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  • Day37

    Bikeless Path

    May 7, 2019 in France ⋅ ☁️ 16 °C

    Today we thought it would be fun to follow the Veloroute 22 kms through the vineyards of Burgundy to Santenay. The only catch was that the bikes made available to us by our Airbnb host didn't seem all that safe.

    It was a beautiful day, with highs of 16°C, little wind and only a 30% chance of rain. Since the forecast for the next couple of days is less promising, we decided we'd do our tasting in Beaune on those days.

    We could have rented a car and driven to Santenay, but what fun would that have been? We could have rented bikes, but the miser in me couldn't bring himself to pay the rental fees they were asking.

    The solution: we'll walk! What the heck, we've walked farther than that on more than one occasion in a day on this trip, and the route is supposed to be mostly flat. Allons-y!

    And so we set out at around 10:30 and passed through Pommard, did tastings in Volnay, Meurseault, Puligny Montrachet and Chassagne Montrachet and arrived at the Santenay train station at around 4:45. In between, we were treated to beautiful vistas, Burgundian Chateaux, winery workers toiling over their vines, including one vigneron plowing his vineyard with a horse drawn plow, and a visit to 15th century cellars.

    This region of Burgundy is famous for its white wines, which are almost all 100% Chardonnay. Anyone who is part of the ABC club (Anthing but Chard) would have to rethink their position after tasting some of the beauties we sampled today. The Burgundian terroir lends a fine acidity and a delicious minerality to the wines that is typically combined with a short maturation period in a mix of old and new oak barrels. Unlike the buttery, vanilla flavored chardonnay produced in California, the wines here are delicate, complex and just plain delicious.

    Yes, there were a couple of dogs in the ones we tasted, but for the most part, I wish I could have brought home several bottles.

    At our last stop, in Chassagne Montrachet, we treated ourselves to full glasses of a red and a white Premier Cru, both of which were fabulous.

    And in the end, by the time we took a few wrong turns and explored some wineries, my Garmin said we'd covered 25 kms when we arrived at the Santenay train station.

    And so, rather than go for one more wine tasting at our final destination, we decided we'd walked enough and here I sit, waiting for our train back to Beaune and writing this blog.

    But don't feel bad for us, we still have that bottle of Cremant Rose we bought yesterday waiting for us at home.

    Oh que la vie est belle!
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