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This Week...

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

april 26, 2014

beware, the hotspots

Speed camera in BurgundyRadar cameras are very active in Burgundy providing the local government with a valuable cash cow. Driving on your local patch you soon get to know where the speed cameras lurk but if you are travelling in the region, it is worth taking note In particular, on the A6.

There are 149 automatic radar cameras in Burgundy and last year they scooped up 2 million euros a month in fines. (Average fines 68 or 135 euros)

The key is to watch the local drivers and follow suit when they suddenly reduce speed. Below we show the top three places in each département where people get caught out. - for the full list see www.caradisiac.com.

Location Road Direction Number violations per day
COTE D'OR      
Saone et Loire      

Stand out from the crowd

Jeroen Wand's limited edition travel cases from Chateau de la Resle BurgundyAt Château de la Resle luxury bed and breakfast near Auxerre, Johan and Pieter are design gurus and interesting contemporary furniture, accessories and art adorn the rooms. They have now launched a Design Shop, trumpeting the works of young Dutch designers and showing a gallery of their work. We were particularly struck by the travel cases made from walnut and laminated paper by Jeroen Wand. They
are a limited edition, not cheap of course,
but if you want to stand out from the crowd,
these are for you.More...

Le Corbusier's chapel

Chapelle Notre Dame du Haut Photo : Paul Koslowski Chapelle Notre Dame du Haut Photo : Paul Koslowski Le Corbusier's chapel at Ronchamp. Photo: franche-comte.org

Staying on the design theme, the Chapelle Notre Dame du Haut at Ronchamp by iconic architect Le Corbusier is a must-visit venue on a trip across the border of Burgundy into the Franche-Comté region. (As we mentioned last week, discussions are ongoing about the two regions joining together). Completed 60 years ago, this little chapel is visited by 80,000 people a year. The design and simplicity leaves a lasting impression.

The Franche-Comté is an outstanding area of natural beauty - we hope that our overview will make you want to know more.

La Semaine des Climats BourgogneLa Semaine des Climats

Climats du Vignoble de Bourgogne is the organization trying to obtain UNESCO Heritage rating for the vineyards of Burgundy. For the second year running, from May 24 to June 1, they have prepared a week of guided visits, tastings, walks, conferences and event - 45 in all. The programme is now available, in French

april 19

Shigeru Ban

Consortium Dijon  Shigeru Ban structure at Pouilly en Auxois Burgundy

Modernist Japanese architect-humanist Shigeru Ban is famous in Burgundy for his structure at the Pouilly-en-Auxois Visitor Centre on the Canal de Bourgogne (right) and for the Consortium Centre of Contemporary Art in Dijon (left). He has just been named the recipient of the Prizker Architecture Prize, often referred to as the Nobel Prize of architecture.

Famous for his work with paper, and particularly recycled cardboard tubes used to quickly and efficiently house disaster victims, the Pritzker Jury cited Ban for his innovative use of material and his dedication to humanitarian efforts around the world.

The first work he completed in France was the tunnel structure on the Canal de Bourgogne in 2004 which is very representative of Ban's technique of using a framework of cardboard tubing. More recently in 2011 the Consortium was completed. Outside Burgundy, his work in France includes the Pompidou Centre at Metz.

slimlining the administration

'The presidents of Burgundy and neighbouring Franche-Comté have plans to merge following calls to cut through the country’s numerous and costly layers of local government, which the French describe as a mille-feuille (thousand-layer) cake', reports France 24.

'Burgundy and Franche-Comté are home to 2.8 million people – slightly more than the city of Paris. They are divided into eight "départements" and 3,831 municipal councils, some of which are grouped into urban areas – adding another sub-layer. These Russian doll-like local authorities provide services ranging from public transport to water supply, social housing and fire brigades. Between them, they employ more than 60,000 staff across the two regions.

Nationwide, local authorities spent 173.7 billion euros in 2012 – a 67% increase over 10 years. France's cash-strapped government is now determined to make savings by "simplifying" these bureaucratic layers'.

Regional Council Presidents Marie-Guite Dufay of Franche-Comté and François Patriat of Burgundy are looking at the long term plan. The Franche-Comté is an area of great natural beauty and we shall be bringing you an overview of the region shortly.

Rare plant fair Bezouotte BurgundyRare Plant Fair

Each year in Bézouotte, east of Dijon, the village holds a weekend festival of rare plants ranging from orchids and hostas to cacti and bonsai trees. The market takes place in the streets where over 100 exhibitors will gather the weekend of May 10-11 from 10.00-18.00. For more info, tel. 00 33 (0)380 36 73 70.

april 12

Proud of Epoisses

Epoisses Cheese Puffs, ©Marie France MagazineWhen you are away from the Burgundy region, Epoisses cheese is one of the things you really miss (along with escargots in garlic butter, cassis, coq au vin ... the list could go on). The magazine Marie France has just published three delicious recipes for using Epoisses, the most famous local pungent cheese - they sound so good you might like to try them.  Here is the English translation for a puff pastry parcel oozing with rich, creamy cheese with a grape sauce.

Epoisses feullietes

Serves 3-4

  • 1 Berthaut Epoisses Cheese -250g (8oz)
  • 16 seedless black grapes
  • 2 teasp. tarragon
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 80g (2½ oz) butter
  • ½ litre Beajolais wine
  • 320g (10½ oz)  ready rolled puff pastry-2 sheets
  • a pinch of salt
  • black pepper

Put the wine in a saucepan and under a low heat, reduce to a syrup, about 5 cl.
Add the grapes and butter and beat together. As soon as the butter melts, turn off the heat. Conserve the sauce in a bain-marie.
Cut each sheet of pastry into four. On four of the pieces, place one quarter of the Epoisses in the centre of each with a sprinkling of tarragon leaves. Season with salt and pepper. Cover each with the other pastry pieces to make a parcel and edge all round with a fork.
Brush each parcel with egg yolk to which a little cold water has been added. Place on a baking sheet. Bake at 200C in a preheated oven for 30 mins. until golden
Serve with the warm sauce.

See also Endive Salad with Pears and Epoisses and Epoisses and Potato Galette (in french)

Cookery Masterclasses

Burgundy on a Plate Cookery MasterclassLearn the tricks of the trade with a French chef either in his restaurant kitchen or his home with Burgundy on a Plate. The half day cooking course with lunch followed by an afternoon of wine tasting has proved a big hit, combining the best of Burgundy in a day. The next cookery course on traditional Burgundian Cuisine is on April 23, 320 euros per person for
a couple or 295 euros per person for four people.
For more details, sue@burgundyonaplate.com

the clue is in the leaf

'It is only when the grapes begin to turn colour a few weeks before the harvest that it becomes obvious which vines are Pinot Noir and which are Chardonnay,' says David Hammond on the Bringing Burgundy to You Facebook page

Chardonnay LeafPinot Noir Leaf This is certainly the case among the appellations where both can grow side-by-side. 'But if you look closely you can see the leaf shape differs. The Chardonnay leaf is much more indented at the edges compared to the Pinot Noir. As the leaf-break begins this will unfurl on the vine and provide the clue.

april 5

Fast track on Burgundy Wines

Puligny Montrachet, Burgundy ©BIVB MonnierOn a four-night whistle-stop tour based in Beaune, visit the five Burgundy wine areas, taste the wines and learn to appreciate their nuances, and of course enjoy yourself in the process.

On the itinerary of the World of Bourgogne Wine Tour are Chablis, Côte de Nuits, Côte de Beaune, Côte Chalonnaise and Mâcon, under the guidance of Bringing Burgundy to You in partnership with the Bourgogne Wine School. It's an early start each day (8.30 a.m.) with a lecture at the Ecole des Vins de Bourgogne before setting off to visit the wine growers and taste their wines. Hotel accommodation and lunch are included, and there are two free evenings to explore Beaune at your leisure. October 21-24,  price for double occupancy room, 1879 euros; for single occupancy, 2135 euros. More...

Louis Jadot Burgundy Vines from Tip to Toe

Maison Louis Jadot ranks as one of the largest wine producers in Burgundy with vineyards from tip to toe in the region, from Chablis to Beaujolais. The company has been making wine since 1859 and still stays true to its original philosophy of the importance of terroir allowing the wines to express the subtle differences in each vineyard. More...

Parterres en Kit Burgundy, Dahlia marketno more digging

Describing herself as a lazy gardener, Lucia Latenstein has come up with a handy tip in her April gardening feature, to get rid of weeds painlessly.

march 29

Burgundy Innovation

Burgundy is famous for its wine, gastronomy and tourism, but the region also excels in the metallurgy, agri-food, automobile and health sectors. Here's our fact file on innovation

Noao electric racing car Magny-Cours

Areva Bourgogne

Left: Noao electric racing car developed at Magny-Cours, Right: Areva, No 1 in nuclear technology, with plants in Burgundy

A racing car that doesn’t pollute? Plastics made from plant fibres such as hemp? The fastest train wheels in the world? The production of key parts for wind turbines to produce “green” energy? Clusters have formed around the automobile industry in Magny-Cours, agro-materials in Dijon, mobile machinery in Le Creusot and wind energy in Longvic. These clusters are uniting companies, research laboratories and training centres around projects.

The nuclear energy centre of Burgundy brings together 160 members, employing more than 12,000 in the Burgundy region. In Chalon-sur-Saône, Montbard and Le Creusot, French industrial innovation in the field of nuclear energy is being rolled out and Burgundy has the global engineering skills to produce nuclear energy, as well as manufacture key components for the industry. Cetic, a power plant training and maintenance centre, based in Saône-et-Loire, is the only one of its kind in the world.

Burgundy is the second largest agricultural region in France and famous for its gastronomy. The taste-nutrition-health centre tackles questions such as how does a baby's taste develop? What diet best suits the elderly? How can we produce quality foods in sufficient quantities to feed the planet while respecting the environment? The taste-nutrition-health centre of excellence, Vitagora® brings together more than 150 companies, public and private laboratories and training centres, which have already carried out 167 research projects on a European scale.

interesting snippets

40% of tourists choose Burgundy for its famous heritage

200,000 spectators from all over Europe come to the street party in Chalon-sur-Saône each year for Chalon dans la Rue in July

The timber industry employs 4,000 people

The region has 1,000 km of waterways

Vézelay is the most visited cultural site

Information supplied by the Bourgogne Conseil Régional

Nightmare in Burgundy a Murder mysterywhodunit in Burgundy

 'The world of wine is no more respectable than the world of finance. It has all the requirements for a detective novel: death, crime, inheritance, jealousy' says, Jean-Pierre Alaux and Noël Balen, authors of Nightmare in Burgundy, a murder mystery just published on Kindle. Recently adapted for French TV, 'Blood on the Vine' was filmed in the region a few months ago. The paperback version of the book will be available at the end of July.

march 22

revering goddess Diana, a broad canvas for the imagination

Work of Linet Andrea at Chateau Ancy le Franc Burgundy Work of Mélanie Bourlon at Chateau Ancy le Franc Burgundy Work of Danielle Gutman Hopenblum at Chateau Ancy le France Burgundy

To coincide with the opening the of recently refurbished Apartments Diane at Château d'Ancy le Franc, an art exhibition is being staged entitled 'Diane Chasseresse'. Nine artists from different countries, with various disciplines from painting to photography and sculpture will show their take on this Roman goddess of the hunt, the moon, the forest and childbirth - a broad canvas for the imagination.

Linet Andréa,  Danielle Gutman Hopenblum, Mélanie Bourlon, Susanne Janssen, Corinne Chalmeau, Corinne Jullien, Véronique E. Bourgeois, Karin Neumann, and Beatriz Guzman Catena are the artists taking part in this collective exhibition. You can meet them on selected days throughout the show which runs from April 20-September 28. Open every day except Mondays unless it is a bank holiday, from 10.30-12.30 and 14.00 to 18.00. In July and August, no lunch break and Mondays open from 13.30-18.00. Opening night, April 19 at 18.00.

Fontenay Abbey BurgundyMusic at the abbey

L'Abbaye de Fontenay ranks as one of the top places to visit in Burgundy. This Cisterian Monastery, set in a beautiful garden, forms the backdrop in August for several concerts befitting the history of the place. Mozart features on August 2 and again on August 17. On the 16th the abbey is open for a night visit by candlelight. A celebration mass will be held on September 21 to mark the abbey's anniversary. For more details, contact the Montbard Tourist Office: ot.montbard@wanadoo.fr

march 15

Volunteers needed in the Morvan

Oxfam France Trailwalkers May 17-18 Morvan Natural ParkThe Oxfam France Trailwalker attracts over a thousand walkers to Burgundy. Now in its fifth year, the event will take place on May 17-18 in the Morvan Natural Park. Teams of four will walk the 100 km circular route starting in Avallon, over 30 hours. Each team will have a support crew and volunteers will be on hand all along the way. Each team is requested to raise 1,500 euros for Oxfam.

The organisers are asking for 250 volunteers to help at this event. Anyone who can come and give the walkers encouragement, maybe massage a foot, drive a support vehicle, take photographs, will be welcome.

Over the last four years, the 519 teams involved in the Oxfam France Trailwalker have raised more than €920,000. Information about the walk, www.oxfamtrailwalker.fr

Robert and Joy Pygott, Burgundy Discovery Wine ToursBurgundy Accolades

Always good to hear that our featured businesses in Burgundy are receiving accolades. TripAdvisor which is a good barometer has awarded Burgundy Discovery Wine Tours, a certificate of excellence for last year, and ranked them number one activity in Beaune. Run by Robert and Joy Pygott, read more in Gourmet Tours.

march 8

gala nights in beaune

International Festival of Baroque Opera BeauneThe International Festival of Baroque Opera in Beaune is the most important classical event in the region's calendar, running each weekend throughout July. The programme has just been published and features three masterpieces by the Burgundy born composer, Rameau, in celebration of the 250th anniversary of his death. The three pieces are Zaïs, conducted by Christophe Rousset; Castor and Pollux in its entirety, and Grand Motets conducted by William Christie. Plenty more Baroque masters
feature on the programme. More...

Go Burgundy 2014

Tennis Holidays in BurgundyApart from having a good time on holiday, here are some ideas for making it an active as well as memorable break: a week of tennis tuition in a beautiful location, French lessons in an old convent, cookery classes in a typical Burgundian farmhouse, a boating experience on the canals and rivers, cycling in the vineyards with a wine guide....More...

On the subject of tennis, a futuristic tennis racket has been launched by a Lyon based company, Babolat. Sensors and chips are embedded in the handle of the tennis racket. The sensors will analyse your tennis game, so your swing - your motion - etc and then all this information can then be compared to existing data.  See full story...

900 years of the cistercian monks in burgundy

Cisterian Monks at Chateau du Clos de Vougeot, illustration, Ghislaine Dodet
In June this year, Pontigny Abbey celebrates 900 years of the Cisterian order - we will be bringing you the events to look out for shortly. Diary date for next January, the Château du Clos de Vougeot will mark the occasion by celebrating, along with Gilly-les-Cîteaux, the 2015 St Vincent Festival on January 24 -25. Illustration Ghislaine Dodet.

march 1

A shower of stars

Seven restaurants in Burgundy received a new one star rating in the latest Michelin Guide for France published last Monday. Catching the headlines, Loiseau des Ducs which opened last July in Dijon, part of the successful Loiseau group.

So here are the winners: in the Côte d'Or, Loiseau des Ducs, Dijon; Le Jardin des Remparts, Beaune; Christophe Quéant (Château de Pommard), Pommard; Ed. Em, Chassagne-Montrachet. In the Saône et Loire, La Marande, Fleurville / Mirande; Auberge du Paradis, St-Amour Bellevue; Au 14 Février, St-Amour Bellevue. A hearty congratulations goes to all the chefs.

Only one restaurant le Chassagne in Chassagne-Montrachet lost its star in similar circumstances to l'Auberge du Cep in Fleurie several years ago.

Value and Quality

High quality but less expensive, the Michelin Guide features recommendations in the Bib Gourmand section - the menu - entrée, main course and dessert is offered for under 31 euros. Here's the run down for Burgundy.

David Zuddas, DZ Envie So restaurant Djon Le Chef Coq Nuits St. Georges

Autun (71) Le Chapitre
Auxerre (89) Le Bourgogne
Avallon(89) Le Gourmillon
Avallon/Valloux(89) Auberge des Chenêts
Beaune/Ladoix-Serrigny(21) Les Terrasses de Corton
Chagny(71) Pierre et Jean
Chalon-sur-Saône(71) Auberge des Alouettes
Chalon-sur-Saône/Saint-Loup-de-Varennes (71) Le Saint-Loup
Chambolle-Musigny(21) Le Millésime
Cosne-Cours-sur-Loire/Villechaud(58) Le Chat
LeCreusot(71) Le Restaurant
LeCreusot/Montcenis(71) Le Montcenis
Dijon(21)DZ'envies (New in 2014) - above left
Dijon(21)So (New in 2014) - above centre
Dijon/Velars-sur-Ouche(21) L'Auberge Gourmande
Gevrey-Chambertin(21) ChezGuy
L'Isle-sur-Serein(89) Auberge du Pot d'Étain
Luzy(58) LeMorvan
Mâcon(71) Le Poisson d'Or
Marigny(71) L'Atelier du Goût
Meursault(21) Le Chevreuil (New in 2014)
Montbard/Saint-Rémy(21) La Mirabelle
Montceau-les-Mines/Blanzy(71) Le Plessis
Nevers(58) LeBengy
Nuits-Saint-Georges(21) La Cabotte
Nuits-Saint-Georges(21) Le Chef Coq (New in 2014) - above right
Quarré-les-Tombes(89) Le Morvan
Saint-Germain-du-Bois (71) Hostellerie Bressane
Saint-Martin-en-Bresse(71) Au Puits Enchanté
Saint-Maurice-de-Satonnay(71) Auberge des Grenouillats (New in 2014)
Saint-Romain (21) Les Roches
Tournus/Mancey(71) Auberge du Col des Chèvres
Tournus/Ozenay(71) Le Relais d'Ozenay
Venarey-les-Laumes/Alise-Sainte-Reine(21) Auberge du Cheval Blanc

UB40 comes to town

UB40 performing in Dijon July 11Topping the bill at the Oeno Music Festival in Dijon on July 11-12 is the group UB40. They have been performing worldwide since 1978, appealing to age groups across the spectrum. Back then, the members of the band were out of work and claiming unemployment benefit and the name came from the paper form issued by the UK government Department of Health and Social Security, Unemployment Benefit Form 40. As they say, that is history...

Join them for this two day event at the Zenith in Dijon. Other performers include La Rue Ketanou, Renan Luce, Nneka, Les Ogres de Barback, Biga Ranx. Tickets 49 euros for the two day event from fnac.

febuary 21

entrepot de la gare

Entrepot de la Gare, Vandenesse Burgundy, Restaurant and Bed and Breakfast Entrepot de la Gare, Vandenesse, Burgundy, Restaurant and Bed and Breakfast Tennis Coaching Holidays at Entrepot de la Gare, Burgundy

Off the beaten track near the Canal du Nivernais not far from Decize,  Dutch couple Corine Mooijer and Rob van Setten have their restaurant and chambres d'hôte, Entrepôt de la Gare. Taking the old station building at Montaron, surrounded by idyllic countryside, they have created a quirky but very charming venue, now in its fifth year. Corine is the cook, Rob is a tennis coach and offers one off classes or a full course.

The restaurant offers a table d'hôte menu and dietary requirements can be provided with a little prior notice. Dine under the vine, or in front of the log fire on chillier days. There are two bedrooms with private bathrooms too. Keep the Entrepôt de la Gare in mind if you are cruising, cycling or walking on the canal. More...

february 1

No licence required

Linssen Yachts, Locaboat Holidays BurgundyThe canals of Burgundy are one of the top tourist attractions in the region for holidays afloat, walking along the tow paths or taking to the cycling routes. Locaboats, based in Joigny, hire out boats sleeping between 2 and 12 people and have been operating for 36 years. So they know how it all works and what the pitfalls are for the inexperienced boat hand. On their website they give comprehensive information about all aspects of planning your holiday. This year Locaboat has integrated with state of the art Linssen yachts, designed to optimize space with top quality fittings. Manoeuvring the boats they say is easier than driving a car and no licence is required. More...

january 24

summer reverie

Now is the time to book your holiday cottage to avoid disappointment this summer - the reservation season is well underway. Here is a taster of some of the charming properties available in Burgundy, direct from the owner. See Burgundy Holiday Homes for Rental

Holiday Home Semur en Auxois ref 427365 Holiday Home Cluny ref 415200 Holiday Home Puligny Montrachet 803598 Holiday Home Asquins near Vezelay ref 877696a
Semur-en-Auxois sleeps 4, ref 427365 In the rolling countryside of Southern Burgundy, Cluny area, sleeps 4 with pool, ref 415200 Puligny Montrachet, sleeps 6, ref 803598 Asquins near Vézelay, sleeps 8-10, ref 877696a

january 17

Magny-Cours 2014

Classic Days at Magny Cours BurgundyThe full programme for the Magny-Cours racing circuit is now available.

Classic car enthusiasts should note the Classic Days meet on May 3-4. This annual event is going from strength to strength so if you like the idea of testing out the famous circuit, and have a car in good condition which falls into one of the following categories, why not go for a spin?

- all vehicles before 1980
- Formula 1 any period
- vehicles from 1980 - email requested to ascertain suitability

Registration is open until March 28. The event this year celebrates 50 years of the Mustang. More...

january 10

Group Therapy

Cook with Confidence in BurgundyComing down to earth after Benoît Charvet's masterclass, make up a group of foodie friends for a celebration weekend of food and wine. Lynne Hammond who runs 'Cooking with Confidence' is offering private cooking classes with wine pairing for a group of up to six people at Château de Tailly, near Meursault to guests at the house. She will supply everything required for the half day cooking class followed by a relaxing four course lunch or dinner. She is happy to travel to other venues where a group of friends is staying (subject to facilities and permission).

january 4

Make 2014 the year to come and enjoy the Burgundy region, from the wine to the landscapes, the history and culture, the festivals, sporting attractions and the food.

So what is in store for 2014? The Musée des Beaux Arts in Dijon has recently reopened after extensive refurbishment and it is now offering a full programme of exhibitions and events; the Musée de la Faïence in Nevers is a new addition on the cultural route. At Château d'Ancy le Franc, the Chambre Diane will open for the first time in the spring after years of restoration by artisans, and the Abbaye de Pontigny will put on a series of events to mark its 900th anniversary in June. As the 2014 dates are confirmed for the major events across the region, we will keep you up to date on the Grapevine.

One Step Nearer
Climats du vignobles de Bourgogne

Burgundy has been described as 'a landscape of slow civilization'. Time is of the essence - time to tend the vineyards, to graze the Charolais cattle, to meander along the canals.

It is the heritage of the vineyards and everything related to it that hit the news at the end of 2013. Burgundy has been putting together a case to present to UNESCO to make the Climats du Vignobles de Bourgogne a World Heritage Site. Now it has been officially announced that France will give its backing and put the proposal to the UNESCO committee in 2014 for a decision in 2015.

Climats du Vignobles de Bourgogne, Burgundy's candidacy as a World Heritage SiteOn a new website from the BIVB devoted to the Climats the term, unique to Burgundy is described as follows: ' It is the Burgundian expression of the notion of Terroir. The Climats are precisely delimited plots that enjoy particular geological and climatic conditions which, when combined with traditional working practices and translated by the two grape varieties - Pinot Noir for red wines and Chardonnay for whites – have given rise to an extraordinary patchwork of world renowned wines, ranked according to a hierarchy. There are several thousand Climats in Bourgogne'.

A coffee table book has just been published to illustrate the extreme beauty of the Climats. Three of our favourite photographers, Michel Joly, Armelle Photographe and Jean
Louis Bernuy have supplied the pictures to show the heritage
and culture of the vineyards, the villages, Beaune and Dijon.
Available in French with an English version to follow.

49 euros from Glénat Livres

Pam Elson ©burgundytoday.com


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