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Burgundy For Foodies And Wine Lovers – Caravan Touring And Visiting The Land Of Fine Art And Living
Have you considered visiting Burgundy – the “Land of Fine Arts and Life”? Whether you’re hoping to go there as a regular tourist or while touring in a caravan, this article has some interesting ideas, especially when it comes to the food and wine of the region.
The names Burgundy, and its capital Dijon are enough to make the mouth water just hearing these names mentioned. The “Land of Fine Arts and Life” was not officially part of France until the eighteenth century. Until then it was a duchy under the rule of a long line of dukes of Burgundy. Then, as now, winemaking and agriculture were a mainstay of the Burgundian economy. Indeed, when it comes to appellations d’origine controcircleacutee (AOC) names Burgundy surpasses all other French regions.
Charolais cattle, large and hardy animals were first bred in Burgundy and provide the basis for one of the region’s most famous dishes – beef bourgguinion. Chickens too, especially the good specimens found in the Bourg-en-Bress area have a special place in the gastronomy of Burgundy with coq au vin having bourguignon origins.
Burgundy For Foodies-Then, of course, there’s the mustard. Dijon mustard. To get a truly authentic Dijonnaise taste, the mustard powder is mixed with barely fermented grapes, or even fresh grape juice – verjus in the vernacular. The taste is immediately recognizable and runs through many Bourguinon dishes whether they are from meat birds or yet another product of the region, mushrooms. Truffles, “les daimants noirs”, can be found in the Auxois area during the Winter months.
After a satisfying boeuf bourgguinion or coq au vin your thoughts may turn to dessert. There is one ingredient that is almost ubiquitous on the dessert menus and sweet carts of Burgundy and that is the humble blackcurrant. In the hands of the region’s gourmets, this berry becomes anything but humble. Its liquor, cassis, is used in coulis, sorbets, mousses, sauces and the fruit itself in jams. Preserved in chutney, the berries enliven a cheeseboard, which would naturally be loaded with the fine cheeses produced by Burgundy, such as the delicate, little round goat cheese bouton de coulottes (trouser button), decadently creamy chaource and Epoisses, “The king of cheeses. .”
Caravan Tour, Wines and Wine Tasting in Burgundy
The Saocircne river, a tributary of the Rhocircne runs through this, one of the main wine producing regions of France. Burgundy’s rich monastic heritage is evident in the beautiful Cistercian abbeys of Citeaux, Cluny and the incredible Fontennay Abbey – a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The legacy of the monks who worked behind the monasteries magnificent buildings goes beyond stone and stained glass. It was the brothers who perfected the art of winemaking along with making delicious cheeses such as the aforementioned Epoisses which is produced at Fontennay Abbey.
When one thinks of the wines of Burgundy, pinot noir immediately comes to mind. Gamay and to a lesser extent aligoteacute play their role in the regions reds and rose acutes. Here it is a matter of terroir with grape names based on which of the region’s 400 types of soil its grapes are grown: a practice that is centuries old.. As in many French regions it was the saints, the monks, who perfected the art of the vigneron. Beaujoulais, made from the Gamay grape is a wine from Burgundy, famous in its own right. As for whites, chardonnay dominates with Chablis among them.
The terror classification system is hierarchical. Only 2% of Burgundy’s qualification as grand cru. Production is limited to 35 hectoliters (hectoliters = liters per hectare) in those Cocircte d’Or vineyards. These excellent wines are perfect for cellaring. Only a baby drop in quality are wines defined as premier cru. Their production is slightly higher – 45 hectoliters. Chablis and beaujoulais have their own names.
If you are lucky enough to have one of your group willing to act as designated driver, many of Burgundy’s wine routes can be completed in a day. However, there are also guided walking and cycling tours available.
Most of the wineries along the route are open year-round – these are businesses of course, but that’s easy to forget when you’re soaking up the beautiful scenery and enjoying the best wines that Burgundy, if not France, has to offer. Depending on the time of your visit you will see different processes involved in winemaking and different stages of the grapes in the vineyards. It really is an education.
If you are staying in Beaune, then there is no excuse not to enjoy the Routes des Grands Crus. The route Dijon to Santenay is about 80 km long. On the way you will take the villages of Gevrey-Chambertin, Nuits-Saint-George, Aloxe-Corton, Beaune and Pommard and see for yourself how different traditions can be from one winery to another. Common to all, however, is pride in the excellence of the finished product.
Another popular trail is the Route de Cote des Nuits. This route ends at Nuits-Saint-George but not before stops at Fixin, Gevrey-Chambertin, Morey-Saint-Denis, Chambolle-Musigny, Vougeot and Vosne-Romanee.
We hope you have a wonderful time when you visit Burgundy and that you use some of our information to help add flavor to your trip there. If you’re someone who’s been looking for caravan travel ideas, all you need now is to take turns as designated drivers so all the adults can enjoy some good wine tasting!
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