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The river at Joigny
The romantic painter Turner sketched the countryside here in 1802. This is a picturesque little town, spilling down the terraces of the Côte St-Jacques overlooking the River Yonne. Rebuilt in the 16th century after much of it was destroyed by fire, some of the buildings have wooden carved decoration, notably the houses called the Arbre de Jessé, Maison du Pilori, Maison du Bailli and Maison de l’Ave Maria. The view from the top of the Côte de St-Jacques over the town and river is particularly lovely.
Joigny is lively, with a good market and plenty of waterway activity. The Canal de Bourgogne begins its path here making it a centre for boat hire during the summer months.
The Côte St-Jacques is famous for its vin gris which has a ‘semi-regional’ AOC.
An historic archway in Joigny
The Lorain family, of restaurant fame, have done much to resuscitate the wines of this region and promote them. Their two star Michelin restaurant on the river in a lovely setting brings much kudos to the town.
For golf lovers, the Domaine du Roncemay at Aillant-sur-Tholon is closeby.
To the north and east of the town is the unspoilt wooded area of the Pays d'Othe which stretches into the Champagne region. Making a refreshing change from wine, this is cider making country with apple orchards covering the lush valleys. At Vaudeurs you can visit the old wooden presses and taste a French version of scrumpy.
Amongst the oak, beech, maple and wild cherry trees in the forest, there are much sought after mushrooms in autumn. This is a glorious area for nature lovers for walking, riding and birdwatching.
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Pam Elson ©burgundytoday.com