Friday, July 8, 2016

Mon voyage. Jour numéro quatorze. La Rochepot.

I have never seen tractors like these.  Or maybe I have just never noticed.  They are made to roll between (and over) rows of wine.  
I can't help but wonder what sins this wine producer has that he couldn't wait until after work to confess.  Maybe he missed.

My first village along the bike path/ road used by winery workers is Meursault.

In every wine village is a cemetery.  And now you know why French wine is so good, extra minerals. 

This is my first glass of Maursault chardonnay.  I went with white wine because it is hot.  
Look at me, I am a natural.   

The next village on the south vineyard wine loop is Puligny-Montrachet.

I didn't drink wine, I just stopped periodically to take pictures of what looked like the inside of Mimi's Cafe.

I am sure it is just as bad in the States but although Bourgogne is not allowed to alter their wine, they are allowed to use pesticides.  These octotractors were in full force along the bike path.  

The next village along the route is Chassagne- Montrachet, where I did stop in for a very informative wine tasting.  The first vineyards in Chassagne- Montrachet date back to 886.
Château de Chassagne-Montrachet has cellars dating to the 11th century. 

In each village there are small plots (called a climat), and those climats are owned by different families (if it is owned by the same family it is called a monopole).  Climats are based on geological and climatic conditions, which produce different classifications of wine.  From the highest quality to the lowest they are: grand cru, premier cru, village, and Bourgogne.  Grand cru has the perfect balance of clay and limestone.  The clay is lower on a hill (where the villages are) and the limestone is higher.  So premier crus tend to be where there is more limestone, and village wines tend to be where there is more clay.  There are other factors involved like sunlight and rain.  
Bourgogne standards dictate that they do not alter the wine at all (if you don't count octotractors).  The differences in the taste are 100% soil and micro-climates.  The distinctions are not subtle.  It is truly amazing.

I made it up the hill that leads to la Rochepot.  This was an accomplishment.  I wouldn't recommend it to everyone as I was on the highway (but I didn't get hit by a semi or a drunk driver so all is well) and it was a long stretch of constant incline. At this point I just hoped that la Rochepot was worth it, because I often wished that I had stayed on that lovely bike path connecting villages where there are virtually no cars and lots of wineries.

I was happy to eat this vegetarian salad considering it was the only restaurant and I missed lunch (I mean I got here around 4pm which is in between meals).  I don't know why but, like train employees, people are always looking at their watches, judging your timing.  So what if I am early for wine but late for lunch.  I am on vacation!

La Rochepot is a castle dates back to the 12th century.  This sounds made up but Lords Pot, the Golden Fleece Knights and the advisers to the Dukes of Bourgogne lived here at one time.
In the late 1700's it was destroyed during the French Revolution but one hundred years later a rich broad bought it for her son and with the help of a historical team it was restored to its medieval ways.

I rode over 20 miles today.  I couldn't be happier to find myself back on the bike path, with a view of Pommard.

I got a macaron when I was buying my pain.  I ate it outside and knew that I had enough change (1 euro) to buy another so I went back in.  She gave it to me on a napkin instead of in a bag, but told me that macarons shouldn't be eaten when they are cold, they have to be at room temperature.  So after eating half of it I stuffed it in my purse to enjoy the other half properly.  I am all class.

My day ended with dinner back at my Airbnb.  I think that some would consider this dessert since cheese is often had after a meal in place of dessert.  I guess today I am having two desserts for dinner, first the macarons and then the fromage.  

1 comment:

  1. Okay, this made me laugh..."They are made to roll between (and over) rows of wine." Rows of wine or rows of vines? Picturing wine in rows with the tractor cracked me up.

    I really like your comments about the food and the cost of things. I think this is something you do really well. I think I will start doing it more.

    I was happy you did your mileage in miles vs. kilometers. My math skills suck and I've noticed you've gone European on your measurements (meters, etc).

    Love the before photo of the La Rochepot after it had been destroyed. Rich broad indeed to make it so beautiful after that destruction. The photo really shows her efforts. Wow.

    Dessert for dinner. Works for me. Tres bon!


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