It’s been a while since I’ve given an update on what I’ve been doing as opposed to airing my views on this, that and the other.
I’m currently in Beaune in the heart of Burgundy. I’m in a gorgeous pad and waiting for my pals to arrive for the weekend. Have to say I’m really looking forward to the company; I’ve got the supplies in; got a couple of tastings lined up and we’ll get out and about as well. In the meantime I’m just enjoying the afternoon sun. I’ve just had really good catch up with my pal Mark and Rex is happy in the garden – it’s all very chilled.
After leaving Tours a week or so ago I headed to Sancerre. It’s one of my favourite white wines although of course they do rose and red as well. As I’ve got more used to driving I’m starting to steer away from the main roads (where the tolls are really expensive – it cost me £71 for one month!) and onto the lovely back roads. The scenes start to change the further east you go and I was literally overwhelmed when I approached beautiful Sancerre. The little town just appears on top of a hill and vineyards are in view as far as the eye can see. The town was gorgeous – had a super little vibe to it – just a little square surrounded by restaurants where I sat with Rex watching the world go by. My hotel was crap but the benefit of not having anywhere to run the boy was getting up at 6.30am and watching the sun rise over the vines as I walked him.
On my second day I hit the road again and just drove through miles and miles of vineyards, stopping for the odd wine and cheese tasting as well as happening across the fantastic Chateau de Ladoucette before landing in Pouilly Sur Loire home of the fabulous Pouilly Fume where I did a super tasting at Domaine Masson-Blondelet where I ended up buying some fabulous wine – some of which will be even better in a couple of years. [Note to self – must sort my cellar out when I get home so I can store all this properly!]
My ‘Going Solo’ blog refers to some of the restaurants – I won’t bore you with that again!
After Sancerre I drove to Chablis for three nights. Again – I love this wine, it’s my go-to on a hot summer’s day. I absolutely loved the little gite I stayed in despite there being no wi-if (first world problems) but honestly I found Chablis rather lacking in character. It’s very pretty but there just wasn’t much soul to it. Having said that, I took Rex out for a couple of hours and we walked to the Grand Cru vineyards which were only 15 mins away. I find things like that really exciting / fascinating and whilst I’m sure Facebook friends will be bored silly of vineyard and grape pictures I was in my element, touching the soil and checking out the vines. I’ve bought a couple of bottles for comparison – the standard AOC is ok but eat it with local goats cheese and it elevates – but the Grand Cru from Le Clos is something else.
I’ve probably bought about 25/30 bottles of wine so far – I’m quite protective of it and refuse to drink any of it until I get home – that Grand Cru needs a special occasion to open! And in theory in about three years’ time – can I last that long?!
I’ve also purchased the best part of 15 fridge magnets. I buy one everywhere I go – it’s a lovely yet cheap memento of my travels and makes me happy when I look at them! (Pre trip photo below!)
I’m looking forward to the next few days here in Beaune. I then head to Beaujolais where as luck would have it I’m meeting my wine tutor who happens to be there the same two days as I am. Then onto Orange and up to Reims where I finish these travels – no better way to celebrate the end of trip than with champagne right?!