime, it seems likely that Franche-Comté could gain much from its more outwardly affluent neighbour and visa versa.

Coinciding with this visit, the New York Times published an article 'Exploring Franche-Comté, France's Well Kept Secret' majoring on Besançon and the surrounding area. Read the full article to get a taster of things to come.

A quick recharge

The first recharge point for electric vehicles in Burgundy has opened on the A31 motorway at Dijon-Brognon at the 'aire de repos'. The full recharge will take half an hour. By the end of the year, there will be 45 points on the motorways which have been co-financed by EDF electricity, the EU and the car manufacturers.

june 20

Blue zone for free parking in FranceIn the blue zone

Many towns across France have blue zones for parking. From tourist offices and newsagents you can buy a disc for 2 euros allowing you to park for up to two hours (excluding 12.00-14.00.) Simply set your arrival time on the clock and place in the windscreen saving time, hassle and money.

may 29

renting a car on a UK driving licence?

Rent a car, UK driving licence changesOn June 8 driving licence changes come into force in the UK. As it stands at present you need to take the paper version (counterpart) of your licence as well as the photocard driving licence with you when renting a car. The DVLA website says:

'From 8 June 2015, you may wish to check with the hire company what they need to see when you hire a vehicle. If you’re asked for evidence of what vehicles you can drive or confirmation of any penalty points, you can request a unique code from GOV.UK which allows you to share your driving licence details or you can download a summary of your driving licence record. The code lasts for up to 72 hours and will allow the hire companies to make any necessary checks. You can also request a code by calling 0300 790 6801. This also applies if you have a paper licence that was issued before 1998'. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/driving-licence-changes

may 8

Your little bit of France

Petit Creme Holiday Rental, Montreal, BurgundyA pretty village house in a medieval village may be a dream but for a week or two it can be yours. Petit Crème in Montréal near Chablis is a self-catering holiday home which has recently been revamped and offers beds for 6-7 persons. The essentials of modern living such as WiFi, a DVD player and TV with English and French channels plus a garden and use of a pool ensure that all the family can have a relaxing holiday, home from home.

fine dining in the Franche-ComtE

Gradually over the course of this year we shall be adding information about the Franche-Comté which joins up with Burgundy on January 1. There are 11 Michelin starred restaurants in this mountainous region which have now been added to the 2015 list making a total of 43 for Bourgogne Franche- Comté. More...

april 3

jura wines in the spotlight

At the André Simon Food & Drink Book Awards, just announced, Wink Lorch has won the award for the best wine book. Wink has taken the wines of the Jura region in the Franche Comté to her heart and as well as writing about them, she has been spending time abroad spreading the word. Man Booker-winning novelist Julian Barnes, who was this year's assessor for the wine books, said: "Jura Wine is the first proper book in English about the wines of Jura. When its author took her first-ever glass of it, she thought it was 'weird'. It is a reaction many of us have shared, and perhaps not got beyond. Happily for us, she did, and has produced a personal and deeply committed guide to this often intractable region." See Wine Guidbooks

march 20

Burgundy Market, photo: Chateau de Villette near Autun

france at its best

This is what France and Burgundy are about, and it really gets the taste buds going. It's the provenance of food, prime produce with that special quality from the best sources.
Get out to your local market for the sights and smells of glorious food.

Our picture of the week, shot at the Beaune market, comes courtesy of Château de Villette luxury bed and breakfast near Autun. Sample Catherine's acclaimed food, using the best local ingredients. More...

French chic

Meeting today's exacting standards in holiday rentals, Penelope Sai asked the help of interior designer Sophie Seeger to decorate her cottage. The result is Desjardins' Cottage, pure French country style. South-west of Auxerre, it is a great place to relax, experience village life, as well as a good base from which to explore northern Burgundy from Chablis with its wines to the medieval village of  Noyers-sur-Serein. Wifi is now an essential requirement for all holiday accommodation, a good kitchen and bathroom, and home comforts - all on offer here. More...

Desjardins Cottage holiday rental in Burgundy Desjardins Holiday Cottage for rental  in Burgundy Self-catering holiday home Desjardins Cottage in Burgundy


March 13

Sailing on a sunny afternoon

Locaboat self-drive cruising in BurgundyNo sails required on a self-drive cruiser on the Burgundy canals, life goes at a leisurely pace on board. But to make the most of what is on offer in this region, rich with speciality foods, wine and heritage, some new ideas of what to do when you moor up come from Locaboat, the boat hire specialists. Visit the Chagny market then return to your boat and have a cooking class on board your vessel, go on a wine tasting tour in a château, or take the kids to an archaeological workshop. The trips are available from
departure points at Saint Léger sur Dheune and Mâcon 
and advance reservation is required. More information

News In brief

Politics: With the run up to the fusion of Burgundy with the Franche Comté region in January 2016, a website is up and running with the latest developments within the corridors of government. www.bourgognefranchecomte2016.fr

Travel: It's so easy to get caught for speeding and fined on the French roads. For the latest update showing the speed cameras in Burgundy in each department, follow this link

Business:  Marc Meneau's restaurant L'Espérance in St Père sous Vézelay has got into financial difficulties again and has been placed in receivership. Restructuring is taking place in the hope that the son, Pierre Meneau can take over the business.

february 13

Carpe Diem Burgundy, TripAdvisor Traveller's ChoiceCarpe Diem

Quality bed and breakfast places at a reasonable price take a bit of finding. Carpe Diem is just such a place, not far from the medieval town of Noyers-sur-Serein. For this year it has received the accolade of being the Tripadvisor Traveller's Choice, the only one in Burgundy. Tasteful decor in a charming village setting with friendly service and the possibility of a delicious dinner too More...  

january 30

Get away 2015

Make irresistible chocolates with a master chocolatier, chill out with a day's private charter on the river, compare and contrast Burgundy wines with those of another French region on a two centre break, polish up your cooking skills and combine the practical with a wine masterclass... Here are some new additions to popular activities in Burgundy

Cook with Confidence in Burgundy with Lynne Hammond

Lynne Hammond's cooking class, 'Cook with Confidence' (above) has proved a great success.  It can now be incorporated with a wine masterclass at the farmhouse near Autun over one or two days for a maximum of four people. The price is 295 euros for one day and 550 euros per person for two days.

Bernard Dufoux, Chocolatier in BurgundyIf chocolate is your weakness, head on down to La Clayette and have a four hour indulgence with master chocolatier Bernard Dufoux. His afternoon classes take place on the first Wednesday of the month, commencing on February 4 at 14.00. Orangettes, Truffes, pâtes d'amande, Griottes au kirsch and Palets d'Or are just a few of the specialities he will be demonstrating. The price of the class is 80 euros per person.

Burgundy Discovery Two Centre Wine TourIf wine is the reason for your Burgundy visit, Burgundy Discovery, the wine tour people, are now offering two centre trips. Two days in Burgundy is followed by a further two days in either the Loire, Savoy or Rhone valley with expert guides in each of the regions so that you can compare and contrast the wines. Prices vary according to the region but start at 900 euros per person.

The Randle by Edge Charter one day cruise from AuxerreFor a total chill out, take The Randle motor barge for a one day private charter from Auxerre down the river Yonne, stopping off for lunch at Vaux and wine tasting in Irancy or Chitry. The boat can take a maximum of six passengers and the total charter price for the day is 1500 euros. Make the most of the lazy days of summer.

Cycling holidays  in Burgundy ©Michel JolyBurgundy is a very bike friendly place. Not only are there designated cycle tracks, the Voie Vertes, and the canal towpaths, good signage, maps and tourist information, it is also easy to transport your bike from place to place on the trains, both on the local TER and TGV fast services. There is a special section on the SNCF website with all the information. Also see our Cycling sections.
(Photo Michel Joly)

january 1 2015

How is Burgundy Wine Made?

After the harvest, what happens to the grapes to turn them into wine? We look at the intricate winemaking process for red and white wine from harvest to bottling.See our step-by-step guide.

Making red wine in Burgundy, photo BIVB making red wine in Burgundy, image, BIVB making white wine in Burgundy, photo BIVB making white wine in Burgundy, photo BIVB

The Top 10 Attractions in Burgundy

Our list of must-see places to visit during your stay in the Burgundy region from the Hôtel-Dieu in Beaune (centre) to the Grand Cru wine route (left), Vézelay and Guédelon (right). More...

Clos de Vougeot, ©Michel Joly Hotel Dieu, Hospices de Beaune Burgundy Guedelon Burgundy

Pam Elson ©burgundytoday.com


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