We sadly left La Ruchotte after a too short visit and took the short drive to Beaune, the wine capital of Burgundy. We had to do what one does in such a place, so we immediately proceeded to a recommended wine shop. We were like kids in a candy store as we perused the selection of local wines at prices exponentially lower than at home. Looking at the wines and hearing about them was almost as fun as drinking the wines will be. Okay, maybe not. But it was fun nevertheless. And the net result is that we will get to enjoy Burgundy well after the trip has ended, each time that we open a bottle.
Everybody in the city (including us) seemed to be cranky due to the rain, so we decided to eat lunch. We had enjoyed three special meals in Burgundy so far, but our lunch was nothing special. Certainly, it was better than the average lunch in Philadelphia and of course was accompanied by white Burgundy wine, just nothing special for by French standards. After we finished lunch, we jumped into our delightfully dry Peugeot and headed to Beaujolais.
Beaujolais is the wine region that is south of Burgundy and north of Lyon. The region is famous for its Gamay grapes and the annual swill debuted each November known as Beaujolais Nouveau. We didn’t meander through the vines due to the rain; instead, we headed directly to Pouilly-Le-Chatel in Denicé. This B&B was stylish and comfortable, though it felt to be more style over substance compared to our two past lodging experiences which had both provided hospitality from the heart.
The rain persisted, so we relaxed in the lounge with wi-fi and a bottle of Pouilly Le Chatel Beaujolais. Yes, the B&B was located at a winery.
We didn’t have to go far for dinner, as we partook in a four course dinner prepared by our hosts. Our dinner companions were an older German couple. Small talk was somewhat stilted based on our cultural differences more so than any language barriers. The four of us polished off two more bottles of local wine while we ate cheese, charcuterie, salmon and rich chocolate cake. The best part of the meal, however, was when we stepped outside to go to our room and found that the rain had finally ended.
We woke up the next day to dry weather, so we happily checked out Southern Beaujolais after a quick breakfast at the B&B.
Driving Through Beaujolais
The better wines, or Crus, are indigenous to Northern Beaujolais, but we stayed in the south to enjoy the rolling hills and charming towns. The views were stunning, the kind of view that cannot be properly captured by a camera.
We decided to check out a medieval village called Oingt with golden limestone walls. We knew we liked the town when we were offered a wine tasting within minutes of arriving, plus the name is fun to say. We climbed the winding streets up to the church which dates back to the 12th century. The view at the top of the hill was breathtaking. Artisan shops were dotted among the historical buildings, and we couldn’t help but assist the local economy.
We left Oignt and started driving south.
Along the way, we bumped into the a series of cool scarecrows made of household items.
Grocery Store Lunch
We contemplated another fancy meal but instead opted for a more casual lunch at a supermarket on the drive from Oingt to Lyon. We always like checking out markets when we travel, even supermarkets. We enjoyed our eclectic, cost-effective lunch and proceeded with the relatively short drive to Lyon, where we were about to experience lots of great food and site filled walks…