Our tour to Burgundy started with a very early departure from Heathrow, but luckily everyone managed to keep going throughout the day, and enjoy two great visits.
Despite an air traffic control strike doing its best, but failing, to impede our progress, we landed in Lyon at 10.00am and we arrived at our first visit at 11.30am, the quite extraordinary Chateau La Chaize, situated in the small village of Odenas. We were greeted by the owner, Madame Caroline de Roussy de Sales who gave us a wonderfully informative and fascinating introduction not only into the family estate but the wines they make.
Situated in the Brouilly AOC, Chateau la Chaize are leading the way in showing the top quality that can be achieved from the Gamay grape.
We tasted a stunning 2015 rosé, a very approachable Brouilly 2014 and a deeply complex old vine 2013 Brouilly.
The gardens were quite magnificent and we came away with a mission to rediscover the Beaujolais region.
A short hop from the Chateau took us the restaurant Cote de Brouilly. A family run business, it was an absolute joy.
We sat outside in their protected courtyard and drank a Macon-Chaintre with some smoked salmon, followed by guinea fowl in the most deliciously rich sauce. We managed to gulp down an amazing assiette gourmande with five different desserts before heading towards Beaune for our second visit.
Domaine Drouhin is one of the big names in Burgundy and they occupy a central spot in Beaune itself with extensive old and historic cellars that sprawl underneath the town. Jacquie Morrison, who has been with Drouhin for many years, took us round and gave us a fascinating insight into the Roman origins of the cellar, the hiding of wines during WW2 and how the Drouhin negociant business has developed.
We finished off with an exceptional tasting of wines covering a broad cross spectrum of appellations, and illustrating the breadth and diversity that Pinot Noir and Chardonnay are capable of.
Having had an early start and such a spectacular lunch, we spent the evening exploring Beaune at our leisure – and getting an early night!