Travels in Burgundy 2020

playing the game…

By billn on October 28, 2020 #travels in burgundy 2020

Puligny Combettes 28-Oct 2020
The sombre view over Puligny Combettes this afternoon – reflecting the mood of the (not just) French nation…

Given the misery that covid has brought to many, I could have, perhaps, found a better word than game – but as of midnight tomorrow (Thursday/Friday), we shall once-more be confronted by the lockdown in France.

What that means to me is that all of my existing appointments will be cancelled and I will be exiting France for the projected one month that was described by President Macron this evening. My list of domaines for the October Burgundy Report is practically complete – I will lose, perhaps, half-a-dozen domaines, but the November report – the reds – well, that’s going to be a bit thin.

But better thin than sick! Keep well all of you…

volnay’s warming biennial festivities for the police-industrial complex…

By billn on October 27, 2020 #sad losses...#travels in burgundy 2020

Tar and feathers!Perhpas you may remember the image to the right – almost exactly 2 years ago. The culmination of a game that began in the summer, first by knocking over, then burning & flaying (more than once), then finally tarring and feathering the radar camera for detecting speeding cars that had been installed on the Route Nationale below Volnay. The remains of the metal box were taken away by the authorities – never to return – or so we thought…

Truth be told, that camera was intentionally very sneaky indeed – hidden behind bushes so that a driver had no chance to see it before it was too late. Given such a state of affairs, and despite the medieval tortures that this metal box was put through, nobody had the slightest sympathy for said metal box.

Move on 2 years and at the beginning of this month, a new machine to subdue the workers arrived – more self-important, higher off the ground – and seemingly able to catalogue driving infringements in both directions too. Note that this time around, the actual apparatus stood nearly 3 metres above the ground. This was no-longer a machine to shy away in the bushes, here was a machine with dominion over all. Until this weekend – when it was set on fire again.

Despite not hiding the apparatus from view in this phase two approach, it seems that sympathy remains scant for this burnt-out hulk. It also seems that burning tyres remain an effective deterrent for the police-industrial-complex 🙂

Before and after:

golden hour…

By billn on October 21, 2020 #travels in burgundy 2020

Or in my case – golden 15 minutes!

The M̢connais was in full, glorious, colour on Monday, but I had zero time to take photos. Yesterday less glorious Рmore grey Рbut again no time to take photos.

My last appointment of today was cancelled – he had a sore throat (oups!) – but that meant I was finished at 17h30. And guess what… It was sunny! Though as noted I only had the light for 15 minutes, so here’s a bunch of images from Santenay as you get closer to the border with Chassagne:

just another lunchtime in tasting season…

By billn on October 12, 2020 #travels in burgundy 2020

Lunchtime jog...

Call it old age and infirmity – certainly both – but I planned to post these pics on Thursday and forgot. But they were nice pics, so…

A nice round run on Thursday lunchtime – just over 11km – from Blagny up, then down, to Gamay. Once more up the (vineyard) road to the hill above Montrachet – Lamy’s Chatenières on this steep section. Down to Puligny village via Montrachet/Bâtard then Criots. Take the bottom road below Meursault-Charmes to the cross in the vines, followed by left-turn up the hill to follow the road between Genevrières-Charmes and Perrières above until the right turn back up to Blagny.

With (aiming for) 5 visits a day just now (but this week I’m back in Switzerland) – finshing after 7pm usually means that I’m hungry when I get back to the apartment – and after eating the ‘lust’ for a jog is certainly diminished. So grabbing a sandwich and/or quiche to munch after a lunchtime jog works well for me a couple of times per week and the fresh air is nice:

Burgundian Squalls…

By billn on October 06, 2020 #travels in burgundy 2020

Today – save for a sunny interlude about lunchtime – was a squally day – sometimes dry, sometimes light rain sometimes far from light rain – but practically always grey. If I had the time I’d turn some of these photos moody black & white – but hey…

Otherwise, tasting 2019s, so far, is a pleasure when compared to tasting the Curate’s Egg that was 2018!

Pics mainly from Puligny & Blagny but a little wet Beaune too:

today – the southern côtes…

By billn on September 30, 2020 #travels in burgundy 2020

Meursault 30 sept 2020
Above, Meursault this afternoon

Since last week, my Vintage 2019 tasting season is well underway: I already tasted 2019s at a dozen-or-so domaines over the summer but now it’s full steam ahead.

Despite some visits in Vosne, Chambolle and Aloxe, I’m really working on whites, travelling my way from south to north – starting with Santenay to Puligny, transitioning to M&M from mid-October (Meursault but also Mâconnais!) and thereafter the tastings start turning redder and redder!

There is some modest colour change in the vines, small patches of yellow or red, but vines have merely a lighter green about them rather than the really autumnal colours of gold and dark red. With 10 days of colder and much wetter weather in the forecast, it’s possible that it will cause the leaves to drop and we will miss the colour scheme of Autumn completely this year – sometimes it’s like that.

I’ll keep my fingers crossed for an Indian Summer though.

Clay and rocks – that’s Burgundy…

By billn on September 29, 2020 #travels in burgundy 2020

There was rain at the weekend, though today was dry. Tomorrow should be nice but then rain, rain and more rain for the foreseeable weather forecast.

The argilo-calcaire was to the fore today. We can expect the clay to become ever-stickier – maybe that’s enough ‘off-road’ for this week – ‘clean’ off-road anyway 🙂

All Puligny, today:

tonnerre and a hole?

By billn on August 07, 2020 #travels in burgundy 2020

Fosse Dionne Tonnerre week 33 2020

After a Chablis lunch this week in Les Trois Bourgeons – originally a sort of sister establishment to Au Fils du Zinc – we decided to take in the big blue-green hole of Tonnerre, better known as the Fosse Dionne:

Tonnerre, depending on your perspective, sits majestically within an amphitheatre of hills – one side full of vines – or alternatively, you could say that it sits in a hole.

Much larger than Chablis and described as a small city of character by the local tourist office (which was closed!) I have to say that the old town has a wonderful collection of 17-19th century architecture with two great gothic churches, Saint Peter’s at the top of the hill being particularly impressive. Sadly, much of this old part of the town is unoccupied and in a terrible state of repair. There are so many wonderful buildings that you might consider as renovation projects, except that it’s likely that your neighbour’s house will fall down before you are finished – taking yours with it!

The fosse is indeed worth a visit – it’s only 15 minutes from Chablis so ‘why not?!‘ But the old town of Tonnerre is currently something of a hole itself – I left feeling sad for the place…


Of-course, there was some Chablis too:

visits week 30 2020

By billn on July 24, 2020 #travels in burgundy 2020#vintage 2020

week 30 2020 puligny vignerons

My thanks to the vignerons who hosted me this week – all important producers of Puligny-Montrachet – if not all based in Puligny!

Versus last week, the water leak in the Beaune apartment is fixed – but more work is required – though I’m not sure when as it looks like there will be a small ‘vigneron vacation‘ pause in my visits.

Burgundy Report

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