As one of the administrative regions of France, Burgundy is world renowned for its wine making heritage. The region, which is situated east of central France, is divided into several sections, which are made up of lovely villages nestled on hillsides. But the region’s unofficial “wine capital” has always been the town of Beaune.
With a wine industry that dates back to the 16th century, Beaune has a long withstanding love affair with vine growing, grape pressing and wine making. Families of the surrounding vineyards around the town had perfected the traditional methodology of making wine generations ago. Thus, the highlight of a visit to Beaune is definitely touring the wine cellars and vineyards to create some memorable wine tasting moments.
But before you head out to the vineyards, take the time to visit Beaune’s old town. The stone rampart which envelopes this area, is a testament of this French town’s long and rich history. Take a walk around the cobblestone streets and explore the main square which is surrounded by stone and earth-colored buildings, which have remained unchanged year after year. Everything you see here, from small shops, colorful gardens to half-timbered homes are really photogenic and seem to have been created for a Hollywood medieval-themed film setting.
Aside from being the center of the wine trading industry in Burgundy since the 18th century, Beaune is also a town passionate about art and history. It is no wonder that it is home to many interesting museums and monuments. Some of the more notable attractions to see here include the Hotel-Dieu and the Collegiale Notre Dame Basilica. Hotel-Dieu was once a hospital in the 15th century, and has now been successfully renovated and preserved. These days, its inner courtyard and tiled roof are continuously earning the admiration of many tourists. The Notre-Dame Basilica, on the other hand, is visited not only for its architecture but also for its 15th century tapestries that depict the life story of the Virgin Mary.
To learn more about Beaune’s wine making heritage, drop by the Wine Museum, housed in an exquisite 15th century building. But if you are eager to sample the local wine, you do not have to look far. The Marche aux Vinds, which is just across from the Hospice, gives its guests the chance to sample the best and most famous wine products Burgundy has to offer. The site is open all year round and the wine tasting is conducted at an ancient church, whose old stone pillars, design and ambience makes the perfect setting for such a pleasurable activity.
There are numerous other cellars and production sites like Patriarche Përe and Bouchard Aónè & Fils that are situated in and around the town that similarly offer an excellent wine tasting experience. Some of the local wine specialties to look for are Cremant de Bourgogne (sparkling wine) and the Cassis. However, if you wish to visit a vineyard or a wine estate at the nearby countryside, there are also a number wine tour companies that will grant your wish. From Beaune, you can follow the Burgundy Wine route, which leads you to different charming villages and picturesque vineyards, and ends at the town of Dijon.
After a day of wine tasting and vineyard visits, head back to the main square and have a delightful Burgundian meal at a restaurant. There is also an array of cafes and patteserie shops to choose from. Some of the famous ones are BouchÈ in Place Monge and Palais des Gourmets on Place Carnot. Best wine tours willamette valley