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pam elson brings you Burgundy Today's roundup of news and events
Running for only a week, this religious art exhibition takes place in the hallowed cellars of Louis Jadot in Beaune. Entitled 'Resonance' it pays homage to the heritage of Burgundy. Photographer and architect Ferrante Ferranti presents his images of the local landscape and the stonework shot in the Autumn sunshine. Gaël Favier has collated statues and sculptures from the days of the Dukes of Burgundy, more usually found on display at venues such as the Beaux Arts collection in Dijon and the church of St. Symphorien in Nuits-St.Georges. The exhibition is open from December 14 - 22 from midday to 19.00. Entry is seven euros which includes a glass of wine. Louis Jadot, 62 Route de Savigny, Beaune.
the provenance of mustard
What is the difference between Burgundy mustard and that of Dijon asks Vanessa Hirson of France 3 TV?. Burgundy mustard is stronger, Dijon mustard is gentler and a slightly lighter yellow in colour. The difference lies in the provenance of the mustard seed. Only seeds grown in the Burgundy region are used in the manufacture of Moutarde de Bourgogne whereas Dijon mustard uses nearly 50% seeds from Canada, and the other half from Burgundy.
Mustard seed production declined in the 1960s in the region when the farmers turned the land over to rapeseed and sunflowers tempted by European incentives. Then in the 1990s l'Association des Producteurs de Graines de Moutarde de Bourgogne (APGMB) was formed included the four large Burgundian producers: Amora-Maille, Européenne de Condiments, Reine de Dijon et les Ets Fallot to make Moutarde de Bourgogne using only seed grown in Burgundy and locally produced Aligoté wine.
Burgundy produces 30% of the mustard seed needed to supply demand, the rest of the seed is imported from Canada. Recently there has been an increase in the amount of land given over to growing the seed (in the year 2010-2011, 5,500 hectares) the vast majority being in the Côte-d'Or. The factories in the region produce 90.000 tonnes of mustard paste a year which is 85% of France's production and 50% of the European total. More...
Starting to think about two of the most important components to a successful Christmas, food and drink? New books to inspire, and wine suggestions from a Master of Wine.
Pick of the whites
Each year at this time, Jancis Robinson picks her seasonal best buys for your Christmas celebrations writing in the Financial Times. Of the 29 white wines on the list, seven come from Burgundy.
Maison Roche de Bellene, Cuvée Spéciale 2011 Bourgogne
Most Bourgogne Blanc comes from Mâcon but this barrel-fermented, keenly priced example made by Nicolas Potel is very pure and tastes very Côte d'Or. Creditably long. This would make a great house white. 13% £10.95 The Wine Society
Dom Vincent Dampt 2012 Chablis
Very pale. Quite intense and sculpted. Good aperitif. A fine emissary of the superior 2012 vintage in Chablis. 12.5% £13.95 Corney & Barrow
Dom Chavy-Chouet, Les Femelottes 2011 Bourgogne
A bit pinched but a very well priced for a wine grown in Meursault, even if on the fringes. Light and tight. 13% £14.95 Roberson
Dom Hubert Lamy, Les Frionnes Premier Cru 2011 St-Aubin
Light and fresh - masses of acidity and some mealiness, lemon and fresh. Classic nervy white burgundy. 13% £24.30 Lay & Wheeler
Louis Jadot, Les Narvaux 2009 Meursault
Proper, recognisable smoky Meursault. Very juicy and substantial on the palate and already quite developed aromatically. 13% £25 if two bottles are bought Majestic
Dom Thomas Morey 2011 Chassagne-Montrachet
Smoky nose. Quite a standout! Lots of fruit and it's very accessible. Mid weight and just the ticket. ⁞13%£34.75 H2Vin
Dom Tessier, Les Charmes-Dessus Premier Cru 2010 Meursault
Quite heady and with lots of fruit concentration on the palate. Easy and fun. Early maturing. 12.5%
£49.95 Flint, also Uncorked, Prohibition Wines
See the other fine wines from all over the world that Jancis suggests for the Christmas festivities - next week, the reds...
St. Aubin 2014
Hollywood style, the gigantic sign has gone up on the hillside heralding the 2014 St. Vincent celebration in St. Aubin on January 25-26. The village is in the heart of the Burgundy white wine district, between Chassagne-Montrachet and Puligny-Montrachet and the appellation covers 170 hectares including 30 Premiers Crus. The AOC Saint-Aubin producers top quality white and red wines. Winemakers and Burgundy wine lovers will celebrate throughout the weekend.
Give the luxury gift of a flight in a hot air balloon over the French countryside. France Montgolfières operate from Vézelay in Burgundy, but also Provence, Paris Fontainebleu, the Loire Valley and Eastern France. A ticket for two costs 399.00 euros, valid anytime, or the special Christmas gift voucher for one for a weekday flight is 169.00 euros. More information
News in brief
Maxime Brunet who works in William Frachot's restaurant, Hostellerie du Chapeau Rouge, in Dijon has just been awarded the accolade of the best young sommelier in France.
The Elysée Palace has ordered its Christmas tree to adorn the courtyard for the New Year celebrations from Saulieu in the Morvan National Park. Visit the Fêtes du Sapin on December 14-15 for your tree.
Statistics just published by the Burgundy Tourist Board show that one million tourists came to the region this year and 50% were attracted by wine related visits - the cellars, the vineyards, wine tasting etc. Visitors from Brazil, China and Australia are on the rise.
A wintry scene as the snow arrived on Wednesday and a fitting time to think about the Christmas events which kick-in in December. Chalon-sur-Saône presents a very lively scene and has the most comprehensive programme for all the family starting on the 8th - see the pdf link on our town highlights for details.
If you are a visitor in Burgundy over the winter months, see Historic Places Open All Year
new titles to look out for
Here's a recently published, eclectic selection of books - wine from a Burgundy Master, Clive Coates, the story of an Englishwoman in the Resistance, the new Fodor guide to France (even the sample pages of Paris are a good read on the Amazon preview and will make you want to get on a plane) and a walking guide on the Canal de Bourgogne from Migennes to Pouilly-en-Auxois, the Pouilly to St Jean de Losne guide is also available, both on Kindle. Also see the Books section
Mitterrand, 'A Gallic Blackadder'
The best restaurant in the world and it's in burgundy
According to TripAdvisor, Maison Lameloise in Chagny, Burgundy has been voted the number one restaurant in the world by its readers. This three star Michelin establishment is a family run business which has been in existence since 1921.For a special occasion, there is the 'Liberty's Escape' package, offering a double room with breakfast, lunch or dinner with the Degustation
Spend a few minutes watching this relaxing video by Penny Lilley, owner of the Barge Luciole. Take a trip to chill out, Burgundy style, on the Canal du Nivernais experiencing an unforgettable holiday. Historic places, wine tours, good food, wine and bonhomie are guaranteed.
What wine shortage?
When the catchy headline about a global wine shortage hit the news last week everyone wondered 'how can this be true?' Based on a Morgan Stanley report, Felix Salmon from Reuters points out that instead of a dispassionate analysis of supply and demand, this was an attempt to put forward one particular investment thesis by the Australian branch of the merchant bank. He says:' What’s more, the investment thesis is not, particularly, based on the existence of any present or future wine shortage; it’s simply trying to present the idea that demand for Australian wine exports is likely to rise, and to justify the fact that a company called Treasury Wine Estates is the bank’s “top Australian consumer pick”. More...
What really annoys the French
500,000 people are employed in the French wine growing and wine making industry and it is one of the country's most profitable exports adding
€7.8 million to the coffers and drawing in 12 million tourists to France each year. So it is understandable that a large lobby has begun to contest the proposed changes to the law by the Hollande administration.
These changes include media and internet regulation, taxation in the name of health, and health label warnings.
The website, www.cequivavraimentsaoulerlesfrancais.fr (“what really annoys the French”), aims to raise awareness about the risks the wine sector in France is currently facing. The site has already received 232,000 visitors to the site in just two weeks from both France and abroad. Read more of the BIVB report in Wine News.
Gone with the wind
The Mercurey AOC is one of the largest in Burgundy and to spread the word, what better way to advertise the name than a flying billboard in the form of a hot air balloon? You will see the silver craft early in the morning and before sunset flying majestically over the vineyards.
Many major cities produce walking routes to lead visitors around the backstreets to points of interest, revealing parts unknown, and Dijon is no exception. Le Parcours de la Chouette, the Owl's Trail, with 22 highlights passes the galleries and museums along the cobbled streets, the architectural and historical places in the town taking about an hour to complete. Starting point is the Tourist Information Centre on Place Darcy, and the brochure costs 3.50 euros from the Tourist Offices in town.
The power of the web
Annual number of Google searches
1998 - 3.6m 2008 - 637bn 2012 - 1.9 trillion
Number of web pages
1998 - 26m 2008 - 1 trillion 2013 - 60 trillion
Taize embraces Asia
The Taizé ecumenical centre in Southern Burgundy regularly holds meetings around the world. Brother Alois is at present in South Korea before going on to Mumbai in India in November. Running up to the New Year, from December 28 to January 1 the annual European meeting will be held this time in Strasbourg when thousands of young people will take part.
The Cook's Atelier Expands
Marjorie Taylor is moving her cooking school, the Cook's Atelier, to a new home. She is opening an epicurean centre in Beaune in Rue de Lorraine in conjunction with AP Wine Beaune. Highlighting the local artisan food producers and winemakers of Burgundy and throughout Europe, there is a wine shop, retail space with cook's tools and provisions, a teaching kitchen and dining room. Be sure to pop in when you are passing the door.
With the harvest complete, the wine growers now start on the crucial process of vinification. Armelle Hudelot is a photographer and graphic designer working in Burgundy, recording life in the vineyards and beyond. You can see more of her sumptuous images on armellephotographe.com
Facelift for Vezelay
Work has begun to renovate the Basilica in Vézelay. This is a ten year operation costing 15 million euros, far short of the 50 million originally promised in 2010 by Nicolas Sarkozy. The Porte Neuve is the first section to receive attention.
Take an old stone cottage, connect it to a second building with a wooden clad extension. The result, an imaginative, cleverly designed home for 2013 which is light, spacious and practical. Outside space too has been maximized with a lawned area, patio, swimming pool and parking space. For sale in Beaune for 595.000 euros from Burgundy Home and Services.
A hectic time in the vineyards of Burgundy, the culmination of the year's work before the vinification begins. Above, the Chablis harvest captured on camera by photographer Ibanez for the BIVB
The vignerons come out fighting
'In France', asks Suzanne Mustacich in The Wine Spectator, 'is wine a part of national identity and a valuable contributor to the economy, or a danger to public health? A new bill before the French senate claims the latter, calling for higher taxes on alcoholic beverages, stronger health warnings on labels and new restrictions on advertising and marketing'.
Angered by this bill, the vignerons are fighting back “We will not accept being treated like drug dealers when wine is part of the same French gastronomic meal that was classified as an intangible heritage by UNESCO,” said Bernard Farges, president of the Bordeaux wine council (CIVB). “The 500,000 people from the vineyards and wine trade are launching a national campaign to mobilize against this moral and financial pressure.” Read the article.
take to the track with the legends
The Coupes Moto Legende vintage motorbike meet at Dijon Prenois circuit attracts over 30,000 aficionados each year at the end of May, beginning of June. Here you can bring your treasured motorbike and race around the circuit with some of the great legends of the sport, an opportunity not to be missed. There's plenty of activity during the daytime and night time hours as James Hewing of the Vintage Motorbike Club explains. More...
When our chef, Bob Chambers, says that he has a memory of wonderful meals and particularly the Gougères, those cheese puffs, a local speciality, at Le Gourmandin restaurant in Beaune, you know they really were something.
At that time Le Gourmandin was run by Isabelle Crotet Billard, front of house, and Alain Billard, executive chef. When the couple split up, each went their separate ways and last year each opened a new restaurant. Isabelle started L'Auberge Bourguignonne in Beaune and Alain took over kitchen of L'Hotel du Centre in Meursault. So what is the competition like? New York Times writer Shavani Vora ate at both establishments to
compare the two.
'The one-time couple say that there’s no bitter rivalry between them, and their restaurants have several similarities: both opened last year, both strive to serve simply prepared local cuisine in a casual ambience and, in an area where rich meat dishes rule, both offer notable seafood options... Is there a winner in this friendly duel? I would have to say yes: it’s the diner. ' says Vora. Full article for NYT subscribers.
Pastry Chef of the Year 2013
Another restaurant story hit the news this week when Benoît Charvet won the Pastry Chef of the Year award. Benoît works at the Relais Bernard Loiseau in Saulieu and is particularly known for his chocolate desserts. He creates between 15 and 20 new desserts each year for the ever changing menu. This has been a good year for the Loiseau Group with the opening of the Loiseau des Ducs in Dijon. Here says Dominique Loiseau, "We have an occupancy rate of over 90%, which delights us". The
menu at 28 euros for three courses, excluding wine, served at
lunchtime, has emerged as a winner.
Chablis for quizzers
Pour yourself a glass of Chablis, let inspiration flow and see how much you know about this famous wine. On the official new website, www.chablis-wines.com, there is a quiz to test your knowledge - beginners, intermediate and advanced grades.
China the lastest wine producer
There's been much publicity about the interest from China first in Bordeaux wines and then in Burgundy wines. Sales and prices have increased dramatically and a few Chinese investors have bought up wine estates in France such as Château Gevrey-Chambertin. In the latest version of the World Atlas of Wine (7th Edition published October 7) by Hugh Johnson and Jancis Robinson, China, not just as a consumer of wine but also as a grape-grower and wine producer is discussed. On her website Jancis has an extract from the new book and she says:
'The vine is not entirely new to the Chinese however. It was known to gardeners in far western China at least as early as the second century AD when wine, very possibly grape wine, was certainly made and consumed. European grape varieties were introduced to eastern China at the end of the 19th century, but it was only in the late 20th century that grape-based wine insinuated itself into Chinese (urban) society. China’s love affair with grape wine – putaojiu as opposed to mere jiu, meaning any alcoholic drink – was so effectively encouraged by the state, partly in an effort to reduce cereal imports, that according to the most recent OIV [Organisation Internationale de la Vigne et du Vin] figures, China’s total vineyard area (including those devoted to fresh and dried grape production) nearly doubled to an estimated 1,384,000 acres (560,000 ha) between 2000 and 2011. Those same figures suggest that China has been the world’s sixth most important wine producer since the turn of the century. Independently verified Chinese statistics are hard to come by, however, and Chinese wine bottlers have notoriously bumped up production with imported wine, grape must, grape concentrate, and even liquids completely unrelated to grapes'.
' Throughout the early years of this century, it was difficult to find wines labelled as Chinese of any real quality.... By about 2010, however, a small elite of carefully made, truly Chinese-grown wines finally emerged'... More...
In our October competition, coming shortly, we will have five copies of the latest edition of The World Atlas of Wine to give away as prizes, an invaluable source of information for all wine lovers.
stylish decorative arts museum for nevers
Opening September 28 in Nevers, a long awaited project comes to fruition. The Musée de la Faïence de Nevers may have been ten years in the making but a very special end product has resulted. Architect Benoît Crépet has married old and new materials in the Abbaye de Notre Dame and 19thC Hôtel Roussignhol forming an impressive and extensive display area for the precious collection of faïence, enamelled glassware, sculpture and paintings. Faïence from Nevers takes its place in the history books along with the decorative china of Delft, Tuscany, or Rouen. More...
It's not a flashy stadium but the football club is world famous. At AJ Auxerre the talent scouts are always on the lookout for the future world super stars to follow in the footsteps of the likes of Eric Cantona, Yaya Sanogo and Bacary Sagna. Will the glory days of Ligue 1 and the French Championship return? Only time will tell but as a venue for enjoying top-class football at a reasonable price, this club in the unhurried town of Auxerre in northern Burgundy could not be bettered. More...
National Park Progress
At last there's news of the Parc National des Forêts de Champagne et Bourgogne which has been in the pipeline for several years. The consultation stages are continuing with studies on everything from agriculture and water to hunting, the economy and tourism. On September 29 in the village of Leuglay in the Côte d'Or, east of Châtillon-sur-Seine, there's an autumn fair and there you can find out more about the plans for this important new National Park.
There are some villages full of character to be explored such as St-Broing-les Moines, Giey-sur-Aujon, Chalmessine and shown here, above right, Germaines, a picture book setting.
If you are interested in receiving the newsletter contact: GIP des Forêts de Champagne et Bourgogne
Cycling in the Vineyards
To really feel connected with Beaune's vineyards, take a bike tour over half or a whole day with a wine tasting en route. Organised by Bourgogne Evasion, your English-speaking guides will lead you through the vines Pommard, Vouvray, and Pouligny Montrachet for example, passing châteaux and geranium clad villages on the way. The half day tour is 29 euros, including the bike hire and tasting. Whole day tour including lunch, visit to Château Rochepot, bike hire and wine
tasting is 120 euros per person. So, very well priced. Walking
tours are also offered through the vineyards.
more than just a quick pick-up
St Omer in northern France is an unlikely deviation from our usual patch but there is method in our madness, and it is all to do with Burgundy wine and avoiding the heavy duty and transport costs which are making a bottle so much more expensive particularly in the UK. Bringing Burgundy to You find that their buy and collect scheme is increasing in popularity, as do other companies offering the same idea, and want to make it more than just a quick pick-up, more an enjoyable short break, and one with a purpose.
Apart from the benefits of collecting your wine, St Omer has a lot to offer for a short break. There's an excellent restaurant of course, Le Cygne, military history with the Eperlecques Bunker, aviation and engineering history and stunning wetlands for bird lovers. See Short Break in St Omer for more details.
And then of course, there is just the joy of being in France, wandering around the shops and market, taking in the smells and having a coffee in the cafe. More...
strong Head wind for industry
Good news for industry in Burgundy. The Le Creusot and Dijon Group Gorgé has just received a 10 million euro order from Siemens for wind turbine masts destined for the Pas-de-Calais and Picardie regions. 24 masts will be manufactured, 100 m high in four sections. The factories employ 200 people in the region.
a burgeoning art scene in Burgundy this September
There are two major events in the art world happening in Burgundy this month. The first is the relaunch of the Musée des Beaux Arts in Dijon. The second, at the end of the month is the reopening of the Faïence Museum in Nevers on September 28 and we shall be bringing you details of this in the weeks to come. Both museums have undergone a ten year revamp with stunning results.
Musee des Beaux Arts Dijon
The grand-daddy of them all, is the Musée des Beaux Arts in the centre of Dijon, housing one of the finest collections of art in the whole of France outside of Paris. On September 7 the new look will be revealed after ten years of work when the first phase of the renovation will be open to the public. You can see that from the programme up to February 2014, a new vitality has been breathed into the place with exhibitions, monthly featured artists, lectures and workshops. There are new spaces for over 500 additional works to go on view. The Mourners are back home after their successful tour or the USA and Europe too.
Coteaux Bourguignons - two winners
Coteaux Bourguignons is the new French appellation which came into being in November 2011 replacing Bourgogne Grand Ordinaire and these wines have only recently hit the shelves. At this year's Decanter Wine Awards it is this appellation which won the coveted Regional Trophy for red wine under £15 a bottle for Loron et Fils Duc de Belmont 2011, and also a Gold Award for Vignerons de Bel Air, Grande Cadole 2012. This was one of only three Gold Trophy winners. Both are reasonably priced wines worth looking out for. The Burgundy entry totalled 467 (including wines from Beaujolais) and 218 wines were awarded a medal. Full listing
Rock Climbing holidays
The limestone which provides the perfect terrain for Burgundy's famous wines also has another attraction. The crags which run from Clamecy through the Côte d'Or down to Solutré are great for rock climbing. Surgy, Saffres and Hauteroche are the largest crags with plenty of routes for all levels of climbing skill. If rock climbing is your thing, see the map giving 19 locations in Burgundy. More...
JULY 25 .
Loiseau des Ducs
The Loiseau group which owns the Relais Bernard Loiseau in Saulieu and Loiseau des Vignes in Beaune opened another restaurant in Dijon this week. Right in the centre of town in Rue Vauban, a stone's throw from the Place de la Libération, Loiseau des Ducs is hoping to achieve the same cachet as its Beaune counterpart.
CitE du Vin de Bourgogne
Recently we featured Dijon and its plans for a gastronomic hub (see below). Now it's the turn of Beaune to come up with an ambitious proposal, the Cité des Vins de Bourgogne. This is a 10 million euro project which is expected to start in 2016, so it is some way ahead. The funding will come from the BIVB (maximum 2 million euros) and private funding (8 million euros). Decanter magazine reports: 'The 1200m2 Beaune Cité du Vin will be located on a six-hectare site on the outskirts of the city, with easy access from one of the busiest European motorways. The project is seen as part of the drive to have the Burgundy climats accepted as a world heritage site by UNESCO'.
The public transport maze
If you are arriving in France from far flung places for the first time, how do you get to your final destination on public transport? This has been the dominant theme in our postbox this week. 'How do I get from Charles de Gaulle airport to Auxerre? ' 'Are there trains from Saulieu to Dijon?' 'We are staying in a hotel in Nevers, are there buses in the town?' Tourist Offices don't in general include this most basic information unfortunately on their sites. It is all available on the internet but mainly aimed at the local market, in French, and you have to really know your way around to decipher it. For instance who would know that Buscéphale is the bus provider in the Saone-et-Loire département? We have just updated the links to travel by bus, and have added the company names servicing the areas to help readers through the maze should the links we provide mysteriously change.
A Tale of Two Farms
As the EU and US begin talks on the free-trade agreement, the huge gulf between the two giants become clear. For example, in agriculture in Europe, the cultivation of genetically modified crops is banned but in the US it is a central part of food production. Eleanor Beardsley visited a Charolais farm in Burgundy and Jackie Northam talked to a farmer in Delaware producing genetically modified crops — corn, soybeans and alfalfa - to draw the comparisons for NPR News.
In the verdant pastures of Burgundy, Michel Baudot looks after 500 head of cattle. The animals eat grass during the warm months and are fed on hay and some grain inside during the winter. By contrast, in the States, most cattle are raised on giant feedlots receiving GMO grains and are given hormones to build bulk fast. Baudot is worried that the continent's mostly family-owned farms cannot compete with industrial production. Traceability of the meat is another factor. The cultural and philosophical differences will take some overcoming and slow progress is guaranteed. More...
'The French consume around 30,000 tonnes of snails a year, of which only 1,000 tonnes come from France's 300 snail farms,' Reuters reported this week. The snails are imported from Eastern Europe. The French snail farmers say that they are being undercut and are calling for labels specifying country of origin. Up to 95% of the snails sold in France are actually cheaper and fatter varieties than those from Burgundy, and come from the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Turkey.
Discover the wines of the Maconnais
The wines of Southern Burgundy are getting an increasingly good press, acclaimed for both value and quality. Château de Mirande between Mâcon and Tournus is an ideal stepping off point for exploring this wine area, and this gentle surrounding landscape. The château has recently been renovated and offers bed and breakfast, three luxury rooms, a heated pool, tennis court and extensive parkland. It is just off the A6, so very convenient too. Nina and Matthias will suggest the wineries to visit and invite you to join them each evening for happy hour for all the insider information.
Planet of the appsIn 1995 Jancis Robinson made a 10 part BBC TV series Jancis Robinson's Wine Course filmed on four continents. (Asia was not then a significant player in the wine world). Fast forward to 2013 and the series has now been turned into an app by Netframes. 'Wine is a much more challenging subject for television than food,' says Jancis, so 'perhaps this is why there have been so few high-quality visual tours of the wonderful world of wine and why there still seems to be a market for our 18-year-old series. For five hours of 'sumptuous footage', at the
This week, Dijon, along with Paris-Rungis, Lyon and Tours were designated 'Cités de la Gastronomie'. Each city will develop a specific theme: "Dijon will be the reference as regards developing and promoting the culture of the vine and wine", Stéphane Le Foll, the Minister of Agriculture said.
For Dijon, there are big plans afoot. The International Gastronomy Exhibition Centre in Dijon will open its doors on the site of the former general hospital before the end of 2016 (plan above). Here a school for wine sommeliers will be set up and a wine exhibition area in the 18th century chapel for French and foreign wines. Three additional hectares of land will be given to a "food and eco-friendly neighbourhood" with 600 housing units as well as communal kitchens and shared orchards and vegetable gardens. The list goes on: the Centre will include a living museum and showcase of gastronomy, a covered market with an urban picnic area, a wine therapy spa, shops and restaurants, a hotel school, a luxury hotel and a residential hotel. The estimated 54 million euro investment will be largely funded by private investors.
a perfect summer wedding
A group of close friends and family and an idyllic setting with the regal backdrop of Château de Percey made for an unforgettable American wedding last weekend. Flowers from the garden adorned the pergola for the ceremony with cascades of petals to celebrate the event. For more details about holding your big day at this stunning wedding venue, contact Lara Lunow.
How to become a wine professional
rich and rich-smelling too
One of Burgundy's famous cheeses is Soumaintrain which is similar to Epoisses. We welcomed Bob Clary's email extolling the virtues of his favourite rich and rich-smelling cheese from the Yonne department and we have added his information to the cheese page. To serve with the cheese, this month's special wine offer would be a perfect accompaniment.
Meanwhile a Canadian fan of the St. Florentin market has asked for information on the cheese vendors there. As it happens, there is short video on YouTube of the market posted by Lara Lunow from Château de Percey to bring back happy memories.
The Business of Being Social
If you want to get up to speed with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube, get this new book by Michelle Carvill and David Taylor. Each of these media giants is discussed at length with tips for business people on using social media to their advantage whether it is for publicity, customer relations or communication. A lot of useful links included for further research. Follow burgundytoday on Facebook to see if the guidelines work.
For details of more books and maps relating to Burgundy see Grapevine
Stumped for a special gift?
For a birthday or special anniversary, give a bottle of Burgundy wine of that anniversary vintage year. Bringing Burgundy To You, the online wine shop, will source a bottle of Burgundy to celebrate a special year for a very original gift. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.
Last weekend 752 walkers took to the paths of the Morvan Natural Park on a 100 km challenge of two days. A record 350.000 euros was raised for Oxfam. Part of the worldwide Trailwalker initiative, 55 million euros has been raised over the last 30 years. If you would like to participate next year in the Morvan, make a diary date, the event will take place on May 17-18 2014.
For something a little less strenuous, a there's a new Topoguide in French 'Tour et traversée du Morvan' published by the Fédération Française de Randonnées at 14.90 euros. More on walking in Burgundy.
Cycling is big in Burgundy but if going it alone sounds too much like hard work, help is at hand. Bike Rental France is offering tandems from 39 euros a day in Burgundy - contact email@example.com.
The Comité Régional du Tourisme de Bourgogne has brought out an excellent new series of themed maps. 'Cycling in Burgundy' highlights the major sights and is clearly illustrated. Available from tourist offices throughout the region, free of charge in a selection of languages. Other themes include the wine and gastronomy routes and inland waterways.
'Reach the inaccessible. Make the world your own'
Cheap 'n' Cheerful
Hotels in and around Beaune can be very pricey so when we discovered the Lemon Montigny lès Beaune, offering a single, double or triple room for 26 euros a night, it seemed like a tip worth passing on. Montigny lès Beaune is four km from the centre with extensive views over the town. This is a one star rated hotel, very contemporary, offering WiFi and flat-screen TVs and private parking. The downside is that you share a bathroom.
Burgundytoday - Goes Mobile
If you are on the move, get a quick overview of Burgundy with the mobile version of burgundytoday for smartphones and tablets. Based on the towns of Burgundy, the mobile site pin points the gems of the region to head for with useful contacts along the way. You can book hotels online and our recommendations include self-catering accommodation, chambres d'hôtes and restaurants. We shall be adding more shortly so keep an eye open.
Burgundytoday mobile - Connecting you with places and events
It may be 2013 but in the minds of the folk working on Guédelon, the medieval castle under construction, it is only 1244. The building work is impressive and on schedule, and due to popular demand, the site is open now all week until September when closing day will be Wednesday. See the full story.
Spring, traditionally the best time for house hunting and house selling, this week we feature properties for sale right across the price spectrum. Whether you are looking for a project to do up, want a business opportunity, a holiday home or just somewhere fantastic to live with a relaxed way of life, take a look at the options in Burgundy, there's something for everyone.
Project and business opportunity: starting at 87.000 euros there are three cottages for renovation near Châtillon-sur-Seine.
A relaxed way of life: close to St. Florentin in the north of Burgundy, fantastic family home with character.
Links and details of these houses
Tracy Thurling of Burgundy by Request has difficulty keeping a secret. An avid social networker, she mentions several restaurants worth visiting, admitting that if you find well priced good quality restaurants it is tempting to keep them to yourself to preserve the charm and atmosphere - but then, she adds, she is in the business of showing people what a lovely place Burgundy is with her tour business. Pierre et Jean in Chagny, the Auberge St. Martin in Bouilland, Le Chapitre in Autun and Le Morgen in Savigny lès Beaune get the thumbs up. For more restaurant tips, see the Wine Spectator article on Beaune restaurants.
'Stop Dreaming and Start Riding'
'Today could be the day you file away 436 emails into colour-coded folders...
...or it could be the day you test-drive a Harley Davidson.' So says the Harley website.
Well now you can make this a reality with a holiday in Chalon-sur-Saône where the tourist office has come up with the exciting idea of renting out these iconic bikes. The uncluttered roads in Burgundy are perfect for the ride... let freedom take you over. Prices start from 120 - 240 euros per full day and from 720 - 1440 euros for a week depending on the model. XL1200C, Dyna Custom, Softail Heritage and Street Glide are all available. For the Harley Experience, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org, tel: 00 33 (0)3 85 48 37 97.
When provenance is King
The origin of food could not be more headline catching. At the Cook's Atelier in Beaune, Majorie Taylor stresses the connection between the farmer and the cook through hands-on cookery classes, market tours, workshops and field trips to local artisan food producers. One such producer is Yan at Ferme du Jointout, a shepherd and cheesemaker who now features in a charming short film made by Marjorie and Tiger in a Jar film makers. In the early morning mist, this pastoral scene in Burgundy unfolds, from herding the sheep and goats to making the cheese and then turning this into a delicious soufflé at the Cook's Atelier. Hopefully, The Producers, will help spread the
word about local farmers and sustainable food, something
Burgundy excels in. More on the cheeses of the region.
The best of Burgundy in one day
For anyone wanting to self-indulge for the day in the best of Burgundian wine and food, the Gourmet Grand Premier Tour offered by Burgundy Discovery is for you. You will taste Premier Cru Appellations and Grand Cru wines at the wineries where they are made (a minute 2% of the wines produced in Burgundy are Grand Cru Appellation and it is often very difficult to taste these on a day-to-day basis). Lunch will be served at the bistro of the Hostellerie Levernois, a Michelin starred restaurant, with a top reputation in the region. Furthermore, you will gain insider information into the wine of the region and the growing and production techniques. This one day tour costs 270 euros per person. See Burgundy Discovery, alternative, less pricey tours also available.
Photography Past and Present
The Yonne department in Burgundy has just put up an interesting archive site. 6500 postcards from 1935 have been put online showing towns and villages. If you are tracing your French ancestors, or are interested in how your adopted village used to be, visit the website.
Château de Bussy Rabutin is opening its doors free of charge on certain Sundays through the year. The first is March 3 from 9.15-12 and 14.00-17.00; then the first Sunday in April, May, November and December. The château has an interesting history, gardens and parkland, a good day out on a fine day.
For folk with Reduced Mobility
For people with reduced mobility, we are often asked for tips on suitable accommodation and it is far from easy. The bed and breakfast Atelier Bob'Arts in northern Burgundy makes a point of stressing these amenities. From the moment you arrive, there is ease of parking, the gateways, doorways and entrance to the bedrooms are suitably wide for wheelchairs, the bathrooms and WCs have aides and the bedrooms are spacious for manoeuvrability. What's more, you can relax and enjoy delicious homecooked French food from your hostess
Bernadette on the terrace overlooking the charming cottage
Wine Direct from Burgundy - Order Online
Finding quality wine at a reasonable price becomes more of a challenge. At burgundytoday we are pleased to announce our partnership with Bringing Burgundy to You (BBTY), the online wine shop. Listing over 120 wines from independent Burgundy winegrowers, there is a terrific choice, whether you want a table wine or a Grand Cru.
Shipping is available worldwide but if you live in the UK or northern Europe, you might like to meet up with David and Lynne Hammond in northern France, pick up your wine and enjoy a glass or two together. Having taken visitors around the vineyards for over ten years, they are incredibly knowledgeable about the wine and the wine trade. More...
Pam Elson ©burgundytoday.com
Burgundy Today Cryptic Crossword Solutions
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