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Burgundy/Rhone/Chablis adventure


Coco Bonobos
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A wine adventure sounds like really a lot of fun! Starting in Dijon. Where is your final stop? Do you already have a list of Chateaux you'd like to visit for tastings? If not restaurants, are there towns where particularly interesting wines or special vinyards are located that would be a worth a stop? Another idea would be to think about where you have good regional cavistes and make those towns destinations on the itineraries. Do you plan to buy and have wine shipped home?

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La Beaugraviere in Mondragon (just north of Orange and just a couple of km off the A7) is a place Robert Parker has written about and dined at frequently. My wife and I have been twice and had great food both times (as well as spectatular Hermitage and Chateauneuf-du-Pape) and I would definitely recommend it highly if you are going that far south.

One of the times, we stayed at the Chateau Rochegude in Rochegude, which is about 10km east of Mondragon (and the A7). It is a Relais et Chateaux place, so it is not cheap (136 Euro for standard room), but very nice and comfortable (like staying in an old castle).

Edited by mikeycook (log)

"If the divine creator has taken pains to give us delicious and exquisite things to eat, the least we can do is prepare them well and serve them with ceremony."

~ Fernand Point

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I would also like to recommend La Beaugravière. A salad of ratte potatoes and freshly sliced black Vaucluse truffles that we tried there a few weeks ago was sensational. The wine list is also very impressive.

Another place we enjoyed on two occasions was La Fourchette in Avignon (which is a good base for exploring the Southern Rhone wine areas). This is the sibling of Hiély-Lucullus. It does authentic Provencal food very well. Try the caillettes, the daube or the wonderful pieds et paquets. You can read a review here.

Roger McShane

Foodtourist.com

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I have no basis on which to recommend any really expensive lodgings and so forth, so I'll just give a general suggestion about food: When you're in Burgundy, don't neglect the little boulangeries. I had the best pate de fruit ever in a little shop on a quiet crossroads off N6 in a small town (Vermenton seems likely). It beat the pants off the pate de fruit we were given at Grand Vefour, and it was a whole lot cheaper! And the other thing to get everywhere is gougeres, which we really loved. You can get good gougeres in New York, but the ones we got in Burgundy were so much bigger, and again, these are to be found at most any boulangerie in the region and are great as part of your breakfast (even lunch, if you like). Get some gougeres and some pate de fruit at a boulangerie and something meaty at a charcuterie, supplement that with whatever else strikes your fancy (croissants, pains au chocolat, etc.), and you have some tasty, inexpensive food to get you on the road in the morning! For us, that really was one of the pleasures of our wonderful trip through Burgundy (and on to the Loire Valley). Another pleasure was the architecture and art, which were actually our main reasons for visiting those areas.

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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Hello,

My friend and I are booked to go to Paris May 19-29.  Planning to rent a car in Dijon and wine tour in Burgundy, Rhone, Chablis regions.  If there are any special spots to eat and stay on the open road, please suggest.

thanks,

jkl

you might want to visit La Chablisienne wine coop when you're there -- great welcome and great value wines.

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In Chablis, I've had a great lunch at L'Hostellerie des Clos. A great selection of Chablis and quite good food. I've heard that when it gets busy, it's not up to its Michelin star but I've been there for a thursday lunch and it was really good.

If you go to Beaune and its area, there's a lot of good choices:

- Ma Cuisine in Beaune

- Les Tontons in Beaune

- Le Chassagne in Chassagne-Montrachet

- Chez Guy in Gevrey-Chambertin.

Been to all these several times recently (only one time Chez Guy) and were consistently good.

A very bad experience at Le Jardin des Remparts in Beaune....

Enjoy the trip.

Mike

"Je préfère le vin d'ici à l'au-delà"

Francis Blanche

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  • 3 weeks later...
A wine adventure sounds like really a lot of fun! Starting in Dijon. Where is your final stop?  Do you already have a list of Chateaux you'd like to visit for tastings?  If not restaurants, are there towns where particularly interesting wines or special vinyards are located that would be a worth a stop?  Another idea would be to think about where you have good regional cavistes and make those towns destinations on the itineraries.  Do you plan to buy and have wine shipped home?

Hello,

We are staying in paris the first night and the last two nights. Just started looking at the map and different areas to visit. I really don't know whether it is better to stay in the city such as Dijon, Beane, or stay in smaller places along the wine routes.

I know I want to hit Vosne Romanee, Nuit St. George, puligny Montrachet, Savigny de Beane in Burgundy. The trip seems alot more difficult to plan since there are SO MANY places to go.

I also plan to buy and ship back to Canada although I know it is a pain in the ass to ship back to Canada. So overwhelming!

jkl

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I have no basis on which to recommend any really expensive lodgings and so forth, so I'll just give a general suggestion about food: When you're in Burgundy, don't neglect the little boulangeries. I had the best pate de fruit ever in a little shop on a quiet crossroads off N6 in a small town (Vermenton seems likely). It beat the pants off the pate de fruit we were given at Grand Vefour, and it was a whole lot cheaper! And the other thing to get everywhere is gougeres, which we really loved. You can get good gougeres in New York, but the ones we got in Burgundy were so much bigger, and again, these are to be found at most any boulangerie in the region and are great as part of your breakfast (even lunch, if you like). Get some gougeres and some pate de fruit at a boulangerie and something meaty at a charcuterie, supplement that with whatever else strikes your fancy (croissants, pains au chocolat, etc.), and you have some tasty, inexpensive food to get you on the road in the morning! For us, that really was one of the pleasures of our wonderful trip through Burgundy (and on to the Loire Valley). Another pleasure was the architecture and art, which were actually our main reasons for visiting those areas.

Hi,

I am so hungry right now. I agree that the really good food is the home tested and mother approved type of homestyle food you suggested such as croissants, etc. I am striving to have meals that are truly authentic from the region where mama is cooking in the back. Thanks for the suggestions.

jkl

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I really don't know whether it is better to stay in the city such as Dijon, Beane, or stay in smaller places along the wine routes.

We have done both and I think while it's fun to be in Dijon and Beaune at night to sup and walk, it's more fun to have lodgings in the country in a Chambre d'hote (read B&B) of which there are a lot in Burgundy. Order the book through eGullet's Pantry and help us with the cut, thanks.

John Talbott

blog John Talbott's Paris

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  • 3 weeks later...

Some recommendation. I don't really hang around much in Dijon, but once I stayed at the Wilson and had a wondeful dinner at their Thibert restaurant. Very good wine list.

In Chablis. Hostellerie des Clos presents fine restaurant dining in a relaxed atmosphere, dressy but I always see a few folks dressed casual. A good value, too, if you go for the 4-course at E38. They give you a number of extra nibblers during the meal so you'll be stuffed. Of course, the wine list features some nice Chablis selections that go back. I remember trying a 93 Blanchots La Chablisienne that was drinking really nice.

To be honest, the Bistro des Grands Crus in the William Fevre domaine is more my speed. I love the atomosphere here. Very casual and also features local Chablis cuisine plus some good William Fevere on the wine list.

In Beaune, Ma Cuisine is the mother of bistros that features a great wine list of Burgundy's best domaine producers. I've been going there since it opened in 1997, and though their huge success has somewhat dampened the spontaneous fun I used to feel there and some of the best older bottles on the list have been scoped out it's still a must stop. Fabienne is a wonderful cook and a very charming host (she's gotten some help now in the kitchen so she comes out more). Pierre, though, is looking more harried.

I would consider three other locations in Beaune. Cave Madeleine is my top choice now. It's a wine store and bistro. Lolo is an astute wine merchant and features plenty of great producers (Dauvissat, Leflaive, Arnoux, Raveneau plus Rhone folks such as Faurie and Cuilleron). His featured Champagne is Selosse. The fun part is picking out the bottles from the shelf as you go about your meal. The price is written in chalk on the bottom of the bottle. I suggest you don't miss the herring in potato and light cream sauce. This is a devastatingly good starter. It's a tiny place so reservation is a must.

Table de Vigneron next door is also terrific. Local vignerons favor this and they feature very good Burgundy classics in a friendly, quiet atmosphre.

Cave des Arches is almost like a modern Parisian bistro but you'll never guess it before entering. You go down the steps and enter into a roomd designed like a cellar cave (minus the molds). The food is very good, the salmon tartare there may be the best I've ever had, and the wine list features a lot of top names including DRC.

In Avignon, I've never been enamored by one-star Chrstian Etienne, but his venue is breathtaking (right at the Palais des Papes) and his famous tomato menu is unique and interesting. A discovery is Au Petit Bedon, a tiny hole-in-the-wall bistro that's nevertheless elegant and features creative takes on traditional Provencale dishes.

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Regal Magazine (April-May 2006 issue) has a weekend cave-to-cave itinerary in the Cote du Rhone. They recommend in the region:

Vacqueryas - Domaine de la Ponche lodging

'spacious relaxing rooms, an address de charme'

Double rooms from €110

04.90.65.85.21

Seguret - Domaine de Cabasse eating and lodging

'14 comfortable rooms tastefully done and restaurant au charme fou'

Dinner menu 27€

Double rooms from 87€

04.90.46.91.12

Vaison -la-Romaine - Bastide la Combe lodging

'a welcoming B&B among the vines, ideal for discovering the region.'

Rooms from 90€

04.90.30.82.05

Sablet - Les Remparts eating

Home cooked food on a pretty terrace (example: salade paysanne and rognons d'agneau persillé) 10€ :rolleyes: and a wine list with nice choices from the region.

They also have a list of must sees while on a wine excursion in the Rhone Alpes region:

An permenant interactive exhibition involving all five senses on the winemaking at the Cave de Cairianne called the Parcours Sensoriel that is on the route Ste Cécile in the town of Cairianne - 04.90.30.82.05

A 6KM guided walk through the vines at Vacqueyras which they describe as passionnant and a way to learn about winemaking guided by the Syndicat d'Initiative de Vacqueyras, 04.90.12.39.02 (even if you don't speak French you could probably really enjoy this one just for the scenery)

At the edge of Beaumes-de-Venise, on the route de Vacqueyras, you can see the 9th century Chapel Notre-Dame d'Aubane and it's historic bell, and take the time to stretch your legs on the magnificent walking trails behind the church.

Also if you are passing through Vaison-la-Romaine, you can visit a fromager, one of the three women who possess the title of Meilleur Ouvrier de France, Josiane Déal, and her 150 varieties of cheeses. They also feature a nice selection of wines from the region. The place is called Lou Canesteou, 04.90.36.31.30

The Website called Inter-Rhone is recommended for a lot of information on the côtes-du-rhône. There you can find nine local wine tourism driving circuits (nice printable pdf files that also have English) that give the visiting hours, names, addresses and phone numbers of vinyards on each circuit. I particularly like the route between Vienne and Valence in the northern côtes-du-rhône region.

I'm thinking about our wine weekends in Bordeaux, and was thinking that it would be convenient for you to have a portable phone to call the vinyards to see if they're taking visitors on any given day you pass through if you don't want to get too stuck to a schedule - Don't forget also that many tourist bureaus of the important wine towns will have listings of vignerons and the hours that they take visitors with sometimes a service to call ahead.

Considering you only have 8 days to roll, You will have to really hone down and choose your towns carefully. Visiting a chateau with tour and taste usually runs an hour or two and can sometimes take as much as half a day, remember they sometimes give precise times for visiting which you'll have to work in. You'll arrive at a chateau and sometimes it takes some time to rustle up someone to take you on the tour, and you may also get stuck somewhere with someone who talks for a long time... :laugh: Then there's the driving through the countryside which will be fabulous. And the eating. You might consider just sticking to one region for the full 8 days. If you do make it down to the Northern côtes-du-rhône region, remember that you'll have about 3 hours of autoroute driving for example from Valence back to Dijon. Whatever you do choose, you can always come back! My advice is not to try and pack too much into the trip - you're right, there is a whole lot to see.

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