Burgundy est Belle: Why Autumn is Perfect Here

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Hills so green you imagine you must have drunk too much premiere cru and transported yourself to Ireland. Vineyards twined into every corner of tiny villages, shimmering golden in the late autumn sun. Rolling fields crowned by towering chateaus, wreathed in morning fog.

Dusk on a country road in the heart of Burgundy region of France

That’s Burgundy, a corridor of France between Dijon and Lyon. Famous for its incredible wines, which are all made from pinot noir or Chardonnay grapes (for red and white wines, respectively), each tiny plot has its own appellation and climat, or microclimate, according to the sun and the wind and the soil underneath.

I went wine tasting here in the Hautes-Cotes-du-Nuits and learned fascinating things, like:

  • There are a lot of rules governing specific parts of winemaking and selling, and they’re very strict except for when they aren’t at all (ah France!).
  • Premiere crus are a step below grand crus, except sometimes when a village has no grand cru plots (like Mersault) and then sometimes 1ere is better than grand cru. This is deeply confusing.
  • Mersault is the bomb. Actually all white Burgundies are, for this red wine drinker anyways.
  • After WWII, the French made the Germans repay them for all the very old Burgundy they drank but only for the crus, so a whole bunch of plots suddenly got an upgrade that year.
  • Wine tastes surprisingly good at 10 am but then you need a very serious nap.

And now, more pictures because words can’t describe this part of the country adequately.

That’s Paul – one of my wine-tasting buddies.
The pretty village of Beaune.
A foggy day on the medieval ramparts of Semur-en-Auxois.
Canal in Burgundy France in the autumn
Biking the Burgundy canal.

It was a fairytale fall here.

I know New England fall is supposed to be our most glorious season, but it leaves me cold. Literally, because all I can think about there is how six months of winter are coming and it feels like death. Also, basic bitches in their shabby flannels and bros drinking Shipyard Pumpkin fill me with a deep, deep loathing.

Fall here just filled me with joy, and wonder, and beauty. And Burgundy wine instead of pumpkin spice lattes. This might be my heaven.

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