Monday was just your average away-day to Burgundy:
5:30am – Alarm, cereal, wash, shave then eventually open my eyes.
6:25am – In the car and away. Plenty of rain as we went through the ‘Doubs’ and around Besançon. If the sky didn’t exactly clear, at least there was no rain when, at 9:10am, I pulled into the parking area in Aloxe-Corton. The meeting time was 9:30, so we made good time. Or at least I thought we’d made good time, but when it got to 9:40 I realised, aided by a telephone message from the secretary of Aubert de Villaine (oops!), that he was waiting (since 9:30) by a different vineyard map in Corton. Ah-well, nothing like making an impression!
11:00am – picked up some wine and blagged a coffee and a Waitrose plain-chocolate coated ginger biscuit (mmm…) from M&M in Aloxe, before heading for lunch in Caves Madeleine – rustic jambon persille, beef bouguignone and some tasty, runny cheese – lovely! Washed down with a 2006 Nuits 1er Perrières – the last 3rd of the bottle I will drink tonight. Hubert de Montille was taking lunch beside us – nice chap, he liked our dog despite her bad habit of scanning the dining table…
2:20pm – picked up some more wine (these trips can be expensive) from Blair Pethel, who was recovering from the grippe! Hardly time even to say hello before running off (nothing to do with worring about his infections!) to arrive at 2:30pm (on-time) at the Bouchard Père et Fils winery in Savigny (well close to Savigny anyway). Unfortunately there was a mix-up, and Philippe Prost was waiting for me in Beaune – bugger – I could have walked there from Caves Madeleine! We finally sat together in the tasting room at about 2:50pm. Philippe is a goldmine of info and I always enjoy our chats, but by 4pm we were only just finishing the reds, and there was an equally table-groaning number of whites waiting to taste; at that point I had to call friends of friends to get a telephone number of somebody to pass on a message (…!) to say that there would be no chance to make my 4-4:30pm appointment and maybe we could do it next time. I hope they will have me back in January! We actually stepped out into the rain at 5:30pm, and headed straight for a coffee…!
6:45pm – arrived in Morey St.Denis at Domaine David Clark to pick up some wine (!) after accepting his kindly offer of dinner with him and his parents. While there I got to see the new bottling machine as conceived and implemented by l’equipe technique du domaine; DRC and Leflaive will be so jealous of this gentle approach to bottling! Did I mention bottling? Guess what the parents will be doing as you read this 😉 We left after espressos as the clock reached 9:15pm. One stop in the services at Besançon for a splash of fuel (no point filling up in France, it’s much cheaper in Switzerland) for the car, and another espresso fuel for me. Finally arrived home at about 12:20am to lots of rain.
1:00am – Showered and soundly asleep! (Thanks to all who made it so worthwhile.)