June 25, 2017

Burgundy France – Land of Plenty

Burgundy is known for its wine and food but there is much more to Burgundy which makes it a great place to explore.  The never-ending list of “must see and do” includes unknown landscapes, cobble stoned streets in medieval villages, rivers and canals, art, history, Chateaux and, of course, the wine.

Semur en Auxois  Burgundy  France by OliverMartin, on Flickr

Semur en Auxois Burgundy France by OliverMartin, on Flickr

What is it that makes this region of France so attractive?  Here are 6 reasons:

Wine

Set between the rolling hills are the magnificent vineyards of Burgundy.  This region produces some of the best wines in the world mostly of the Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes.  Principally divided into 5 wine regions:  Chablis is the most northern and produces dry white wines with a fruitiness to them;  Cote de Nuits is mostly known for it’s outstanding reds and is home to the oldest vines;  Cote de Beaune has both red and white wines but it is the white Chardonnay that reigns here; Cote Chalonnaise is a small region producing both red and white wines that are known for their affordability; Maconnais is a region known for its white wines from the Chardonnay grapes.  Learn while tasting the wines produced here either at cellars or vineyards or both!

Burgundy, France by Megan Mallen, on Flickr

Burgundy, France by Megan Mallen, on Flickr

Culinary Delights

Food might not be the correct term to describe the culinary reputation of Burgundy.  Gastronomy is a better description as this region is known world wide for the exquisite foods that you will encounter.  Whether you enjoy picnics or grand meals with white table clothes, you will find it in Burgundy.  Fresh fruit and vegetables can be purchased at local markets, fish stew, Bresse chicken, local cheeses, Beef Burgundy, Coq au Vin, or even Escargots can be found here.  One can not forget about the mustard with the same name as the largest city in the region, Dijon.  Make sure to bring some home!

Medieval Villages

Burgundy is full of villages that can be labeled “most beautiful villages in France”. Whether you are looking for fortified towns, half-timbered houses, turreted towers offering a fairytale feel, medieval fortresses, arches or cobble stoned streets, it is all here in Burgundy.  Take a walk in villages with names like Semur-en-Auzois, Montreal, Flavigny-sur-Ozerain and Brancion.

Vezelay in Burgundy France from afar by Fred Hsu, on Flickr

Vezelay from afar by Fred Hsu, on Flickr

Rivers ,Canals  and other outdoor activities

The lakes, rivers and canals of Burgundy are part of what sets this terrain apart and enables the soil to produce the wonderful grapes.  You can enjoy the countryside from a canoe, barge or river cruise.  You won’t be disappointed as you float pass hilltop villages or castles.  The Marvan Forest is a nature lover’s paradise full of birds, wild boar, and deer.

History

The history of this region is vast and varied.  Burgundy is a center of prehistoric art and has some of the oldest cave paintings in the world.  You can visit caves with chambers and subterranean lakes, ancient shrines and sites of worship during Celtic times.  The Romans share a history here and you will find many Roman ruins.  While in region make sure to save some time to visit the museums illuminating this amazing wealth of history!

Chateaux

Everyone loves Chateaux!  The chateaux of Burgundy delight those interested in decorative arts, interior design, gardens, history, architecture and military history.  The landscape  is dotted with chateaux containing the history of the region.  Usually set in park like settings, chateaux contain collections of grand paintings, sculptures and art. Many even come complete with intact towers, ramparts, turrets and moats.

Le Château de La Rochepot by John Picken, on Flickr

Le Château de La Rochepot by John Picken, on Flickr

Hopefully this brief description of Burgundy has whetted your appetite to learn more.  This is the first in a line of blogs I will post on all that Burgundy holds for its visitors.  Hopefully you’ll join me as we journey through this amazing region and discover all it has to offer!

 

 

Have you been to Burgundy?

What was the highlight?