I'm watching the sun rise over the tarmac at the San Francisco airport, running on very little sleep, and leaning on a roll-aboard suitcase that only barely zipped close thanks to a few bulky sweaters. On most saturday mornings, I'd hope to be sleeping at this time, but instead I'm on my way to spend ten days in the heart of Burgundy, France, attending the 150th anniversary of the Hospices de Beaune wine auction.
The Hospices de Beaune auction has been the celebratory end to the harvest in Burgundy ever since someone got the idea in 1860 to hold an auction of wine to benefit the local hospital in the little town of Beaune.
I'm being hosted by the BIVB, also known as the Burgundy Wine Board, who are footing the bill for the trip.
My trip begins in the Maconnais region of southern Burgundy, where I'll spend some time exploring the villages of Pouilly and Fuisse and a few other little nooks and crannies of the area. Then I'm headed up to Beaune, which will be my base of operations for exploring the Cote de Nuits and Cote de Beaune wine areas, as well as the festivities of the auction itself.
Even with the stress of a long, unusually frenetic week hanging over me along with the groggy fog of fatigue, I'm positively giddy. This is my first trip to Burgundy, and ever since I first heard about it many years ago, I've dreamed of attending the Hospices de Beaune festivities.
So here I am, off to fulfill that dream and taste a lot of Burgundy in the process. I've got maps of the Cote d'Or loaded onto my iPad, sturdy boots, a fully charged camera battery, and deep regrets at not learning more French in high school.
I look forward to sharing my adventures with you, WiFi signals permitting. And if you know anyone with an extra ticket to dinner at Clos Vougeout or the La Paulee de Meursault, let me know, as I'm still looking for one!
A wine book like no other. Photographs, essays, and wine recommendations. Learn more.
The Changing Love of Pinot Noir? Vinography Images: Patchwork California Wine Country Macabre The Latitudes and Longitudes of Pinot Noir Vinography Unboxed: Week of March 15th, 2015 Vinography Images: The Rockpile Do You Need to Worry About Arsenic in Your Wine? At What Price, To Kalon? Rhone Rangers Tasting: March 28, Richmond, CA Vinography Images: Happy Tree
Wine Will Never Smell the Same Again: Luca Turin and the Science of Scent Forlorn Hope: The Remarkable Wines of Matthew Rorick Debating Robert Parker At His Invitation Passopisciaro Winery, Etna, Sicily: Current Releases Should We Care What Winemakers Say? The Sweet Taste of Freedom: Austria's Ruster Ausbruch Wines 2009 Burgundy Vintage According to Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Charles Banks: The New Man Behind Mayacamas Wine from the Caldera: The Incredible Viticulture of Santorini Why Community Tasting Notes Sites Will Fail Chateau Rayas and the 2012 Vintage of Chateauneuf-du-Pape A Life Indomitable: The Wines of Casal Santa Maria, Portugal Bay Area Bordeaux: Tasting Santa Cruz Mountain Cabernets Forgotten Jewels: Reviving Chile's Old Vine Carignane The First-Timer's Guide to Les Trois Glorieuses of Hospices de Beaune