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Wandering Through the Chalonnaise

There are wine revelations to share, for sure, but tonight, I am in a reverie simply about the landscape. The day was punctuated with wonderful moments that had nothing to do with wine, and everything to do with the simple beauty of Burgundy. Getting out of the car to stretch my legs next to the freshly mowed field, whose pungent scent wafted over me in a wave of delicious greenness. From the top of a hill, watching the storm system play out, shafts of sunlight moving across the deep green and brown of the checkerboard landscape of vines and their farms.

The drive from Prisse to Buxy on back roads was a fantastic zig-zag of country roads that took me from one little village to another, the green spaces between punctuated with gorgeous old stone houses, and a castle or two.

And the vines. Thick legged, old-vine Chardonnay, mostly. Though occasionally a patch of head-pruned, ancient Gamay would appear around a bend, the gnarled black fingers reaching up out of the soil with no surrounding supports, and sometimes in anything but orderly rows.

It's been a year or two since I've been to the Old World of wine, and I'm basking in the reminder of how much soul it has, how much history of human labor its landscape betrays. I'm settling into the groove of Burgundy, and it's a very nice one.

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Required Reading for Wine Lovers

The Oxford Companion to Wine by Jancis Robinson Wine Grapes The World Atlas of Wine by Hugh Johnson to cork or not to cork by George Taber reading between the vines by Terry Theise adventures on the wine route by Kermit Lynch Love By the Glass by Dorothy Gaiter & John Brecher Noble Rot by William Echikson The Science of Wine by Jamie Goode The Judgement of Paris by George Taber The Wine Bible by Karen MacNeil The Botanist and the Vintner by Christy Campbell The Emperor of Wine by Elin McCoy The Taste of Wine by Emile Peynaud