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Off to Burgundy to Drink Some Wine

VillagesChalonnais03.jpgI'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!

Comments (8)

Lisa Mattson wrote:
11.13.10 at 8:34 PM

Bon voyage! I'm sure you'll have an amazing time. My first trip to Burgundy in 1997 brings back so many great memories.

I hope to see Hotel Dieu's rooftops in Vinography Images soon.

Eat a couple pounds of Beef Bourguignon and Epoisses cheese for me.

Je vous embrasse,

Ruth wrote:
11.13.10 at 8:55 PM

Don't spoil the trip by working too much. XOXO

Tom Barras wrote:
11.13.10 at 11:17 PM

What an outing of a lifetime! Congratulations and I'm looking forward to your posts!

Anonymous wrote:
11.14.10 at 12:57 AM

Ah...La Paulee de Meursault is always a great time with people coming from all over the world!

clive wrote:
11.15.10 at 11:08 AM

hoping you have a safe and excellent trip and that you find the most wonderful wine known to mankind and the vineyard only wants a few bucks per case HAHA

Yantre wrote:
11.15.10 at 12:29 PM

lucky you! I wont be there this year! :(

Jen wrote:
11.16.10 at 4:08 AM

Good Luck with the trip... The last time I was in France, I somehow managed to navigate the countryside of Bordeaux with maps on a miniature iPhone, so Im sure the iPad will do the trick!

Albert wrote:
11.16.10 at 3:30 PM

A few years ago I rented a bike from the bike shop that was run by a Dutch guy down the street from the Beaune train station and circulate almost the entire Cote d'Or in one day. The only grand crus I missed were Clos St Denis and the two Echezeauses. I highly recommend it.

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