I have to admit, I was quite excited at the thought of tasting Meursault and staying on the vineyard. We arrived at the campervan stop (or so we thought) and made lunch outside of the Domaine. A phone call and email later, I discovered that we were actually outside one of the Dury brother’s (who run the vineyard) houses – ooopppsss! We had enjoyed our spicy rice salad outside for lunch though. I can imagine the neighbours calling him to say some random Brits were outside having their lunch!
By this point it had finally stopped raining, so we headed off into the village of Beaune, known as the “Gateway to Burgundy”. Beaune sits on the Route du Grands Cru so I knew I was going to like it! A town surrounded by amazing Burgundy wine villages, what’s not to love? We arrived at the aire in Beaune to find it jam packed with motorhomes so we had to park in the car section, which more spectacular driving from Greg. The French are so relaxed about motorhoming and we are gradually getting to be that way too. The walk into Beaune took us just over 5 minutes, and we arrived near the church and main shopping area.
Beaune is a lovely town, very pretty, with lots of nice shops, bars and restaurants (and of course wineries). It felt like a real place rather than a tourist destination and I walked along musing about living there. It was one of the few places we have been to so far which had normal day to day shops and wasn’t necessarily set up to accommodate for tourists, although tourists are certainly aplenty.
We then headed to the correct place for Domaine Dury! The campervan stop is just outside of Meursault and truly was lovely. There are 5 pitches for vans, electricity for free and ……….wait for it……..free wifi (fast too). We were astounded, all of this for free and in a beautiful location looking over fields and vineyards. There is also an honesty bar with all of the gorgeous Domaine Dury wines. I wondered if I had gone to heaven, I will not want to leave tomorrow!
Jean-Michel then came and collected us from Knigel for the wine tasting in their small cellar. We were also joined by a French family from Lyon and a Swiss couple, also staying on site. Domaine Dury is a small vineyard and was definitely not on the scale of the Domaine Alain Geoffroy in Chablis, but it felt a more intimate & authentic wine tasting. Amusingly we found out that whilst we were communicating to him in French via google translate he was doing exactly the same back to us in English! We were lucky however that our fellow French motorhomers spoke perfect English so translated where needed.
We tasted 3 white wines, the first a Bourgogne Aligotè was light and fresh, the second, Bourgogne Chardonnay was delicious, we then moved onto a 2011 Meursault which is indescribable in its loveliness.
Next up came the reds, all pinot noir of varying qualities. I wasn’t too keen on the first two, although emptied my glass in a very British type way. The last red was lovely though.
We learnt that wines of Burgundy have their particular flavour due to the quality of the soil, which contains many minerals due to the amount of sea fossils left from the time that Burgundy was under water. There are really only two grape varieties used in Burgundy wine, chardonnay and pinot noir, although a small amount of the aligotè grape is used. The wine makers in Burgundy do not mix their grapes either, so a wine is either 100% chardonnay or 100% aligotè. You can feel the pride in the area for their wines, much as you could in Barolo.
Another interesting fact for you wine drinkers out there, Jean-Michel said that it is better to lay down a magnum of wine rather than two single bottles as the air circulating around the bottle makes for a better tasting wine.
After buying a decent amount of the Chardonnay and a smaller amount of the Meursault, we headed back to Knigel to a stunning view. I am feeling very blessed about our journey tonight (it isn’t just the wine talking), I can’t believe that I have this beauty all around me to just soak up and enjoy,