Monday, November 27, 2006

Back from Burgundy

What a trip! We had an amazing time - saw beautiful country, shared the kinds of experiences that happen only while on vacation and that help to nourish a relationship, learned a great deal about the wines of Burgundy, pounded the pavement in Paris for four days, and more. I am simply too tired to write much more now (no thanks to Air France - more on that debacle some other time), but I cannot resist posting a few pictures now. And I wanted to stop this string of days without a post... This is the house next to our little hotel in Aloxe Corton.

We stayed at the hotel Villa Louise (picture below with orange leaves) in Aloxe-Corton, a small town just north of Beaune. And I mean small. There are no restaurants, no Tabacs (the little shops where people buy cigarettes and cigars, sometimes coffee and sometimes newspapers and magazines), no stores period in Aloxe-Corton. But a lot of wine is made from grapes classified as belonging to this tiny town. In fact, the only Grand Cru red wines that come from the southern part of Burgundy, the Cotes de Beaune, come from Aloxe-Corton.

That brings up something that I learned while tasting and learning about the wines that is really valuable to me: a humble Bourgogne or Haut-Cotes-de-Beaune wine made from grapes from all over Beaune, can offer the same degree of pleasure and satisfaction, the same ability to fascinate the taster with complex aromas and flavors, the same depth of experience as the most rare and expensive Grand Cru wine. To chase after Grand Cru and Premier Cru wines simply because they are so titled is to miss out on many great wines, and is sometimes to spend too much money on wines that are only okay, or that need to be aged for 10 years in order to exhibit the qualities that distinguish them as Grand or Premier Crus.
Whoah...I had to re-read that sentence three times to get it...and I knew what I meant before I wrote it! Time for bed. I am excited to share some experiences and tasting notes from our trip, and I will get right on that tomorrow.

Above: on the road from Aloxe-Corton to Pernand Vergelesses. Typical of the old brick walls that line many small roads, and that often surround vinyards of higher reputation. Vinyards surrounded by walls are called "Clos." Hard to tell because the resolution is not great in the background, but the entire hillside is covered with vines. The area in Burgundy that is not paved is essentially one huge grapevine.
Above: vinyards of Aloxe-Corton. We woke up to intense mist every morning in Burgundy. This typicaly burned off by noon. Right: rainbow off the road between Beaune and Aloxe-Corton.




10 comments:

drdebs said...

Welcome home! Glad you made it back safely and can't wait for the updates

Benjamin Bicais said...

Brooklyn Guy, Sounds like an amazing trip, and welcome back to the states. I really like your shot of Chateau de Corton-Andre over the trees.

Dan said...

I am so jealous. Can't wait for you to post ALL of your tasting notes.

Brooklynguy said...

Hi Ben Bicais - so that is, in fact, the Chateau de Corton-Andre. Thanks for the clarification. I meant to ask but it just slipped by me before we left. The Tuiles, as I believe the rooftiles are called, just blew me away. There are many examples of beautiful roof tiling in Burgundy, as I bet you know. Thanks for stopping by. And I enjoyed poking around your website http://www.calwineries.com/ . Must I be a member in order to comment on the blog?

NCguylikeswinemore said...

I have never imagined myself posting at a blog before, jealousy has taken me a long way. OK, let me see if it is gonna show up at the blog page: I don't like the fifth stone (from bottom up) at the corner of the wall in that 3rd picture. It looks kind of rubbish, eh? Also, you could have gotton closer to the rainbow.

Benjamin Bicais said...

Hi Brooklyn Guy, I've been studying Burgundy in my ISG class and have been addicted to your posts lately; it sounds like the trip of a lifetime. I'm glad you enjoyed visiting my site. You do in fact have to be a member to comment on the blog, but it is free and easy to sign up!

tristess00 said...

What great documentation of your trip, loved the pictures and the restaurant reviews. This was such a fabulous blog for me to find right now. In 2 days, my husband and I are off for a 18 day trip to Paris, Burgundy and Tuscany. Picked up some great travel tips and insights from your blog!!

Marta Strickland
http://www.recentlyconsumed.com

Brooklynguy said...

Hi Marta - I'm sop glad this was useful for you, and so envious of your coming travels! I wish you an amazing trip filled with all sorts of adventures. How did you find the blog, by the way?

Marta said...

Yes... I almost forgot. I originally came here because you are hosting WBW this month. Which was also a fabulous coincidence, because I am going to try and participate from Burgundy. I probably won't physically be in either of the regions you mention, but I'm hoping there will be plenty to taste from shops and restaurants on my journey.

Brooklynguy said...

Marta - you won't have a problem finding something from the Maconnais or Cote Challonaise while in Burgundy. There are great shops in Beaune and you will have many choices. Looking forward to your review. Have a blast!