Testing the water in Burgundy

Update 8.8.2012(16.3.2009)Ray Walker

Right. It’s been a short while since I’ve added an update. Burgundy has been amazing. The region is similar, yet different than I had expected. For one, by car, the region is a lot larger than I had expected. The villages themselves are intimate places with Boulangeries (bakeries), Bistros, and churches standing tall with ringing bells that bring in the hour, every hour. Looking in from the Route de Grand Vins you pass by many villages. They look so tiny from the road at times in front of rolling hills of vines, yet once inside the villages, there is so much life to see.

Each village is different. Sure, Burgundy is Burgundy, I thought before visiting. Yet, the vineyards aren’t the only thing showing complexity within a tiny amount of space. The food tastes different, the people are different and the experience is completely unique depending on which village you find yourself in.

Living in Burgundy has been going quite well. When I say living, I don’t mean when we were in hotels. We decided to rent a house in Savigny les Beaune after leaving Puligny-Montrachet to see how it was to walk the roads, buy at the market, cook at home- clean up, basically treating it as if we were at home. We managed well, much better than our first try at the supermarche in Paris. In that instance, while our items were rung up, I watched the clerk and the prices fly by. Well, after I paid we noticed the collected lot of items sitting there, waiting to be bagged. With a large line behind us we went scurrying for bags. No bags? Turns out that we needed to purchase the bags that we were to use. Out in the US, we have a bagger and the bagger has the supplied bag. Different system, small detail, but to say the least it was as if someone turned on the blinking neon red ‘Foreigner Alert’ sign above our heads. We learned from that experienced and were actually able to later help others in similar situations.

As many things are different out here, its amazing how comfortable how many things are the same. The feeling of comfort, kindness of people (rare at times in both places, but still present and welcomed), and general activites are enough of a foundation that will make the move less complicated. Nothing you read about a place tells the full story of how you yourself will feel once there. And having a place feel right is a great feeling.

Agree? Disagree? Anything you'd like to add?

There are 2 responses to “Testing the water in Burgundy”

  1. phillip eaves16th March 2009 at 7:31 pmPermalinkReply

    Ray you can be sure their are plenty of us following your dream via these reports.

    I can’t wait to see what vineyards you might get some grapes from.

    I have been visitng Burgundy since 1990 and with very few exceptions I find the people very open when you consider the amount of idiots like me asking them dumb questions in poor French!!!!

    My best wishes to you and yours I truly hope it works out well for you>


  2. Ray Walker17th March 2009 at 4:29 pmPermalinkReply

    Phillip, thanks for that. I wish I could have been coming out to Burgundy since 1990! I was quite surprised how open people were to answering many questions that I had. Halfway through the trip I felt more comfortable in Burgundy than in Sonoma County where I currently live.

    And, the vineyards are by far the most interesting and important part of this project. No other factor would contribute more to the wine in bottle. To say I have lost sleep on this subject would be a great understatement.

    Next step is I need to buy a few stainless tanks with adjustable hats for this year. I just got off the phone with a friend in Beaune and he said it wouldn’t be too difficult to grab some tanks in a month or so. This year I will most likely have two stainless tanks adding a wooden foudre next year. Wish me luck!

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