Thursday, November 20, 2014

Chagny and Puligny-Montrachet

For the second half of our France trip, we took the train down to Burgundy. Ever since I learned about the TGV in French class, I have longed to take a trip on it. Achievement unlocked! Traveling on a Sunday when many offices and restaurants are closed was a little frustrating. We had an issue with getting the rental car out of the Dijon train station parking garage but soon we were on our way, me driving manual transmission in a foreign country.


A little bit later, we arrived unharmed at Chateau de Bellecroix in Chagny, our picturesque hotel for several nights.


That evening we had reservations at Maison Lameloise, a three-star Michelin restaurant, so we went into town early to walk around. Most everything was closed, but we did find a sculpture of a giant rooster.


The next morning after breakfast, we headed to Puligny-Montrachet for a morning of touring Maison d’Olivier LeFlaive. Though we aren’t new to wine, we were new to Burgundy and the French system of appellations. We began by taking a stroll through Puligny-Montrachet to the vineyards, where Regis introduced us to the soil.


Just from where we were standing, we could see many different types of soil due to geologic shifts that affect the quality of the grapes produced. It began to make sense why many people say that Burgundy is the most difficult wine region – a difference of a few meters can make all the difference in the wine!


Following our vineyard tour, we had a cellar tour from Olivier LeFlaive himself as he walked us through the wine-making process.


Finally, it was time to taste some of the wine we had heard so much about, alongside traditional Burgundian cuisine.


Joe’s tasting notes:


After our stomachs were full with food and wine, we wandered down the road to Meursault.


This was our first up-close glimpse of the traditional Burgundian roof, a Flemish-style seen most famously at the Hospice de Beaune.

That evening we had failed to make plans as our travel style is equal parts planning and exploration. Again, many places in Chagny were closed on a Monday night. We stopped into a beer bar (!!!) and ordered some charcuterie, and the woman was very apologetic that the bread was stale since the boulangeries were closed on Monday.

It was getting late and all of the restaurants seemed to have curiously few people in them. There was an advertisement for one last place on a side street, and as we entered, we found all of the people in Chagny inside a cozy stone space, heated by a large wood fire. Le Grenier a Sel was a very lucky find!

2014-04-28 22.22.25

We were welcomed with a kir aligote by a flustered but efficient waitress and immediately settled on sharing some escargot and fondue. Again dining on Monday night meant that they had run out of several things, but we managed to make do.


While it wasn’t on the level of Lameloise, it was one of the most enjoyably laid-back and delicious meals that we had in Burgundy. I never wanted to leave the rustic stone cellar, but all of that eating and drinking is exhausting!

Before departing from Chagny the next morning, I went for a run along some back roads past farm houses and cows, through forests and fields. I didn’t take my phone but it was a rave run in every sense. Then we were off towards Beaune…