Planning a Trip to Burgundy: Advice Needed

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K John Joseph
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Planning a Trip to Burgundy: Advice Needed

#1 Post by K John Joseph » February 6th, 2013, 7:37 am

Folks,

I close friend of mine and his mom are traking a trip to Burgundy in late March/early April. I've helped them with trips to Napa, Sonoma, and Oregon in the past. Thinking I had in depth knowledge of the region, they asked for help planning their trip. While I can probably do the aforementioned regions in my sleep, I know nothing about what tasting in Burgundy is like. I've never been to any European wine region. I have no clue what the tasting policies are, what producers have tasting rooms, etiquette, cost of tastings and expectations of purchase, etc. I admit to my ignorance, which I understand is step one in the process of learning.

So, I beg you Burg-Heads to tell me everything you can on tasting through the region. I'd really love to learn, and have been extremely curious about what it is like for some time now. Lay it on me...
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Re: Planning a Trip to Burgundy: Advice Needed

#2 Post by Roger Nellans » February 6th, 2013, 7:52 am

Multiple threads on this...start with this one.....http://wineberserkers.com/forum/viewtop ... it#p919864
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Re: Planning a Trip to Burgundy: Advice Needed

#3 Post by Howard Cooper » February 6th, 2013, 8:24 am

Visiting Burgundy is not at all like visiting California or Oregon. For the most part, you cannot just stop in, at least at better domaines. You have to make reservations in advance. If you can get in at all - some domaines don't see people unless recommended by retailers, etc. The payoff, however, comes when you do get in. You generally are not seeing some flunky, people who only man a tasting room. Rather, you are visiting with people from the family that makes the wine, that owns the winery, etc. The experiences can be unbelievably memorable. Here is a great link for websites for a lot of domaines. http://www.burgundy-report.com/discover ... cer-links/ This will tell you how to contact domaines. A number speak English. Places that I think of as relatively easy to get into where I have had great visits include Rossignol-Trapet, Domaine des Lambrays and Chandon des Briailles. I also highly recommend visiting Jadot and Bouchard, but you need to contact Jadot, at least, several weeks in advance for them to make arrangements.

For other things in Burgundy (hotels, restaurants, etc.), you need to buy this: http://www.burghound.com/guide.php One other way is to stay here: http://www.laterredor.com/en/ We did not really use that much of his help when stayign there, but I think Jean Louis will provide if requested a lot of help with domaines to visit, etc.

Let me say this, Burgundy is my favorite spot in the world to visit. With careful planning and a bit of work, it can be unbelievably memorable.
Last edited by Howard Cooper on February 6th, 2013, 10:15 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Planning a Trip to Burgundy: Advice Needed

#4 Post by K John Joseph » February 6th, 2013, 8:47 am

Thank you, gents.
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Re: Planning a Trip to Burgundy: Advice Needed

#5 Post by Doug Lee » February 6th, 2013, 9:10 am

K John,

We worked through local retailers to arrange visits with Rapet, Mugnier, de Montille, and Lamarche. It took several months to do this so certainly plan well in advance. The winemaker spoke English in all cases except Rapet. I found that just being enthusiastic and open to discussion (a certain amount of humility never hurts either) led to great discussions and a great time. These visits were more formal than those in the U. S., almost like being invited to someone's home (that is exactly what happened when we visited Lamarche) so one really does get to know the producer. As Howard has stated, these visits are truly memorable experiences which heighten one's appreciation of the wines.

If you get a chance, rent some bicycles and cycle the dedicated cycle paths through the Cote de Beaune. This is gorgeous, idyllic scenery through some iconic vineyards you've always read about. The restaurants are great of course, and it certainly pays to make reservations in advance.

Wonderful place to visit. Hope you have a great time.

Cheers,
Doug

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Re: Planning a Trip to Burgundy: Advice Needed

#6 Post by S. Reynolds » February 6th, 2013, 9:29 am

This is a naive question, so bear with me... do you typically pay for these tastings? I know they're much more intimate and time-consuming than most places in the U.S., so it would make sense that one would pay, but I could imagine some winemakers being offended by that. What is the proper etiquette in terms of compensation and otherwise in Burgundy?
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Re: Planning a Trip to Burgundy: Advice Needed

#7 Post by K John Joseph » February 6th, 2013, 9:51 am

Spencer, I'd love to know that fact as well. Doug, thanks for the input. Perhaps I'll use a few ITB contacts to help my friend out. Sounds like that's a must to get a foot in the door.
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Re: Planning a Trip to Burgundy: Advice Needed

#8 Post by Howard Cooper » February 6th, 2013, 10:14 am

I have never paid for a wine tasting in Burgundy. Of course, I try to buy at least a bottle or more to thank them although there are sometimes when I actually start craving to buy the wine (for me, not for politeness) because of the differences in price vs. the US. I remember the first time I visited Jacky Truchot. After they spent like 2 hours with us, I told Nancy we had to buy a couple of bottles. Then, I looked at the prices -22 e for grand crus and 12 e for premier crus and my thoughts changed to - now how much can I carry back? My biggest disappointment on the my last visit was that (after providing us wonderful tastings and visits) Mugneret-Gibourg and Tremblay had no wine to sell us.
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Re: Planning a Trip to Burgundy: Advice Needed

#9 Post by Doug Lee » February 6th, 2013, 2:21 pm

Whenever we have tasted in Europe we have not paid for the tasting and the prospect of purchasing bottles has not come up. It really is not so much a business visit as a social one (and a really meaningful one at that).

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Re: Planning a Trip to Burgundy: Advice Needed

#10 Post by K John Joseph » February 6th, 2013, 2:29 pm

Thank you for the notes! Please keep any advice or suggestions you have coming! I've read through a number of other threads, and would love to know more about other places you suggest visiting, which producers are generally most available (thanks Howard), fun spots for lunch/dinner, and any tips for getting around the wine country.
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Re: Planning a Trip to Burgundy: Advice Needed

#11 Post by Roger Nellans » February 6th, 2013, 3:03 pm

I've had multiple trips to burgundy, and agree with Howard, that it is one of my favorite places to visit on the planet. Howard has good suggestions...It really is nothing like wine tasting in California...more like Oregon, but different, in that there are few tasting rooms per se. You're visiting farmers...not big chateau like in Bordeaux, etc. One thing you might consider is getting someone like Kim Gagné of 'Journeys in Wine' to help you. She hs tons of contacts with vignerons that are sometimes difficult to schedule...ie Vogue, Mugneret-Gilbourg, Ponsot, Lafarge, Fourrier, etc, etc..She is an excellent translator and driver...some of the properties are not that easy to find if you don't know the area. Of course there is a cost to this, but I personally think it worth it...We also have stayed at La Terre d'Or outside of Beaune and would recommend it, if you don't mind driving in to town. My favorite restaurants are Apres du Clochers in Pommard, Cave Madeline, Cave des Arches and Ma Cuisine in Beaune,Chez Guy in Gevrey-Chambertin and Le Milliseme in Chambolle-Musigny...Also probably one of the most educational visits is with Jadot.. You will taste all the different terroir from the Cote de Beaune and Cote de Nuits.....I highly recommend!
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Re: Planning a Trip to Burgundy: Advice Needed

#12 Post by Blair Curtis » February 6th, 2013, 4:16 pm

Ditto on the "no charge" in Burgundy. One thing you might consider is bringing a gift to the Domaine - perhaps a wine from your neck of the woods. Some Burgundians love this and treasure the bottles North Americans have brought to them as gifts.

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Re: Planning a Trip to Burgundy: Advice Needed

#13 Post by Eric Ifune » February 6th, 2013, 4:21 pm

Bring a wine shipper. The bigger the better. Difficult to get in Europe.

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Re: Planning a Trip to Burgundy: Advice Needed

#14 Post by Scott Brunson » February 6th, 2013, 4:23 pm

We also have never paid for a tasting and frequently aren't sold wine although we always ask if we can buy. Do your friends speaks French? It isn't a necessity but it definitely opens some doors. They need to make appointments far in advance.
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Re: Planning a Trip to Burgundy: Advice Needed

#15 Post by dchu » February 6th, 2013, 7:00 pm

My wife and I enjoyed part of our honeymoon there last summer, had an amazing time...it's truly an incredible region to visit. I *highly* recommend renting a car or getting a chauffeur service while you're there; it gave us the flexibility to explore vineyard sites, villages, and manage visits all at our own pace.

We (fortunately) had a good friend ITB living in Paris who was able to help us arrange visits well in advance which was essential. Echoing what's already been said, the visits are generally intimate affairs, deeply personal and very enlightening indeed. We had eye opening visits at Grivot, Burguet, Anne Gros and Bertrand Machard de Gramont to name a handful. Tasting in their cellars/homes with the winemaker and/or their family members' sharing their insights was a exhilarating and intellectual experience I'll never forget. They may or may not have wines to sell you, but of course it never hurts to ask and on occasion they will offer to show you what they have available after the tasting. Just don't expect to walk out with a case of Richebourg! ...and of course, make sure you have ample cash on hand if you expect to buy anything at the domaines.

I think Roger is right on the mark with the restaurants. Depending on how long your friend will be there, might be a good idea to leave some meals unplanned -- one of our best was an ad hoc picnic in nearby Bouilland.

We also stayed at La Terre d'Or for a couple of nights. I'll just pile on and say we recommend it as well, wonderful service and wonderful rooms. Just don't expect to run into many locals there, in fact, expect mainly other Americans. For first timers, it's probably a good idea to stay near Beaune. If you're adventurous, there are some Airbnb like sites in French that provide less touristy (i.e. better value) accommodation options.

Lastly of course, having a native French speaker with you is a MAJOR plus. Thankfully, I married one. [cheers.gif]
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Re: Planning a Trip to Burgundy: Advice Needed

#16 Post by Anthony Hall » February 7th, 2013, 1:03 am

S. Reynolds wrote:This is a naive question, so bear with me... do you typically pay for these tastings? I know they're much more intimate and time-consuming than most places in the U.S., so it would make sense that one would pay, but I could imagine some winemakers being offended by that. What is the proper etiquette in terms of compensation and otherwise in Burgundy?
Good manners suggests you take a small gift that relates to your home town or state be it wine or some memento.
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Re: Planning a Trip to Burgundy: Advice Needed

#17 Post by Scott Brunson » February 7th, 2013, 3:34 am

Anthony Hall wrote:
S. Reynolds wrote:This is a naive question, so bear with me... do you typically pay for these tastings? I know they're much more intimate and time-consuming than most places in the U.S., so it would make sense that one would pay, but I could imagine some winemakers being offended by that. What is the proper etiquette in terms of compensation and otherwise in Burgundy?
Good manners suggests you take a small gift that relates to your home town or state be it wine or some memento.
YES
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Re: Planning a Trip to Burgundy: Advice Needed

#18 Post by K John Joseph » February 7th, 2013, 7:24 am

Thank you all so much. I'm relaying all of this information, and stashing it away for my personal use in years to come. Very, very helpful.
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Re: Planning a Trip to Burgundy: Advice Needed

#19 Post by Richard T r i m p i » February 7th, 2013, 7:42 am

Anthony Hall wrote:Good manners suggests you take a small gift that relates to your home town or state be it wine or some memento.
Good sense suggests that you book lodging at Chez Hall in Meursault!

Anyway, it's kind of humourous how at Mugneret-Gibourg, they receive a fair number of gift bottles. All sorts of misc. foreign (i.e.: US) wines. They stack them on the wall along the stairway down to the cellar until the once/year party when they crack them open.

Smaller Domaine's seem more appreciative of gift wines. Not sure what wine gift would be appropriate at some of the bigger names: Ponsot, Rousseau, Dujac, Leroy, DRC, etc.

RT

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Re: Planning a Trip to Burgundy: Advice Needed

#20 Post by doug johnson » February 7th, 2013, 8:02 am

I had a great visit with Chris Newman of Domaine Newman.

It was easy to set up visiting him and I thought his vantage point on the region was interesting.

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Re: Planning a Trip to Burgundy: Advice Needed

#21 Post by Stuart BeauneHead Niemtzow » February 7th, 2013, 3:32 pm

dchu wrote:My wife and I enjoyed part of our honeymoon there last summer, had an amazing time...it's truly an incredible region to visit. I *highly* recommend renting a car or getting a chauffeur service while you're there; it gave us the flexibility to explore vineyard sites, villages, and manage visits all at our own pace.



Depending on how long your friend will be there, might be a good idea to leave some meals unplanned -- one of our best was an ad hoc picnic in nearby Bouilland.


Lastly of course, having a native French speaker with you is a MAJOR plus. Thankfully, I married one. [cheers.gif]
That sounds familiar...we spent part of our honeymoon in Burgundy (and a few days in Alsace) in 1983....It was memorable..and the marriage has lasted so far, too....hope it works as well for you. Been back to both regions many times since. It all started on that trip.

RE: picnics in Bouilland....picnics, biking, etc...are hard to do at the time of this trip starting this thread. It is generally pretty gray and cold there in March/April..

And, re: gift bottles. I do have to chuckle about the amount of US (and other wine) many domaines get...we brought maple syrup from PA one year...and they didn't know what to do with it.... Those US bottles seem to pile up at some estates. I got the idea that the winemakers in Burgundy aren't all that interested in US wines for the most part. In fact, many of the winemakers are not even that interested in wine, per se. They make it; they sell it; they drink it...but....it's not their hobby or passion..not surprisingly. A gross generalization, of course, with many exceptions.

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Re: Planning a Trip to Burgundy: Advice Needed

#22 Post by S. Reynolds » February 7th, 2013, 7:06 pm

Stuart BeauneHead Niemtzow wrote:And, re: gift bottles. I do have to chuckle about the amount of US (and other wine) many domaines get...we brought maple syrup from PA one year...and they didn't know what to do with it.... Those US bottles seem to pile up at some estates. I got the idea that the winemakers in Burgundy aren't all that interested in US wines for the most part. In fact, many of the winemakers are not even that interested in wine, per se. They make it; they sell it; they drink it...but....it's not their hobby or passion..not surprisingly. A gross generalization, of course, with many exceptions.
So what would you suggest then? What is the etiquette and a graceful, useful way to say thank you?
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Re: Planning a Trip to Burgundy: Advice Needed

#23 Post by paul hanna » February 7th, 2013, 8:52 pm

Richard T r i m p i wrote:
Good sense suggests that you book lodging at Chez Hall in Meursault!
Great idea!!

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Re: Planning a Trip to Burgundy: Advice Needed

#24 Post by Anthony Hall » February 7th, 2013, 9:19 pm

S. Reynolds wrote:
Stuart BeauneHead Niemtzow wrote:And, re: gift bottles. I do have to chuckle about the amount of US (and other wine) many domaines get...we brought maple syrup from PA one year...and they didn't know what to do with it.... Those US bottles seem to pile up at some estates. I got the idea that the winemakers in Burgundy aren't all that interested in US wines for the most part. In fact, many of the winemakers are not even that interested in wine, per se. They make it; they sell it; they drink it...but....it's not their hobby or passion..not surprisingly. A gross generalization, of course, with many exceptions.
So what would you suggest then? What is the etiquette and a graceful, useful way to say thank you?
It's a token as you could not easily recompense for the cost of the wine tasted or their time. One year we brought bottle stoppers finished in a range of Australian hardwoods. Another time we brought over Australian football jumpers for some special domains (very popular). Jeremy Holmes was very popular with a gift of a very loud Australian shirt to another domain. Be creative and whatever you gift will be appreciated even if they have no idea what to do with the gift !
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Re: Planning a Trip to Burgundy: Advice Needed

#25 Post by Marty Glembotzky » February 8th, 2013, 3:31 am

I brought Turley Zins. I later got emails raving about the wines, something they had never had. I also never buy wines at domaines that I can buy at home, no matter how good the deal is.

My advice is to go to a domaine that is not imported to your country. Buy what you cannot get at home.

We stayed here, not far from Morey St Denis, amazing experience:

http://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review ... lerReviews

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Re: Planning a Trip to Burgundy: Advice Needed

#26 Post by Stuart BeauneHead Niemtzow » February 8th, 2013, 4:45 am

S. Reynolds wrote:
Stuart BeauneHead Niemtzow wrote:And, re: gift bottles. I do have to chuckle about the amount of US (and other wine) many domaines get...we brought maple syrup from PA one year...and they didn't know what to do with it.... Those US bottles seem to pile up at some estates. I got the idea that the winemakers in Burgundy aren't all that interested in US wines for the most part. In fact, many of the winemakers are not even that interested in wine, per se. They make it; they sell it; they drink it...but....it's not their hobby or passion..not surprisingly. A gross generalization, of course, with many exceptions.
So what would you suggest then? What is the etiquette and a graceful, useful way to say thank you?
Spencer, a good question.

Though we brought gifts early on, in more recent years we haven't, as we thought it was not necessary and , frankly, not that much appreciated. In fact, at some point, we began to think it made some of them uncomfortable. We pretty much have visited a core of winemakers who we first visited in 1988, with additions and subtractions along the way. I think it was the xmas in 2002 when we brought bottles of PA maple syrup that we stopped. I think it really is more an understanding of what is really going on at the smallish/artisanal domaines, which is all we visit. Receiving people is part of their business. The more successful domaines seem to be receiving people-- of all levels of knowledge and interest-- all the time. Some wine families like it more than others, not surprisingly. But, virtually all of them, whether superstars or up and comers or whatever, keep doing it. They need to to keep their businesses going and , hopefully, prospering. Christophe Roumier once explained to me that though for the last decades he had nothing to sell to visitors , it was something that he valued as vital to his business. He explained that though he was prospering, that could change and loyalty and interest were essential. It made me look at these visits differently.

They are receiving us, but we/you took the trouble to single them out from the oceans of wineries and came to visit. We become ambassadors..and as I 've said to the winemakers many times " how does it make you feel that I'm/we're now the "experts" on your wines in x city/town?". I then say, it must not be too comforting. But, that's the goal, I think. And, it is also good for their egos, though , with exceptions, I've never thought that too many of them were motivated by egos...they're just carrying on a familial tradition.

A long way of saying, I don't think anything is necessary, but enthusiasm to be there...and knowledge about what that particular winery is up to/about. That is , I think, what the wineries are looking for....and the reason they receive us. (And, they often get to taste their wines in barrel from a particular barrel, which gives them more info.) Ask someone who lives nearby a vineyard, if you think you can do so comfortably, and ask to see their holding....if they do that, I think, you'll see what really motivates them....sharing their passion with those winemakers who are passionate about what they do.

Bottom line, I don't think bringing a gift adds anything....and.....might make the winemaker uncomfortable, given his/her goal: to make you a fan/"expert" in the hour or so that you have there. I think they call this "lagniape" in Louisiana. It's a huge part of Burgundy culture, too...

Now...obviously, there are exeptions...places that get overwhelmed and places, like DRC/Leroy, which feel they don't have to bother...

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Re: Planning a Trip to Burgundy: Advice Needed

#27 Post by K John Joseph » February 8th, 2013, 6:33 am

Thanks again
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Re: Planning a Trip to Burgundy: Advice Needed

#28 Post by Stuart BeauneHead Niemtzow » February 8th, 2013, 6:40 am

Eric Ifune wrote:Bring a wine shipper. The bigger the better. Difficult to get in Europe.
Eric....just curious what you mean..for carrying on the plane?

There was (or is) a supply store somewhere southeast of Dijon...near Brochon? that sells everything one could imagine for such things...as well as winemaking equipment. On one trip some winemaker sent us there...and it was exactly what we needed for all purposes. FWIW.

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Re: Planning a Trip to Burgundy: Advice Needed

#29 Post by dcornutt » February 8th, 2013, 7:07 am

Howard Cooper wrote:
For other things in Burgundy (hotels, restaurants, etc.), you need to buy this: http://www.burghound.com/guide.php One other way is to stay here: http://www.laterredor.com/en/ We did not really use that much of his help when stayign there, but I think Jean Louis will provide if requested a lot of help with domaines to visit, etc.

Let me say this, Burgundy is my favorite spot in the world to visit. With careful planning and a bit of work, it can be unbelievably memorable.
I agree with Howard. Burgundy is my favorite spot to visit. So many places to visit. The Burghound guide has some incredible suggestions. All are first rate.
You will find as many opinions about the best restaurant as you have people that you ask. I agree with pretty much everything written in Allen's Insider Guide.

I love La Terre d'Or but it is up on the Montaigne de Beaune. Jean-Louis is a great host however and would make your stay special. He does have some nice contacts with growers too. If you want to be closer, Jardin de Lois is the best deal to me.
Great people. Breakfast included. Walking distance to everything.

La Cep is great. I am staying a L'Hotel in May due to the size of our group. Not cheap but probably the nicest digs in Beaune.

Have a great time!
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Re: Planning a Trip to Burgundy: Advice Needed

#30 Post by dcornutt » February 8th, 2013, 7:11 am

S. Reynolds wrote:
Stuart BeauneHead Niemtzow wrote:And, re: gift bottles. I do have to chuckle about the amount of US (and other wine) many domaines get...we brought maple syrup from PA one year...and they didn't know what to do with it.... Those US bottles seem to pile up at some estates. I got the idea that the winemakers in Burgundy aren't all that interested in US wines for the most part. In fact, many of the winemakers are not even that interested in wine, per se. They make it; they sell it; they drink it...but....it's not their hobby or passion..not surprisingly. A gross generalization, of course, with many exceptions.
So what would you suggest then? What is the etiquette and a graceful, useful way to say thank you?
Spencer,

I can only offer another point of view here but we have always taken some unique thing from our area of the country. In Georgia, we have some of the best pecans on the planet. In the past, my small group has given a bag of pecans to the host of the tasting. It is personal and something consumable. We gave them a recipe for toasted pecans they could use with that incredible french butter. They seemed to like it.
If there is something that you think they would enjoy (not wine however.. they have plenty of that), I would take it as a thank you.

If you don't have something like this, just be prompt and enjoy the ride. They love passionate and enthusiastic Burgundy lovers. That is payment enough for them I think.

FWIW.
Last edited by dcornutt on February 8th, 2013, 7:14 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Planning a Trip to Burgundy: Advice Needed

#31 Post by Roger Nellans » February 8th, 2013, 7:13 am

dcornutt wrote:
Howard Cooper wrote:
For other things in Burgundy (hotels, restaurants, etc.), you need to buy this: http://www.burghound.com/guide.php One other way is to stay here: http://www.laterredor.com/en/ We did not really use that much of his help when stayign there, but I think Jean Louis will provide if requested a lot of help with domaines to visit, etc.

Let me say this, Burgundy is my favorite spot in the world to visit. With careful planning and a bit of work, it can be unbelievably memorable.
I agree with Howard. Burgundy is my favorite spot to visit. So many places to visit. The Burghound guide has some incredible suggestions. All are first rate.
You will find as many opinions about the best restaurant as you have people that you ask. I agree with pretty much everything written in Allen's Insider Guide.

I love La Terre d'Or but it is up on the Montaigne de Beaune. Jean-Louis is a great host however and would make your stay special. He does have some nice contacts with growers too. If you want to be closer, Jardin de Lois is the best deal to me.
Great people. Breakfast included. Walking distance to everything.

La Cep is great. I am staying a L'Hotel in May due to the size of our group. Not cheap but probably the nicest digs in Beaune.

Have a great time!
+1 on Jardin de Lois. I've stayed at there as well as La Terre d'Or...certainly Jardin de Lois is closer to Beaune and more convenient. Also, agree on l'Hotel....also the restaurant is great...just had my 70th BD party there...they did a fabulous job...
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Re: Planning a Trip to Burgundy: Advice Needed

#32 Post by Richard T r i m p i » February 8th, 2013, 7:14 am

Stuart, I've definitely run in to the problem Eric describes throughout Europe. He's talking about 12 or 15 bottle shippers for "check-in" on the plane. We often check-in an empty shipper on the way over. My wife has a handy shoulder bag that snuggly fits a 6 bottle shipper. It saves losing several hours trying to hunt for them....sometimes unsuccessfully. I would imagine that e-commerce is making wines shippers easier to find in France than just a few years ago.

RT

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Re: Planning a Trip to Burgundy: Advice Needed

#33 Post by Roger Nellans » February 8th, 2013, 7:22 am

Richard T r i m p i wrote:Stuart, I've definitely run in to the problem Eric describes throughout Europe. He's talking about 12 or 15 bottle shippers for "check-in" on the plane. We often check-in an empty shipper on the way over. My wife has a handy shoulder bag that snuggly fits a 6 bottle shipper. It saves losing several hours trying to hunt for them....sometimes unsuccessfully. I would imagine that e-commerce is making wines shippers easier to find in France than just a few years ago.

RT
Agree. I usually take my "Wine Check" . You can check it out at http://www.thewinecheck.com. It has wheels and easy to navigate through the airport...If you're taking the TGV to CDG, it can be a long walk to your airline and the shipper can get a bit heavy..
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Re: Planning a Trip to Burgundy: Advice Needed

#34 Post by Howard Cooper » February 8th, 2013, 8:44 am

S. Reynolds wrote:
Stuart BeauneHead Niemtzow wrote:And, re: gift bottles. I do have to chuckle about the amount of US (and other wine) many domaines get...we brought maple syrup from PA one year...and they didn't know what to do with it.... Those US bottles seem to pile up at some estates. I got the idea that the winemakers in Burgundy aren't all that interested in US wines for the most part. In fact, many of the winemakers are not even that interested in wine, per se. They make it; they sell it; they drink it...but....it's not their hobby or passion..not surprisingly. A gross generalization, of course, with many exceptions.
So what would you suggest then? What is the etiquette and a graceful, useful way to say thank you?
Not necessarily direct, but one thing I do is give the estate publicity. I write up my visits and post them on Wine Berserkers. I don't lie, but then don't have to because I am visiting producers I love. But, I do try to publicize how nice people have been to me and how good the wines are.

Also, I try to buy wines from the estates I visit, even if it is not until I get home. Again, not difficult because I visit wineries I love and because every time I drink a wine from a domaine I have visited it makes me remember fondly the visit.
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Re: Planning a Trip to Burgundy: Advice Needed

#35 Post by Howard Cooper » February 8th, 2013, 8:46 am

Marty Glembotzky wrote:My advice is to go to a domaine that is not imported to your country. Buy what you cannot get at home.
I guess my view is the opposite. Visit wineries where you would buy the wines later when you get home. Every time you drink the wine you will remember the visit, which is worth at least 5 points to the quality of the wine.
Howard

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Re: Planning a Trip to Burgundy: Advice Needed

#36 Post by Howard Cooper » February 8th, 2013, 8:50 am

dcornutt wrote:[

I love La Terre d'Or but it is up on the Montaigne de Beaune. Jean-Louis is a great host however and would make your stay special. He does have some nice contacts with growers too. If you want to be closer, Jardin de Lois is the best deal to me.
Great people. Breakfast included. Walking distance to everything.

La Cep is great. I am staying a L'Hotel in May due to the size of our group. Not cheap but probably the nicest digs in Beaune.

Have a great time!
The reason I recommended Terre d'Or is that they are new to Burgundy and don't know the region or the producers. As you said, Jean-Louis is a great host and will provide help.

For me, I often like to stay in Beaune (like le Cep) so I can walk to and from dinner.
Howard

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Re: Planning a Trip to Burgundy: Advice Needed

#37 Post by Howard Cooper » February 8th, 2013, 8:57 am

Richard T r i m p i wrote:Stuart, I've definitely run in to the problem Eric describes throughout Europe. He's talking about 12 or 15 bottle shippers for "check-in" on the plane. We often check-in an empty shipper on the way over. My wife has a handy shoulder bag that snuggly fits a 6 bottle shipper. It saves losing several hours trying to hunt for them....sometimes unsuccessfully. I would imagine that e-commerce is making wines shippers easier to find in France than just a few years ago.

RT
What i have done is buy things like this:


That way I don't have to incur the expense of an extra bag going. We bring an extra "suitcase" that is collapseable and stick it in a suitcase for the way going. We put the totes in large plastic bags in case anything goes wrong. Then put it in the middle of clothes.
Howard

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Re: Planning a Trip to Burgundy: Advice Needed

#38 Post by Stuart BeauneHead Niemtzow » February 8th, 2013, 9:29 am

Roger Nellans wrote:
Richard T r i m p i wrote:Stuart, I've definitely run in to the problem Eric describes throughout Europe. He's talking about 12 or 15 bottle shippers for "check-in" on the plane. We often check-in an empty shipper on the way over. My wife has a handy shoulder bag that snuggly fits a 6 bottle shipper. It saves losing several hours trying to hunt for them....sometimes unsuccessfully. I would imagine that e-commerce is making wines shippers easier to find in France than just a few years ago.

RT
Agree. I usually take my "Wine Check" . You can check it out at http://www.thewinecheck.com. It has wheels and easy to navigate through the airport...If you're taking the TGV to CDG, it can be a long walk to your airline and the shipper can get a bit heavy..
That seems like a great option, Roger. For a case..or two. Saves running to find an alternative once you are there.

In 1985, on People Express, we carried back 7 cases; 1988, we carried back 9; cases on the plane; in 1990 13 . Remember running around Paris looking for bubble wrap, which we found. Lost a bottle two times...on the luggage conveyor belt..in Newark or JFK.

Then I got smarter...and found a way to ship things that didn't involve carry on, except for the most valuable stuff...always took at least 3 cases on the plane every trip. Nowadays, that would seem prohibitive....ON the 1988 and 1990 trip, we didn't pay a cent extra...except for negligible "duty" in Newark. Those days are gone gone gone. The terrorists and airlines have "won" ; us terroirists have lost our world. [soap.gif]

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Re: Planning a Trip to Burgundy: Advice Needed

#39 Post by Eric Ifune » February 8th, 2013, 10:32 am

Yeah, I used to check in a couple of cases and carry one another. Once I broke a bottle of the 1989 Trimbach Frederic Emile VT in the Frankfurt Airport. People remarked how lovely my carryon smelled!

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Re: Planning a Trip to Burgundy: Advice Needed

#40 Post by Berry Crawford » February 8th, 2013, 11:42 am

Im a little late to the party here but here is my advice on visiting burgundy:

There is a lot more to Burgundy than the Cote d'Or. You get more traditional home cooking and its more beautiful in other areas. My favorite day and best meal was in Tournus for example. The Haute cotes could be a vacation in itself.

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Re: Planning a Trip to Burgundy: Advice Needed

#41 Post by Alan Rath » February 8th, 2013, 12:16 pm

Howard Cooper wrote:
dcornutt wrote:The reason I recommended Terre d'Or is that they are new to Burgundy and don't know the region or the producers. As you said, Jean-Louis is a great host and will provide help.
Another reco for Terre d'Or. We stayed there in October, 2011, and greatly enjoyed it. Has gotten a little more expensive now, but if it fits the price range, I wouldn't hesitate.
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Re: Planning a Trip to Burgundy: Advice Needed

#42 Post by Richard T r i m p i » February 8th, 2013, 12:55 pm

Berry Crawford wrote:There is a lot more to Burgundy than the Cote d'Or. You get more traditional home cooking and its more beautiful in other areas. My favorite day and best meal was in Tournus for example. The Haute cotes could be a vacation in itself.
It's worth it to spend time in the Cote d'Or to get a feel for things, but I agree with your point. There's a wonderful world of scenery, people, wine and food in the Beaune Hills and south of Chassagne-Montrachet.

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Re: Planning a Trip to Burgundy: Advice Needed

#43 Post by Stuart BeauneHead Niemtzow » February 8th, 2013, 1:31 pm

Berry Crawford wrote:
There is a lot more to Burgundy than the Cote d'Or. You get more traditional home cooking and its more beautiful in other areas. My favorite day and best meal was in Tournus for example. The Haute cotes could be a vacation in itself.
Take a good GPS with you if you're planning to visit the Hautes Cotes....other than Piemonte, I've never been more consistently lost than when I've visited the hamlets on the Hautes Cotes...and tried to get back to where I was staying..This is all pre-GPS.

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Re: Planning a Trip to Burgundy: Advice Needed

#44 Post by Mark Y » February 8th, 2013, 1:40 pm

Logistical question:

What airport would you fly to? Paris then connect somewhere?
then what? rent a car and drive? how far from the airport etc?
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Re: Planning a Trip to Burgundy: Advice Needed

#45 Post by Alan Rath » February 8th, 2013, 2:27 pm

Paris is the only sensible arrival for someone coming from U.S. It's about a 3 hour drive to Beaune from CDG, would take a lot longer by train, getting into Paris, getting train, transfers, etc. You could potentially take the TGV to Lyon and rent a car there to come back north, but that doesn't really make a lot of sense, unless you want to spend some time in Paris first, and avoid driving out of Paris (not fun). Another possibility is flying into Geneva, and rent your car there (but do it on the French side of the airport). A bit shorter drive from there to Beaune. OTOH, if your flight would go through LHR (e.g. on BA), might make more sense to fly to Lyon and get a car there.
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Re: Planning a Trip to Burgundy: Advice Needed

#46 Post by Brian Bohr » February 8th, 2013, 2:39 pm

Alan Rath wrote:Paris is the only sensible arrival for someone coming from U.S.
I flew direct from LA to Frankfurt (Lufthansa) and then caught a connection to Lyon. Rent a car in Lyon and it is just over an hour from Beaune (or 45 minutes from the Northern Rhone). Avoided all of the Paris traffic.
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Re: Planning a Trip to Burgundy: Advice Needed

#47 Post by Alan Rath » February 8th, 2013, 3:01 pm

Brian, that's along the lines of what I was suggesting at the end of my post, probably shouldn't have led with "only sensible" ;)
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Re: Planning a Trip to Burgundy: Advice Needed

#48 Post by Berry Crawford » February 9th, 2013, 9:17 am

Richard T r i m p i wrote:
Berry Crawford wrote:There is a lot more to Burgundy than the Cote d'Or. You get more traditional home cooking and its more beautiful in other areas. My favorite day and best meal was in Tournus for example. The Haute cotes could be a vacation in itself.
It's worth it to spend time in the Cote d'Or to get a feel for things, but I agree with your point.
Yeah, I assume they will spend most of their time on the cote but I strongly recommend they take a day or two to explore the surrounding countryside. Both my wife and I agree that it was the best part of our trip. (not that I didn't love walking the vineyards and meeting producers)

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Re: Planning a Trip to Burgundy: Advice Needed

#49 Post by Alan Rath » February 9th, 2013, 10:47 am

Berry, we're going for a week this October. Will be our second trip, so looking to explore a bit more. What are your favorite surrounding places?
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Re: Planning a Trip to Burgundy: Advice Needed

#50 Post by Andrew Nielsen » February 9th, 2013, 12:04 pm

I am happy for them to host them for a visit if they wish, I'll be around the week of the 8th if they are still in town.

La Miotte, Caves Madeleine, Les Comptoirs des Tons Tons & Auberge du Clocher for lunch/dinners. Vins de Maurice is my favourite wine bar right now as Maurice is delightful individual.
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