Before setting off to explore more villages and vineyards I felt it necessary to see the wine museum in Beaune.
Beaune has been involved with wine making since the Romans, two thousand years ago. However it was medieval monks who began focusing on terroir (the subtleties of the soil and climate). They are also accredited with discovering that the best grapes for the region are chardonnay and pinot noir (which to this day make up 82% of the grapes grown in Bourgogne).
I have never witnessed such a focus on soil and maps while wine tasting. It seems pertinent, and strange that this is new to me.
This picture was taken in the 1950's, as the museum continued to focus on the history of wine making in the area. (I doctored it to make it appropriate.)
I don't know. I thought it was gross enough when I thought people's feet smashed the grapes.
I rode my bike 5.5km to Aloxe-Corton.
I know it appears as though villages have middle names, the second half of the name is based on the most important village in the area.
This was my very first grand cru!
I couldn't believe it was offered to me. I was told by the bike shop owner that if I taste a grand cru it is expected that I buy (suckers!). I was going to pay for the tasting. She ended up not charging me anything.
There was another couple in there when I arrived (and they bought a bottle so I feel like since I was in the presence of it it should count for something). The owner showed me the price for a tasting- 20 euro. I thought 'okay, fine.' First I sampled a white, and then she said to me, "do you want to try the grand cru?" Who would say no to that? (I am really sounding like a wine snob I feel but I am trying to paint a picture.) So I tasted the grand cru au Domaine Michel Voarick, and OMG it was amazing. It was the best wine I have ever had, and I don't even love white white.
Then I went to le Château de Corton-André.
I am getting really spoiled. This place is amazing. It seems to good to be a winery.
First I explored the cellars (because they suggested it, I guess it is what fancy people do at fancy French wineries...)
Then they let me taste wine, free of charge, including another grand cru which was, believe it or not, so amazing. It is incredible the differences between the classifications of wine.
Grand cru is perfection.
They can range from 50 euro to thousands of euros for one bottle.
Lastly I went to Domaines d'Aloxe-Corton where I actually did buy a bottle of premier cru pinot noir, because I am classy as mentioned previously. I couldn't just keep tasting grand cru for free like a wine mooch.
I found a path that went from Aloxe- Corton to Pernand-Vergelesses. I love these bike/worker paths. It was especially nice since it was Sunday and most people (not all) are spending time with family and not working on the field with their tentacle tractors.
This was the strangest sight on my ride. It freaked me out at first. This was in the middle of nowhere with no one around (I turned around because it was pretty much a dead end), in what appeared to be a parking lot, there was a strange looking dummy holding a French flag who appeared to be giving me the middle finger.
I bought wine, you big dummy! Leave me alone.
Then I found myself back on the bike path, headed for Savigny-lès-Beaune.
I bought wine, Lizard. Jeez.
I don't think I rode more than 15 km today (which is good because it was another hot day). I love biking in Bourgogne and I do hope this isn't my last time here. There are plenty more villages to discover.