Tag Archives: Beaune

The cellars of Champagne

The first day we were in Beaune we went biking. There was a bike route that went through the vineyards and villages. We cycled through 32 km of country back roads and farm paths, occasionally coming across a small village. Conveniently there were corner stores in every village so we could get water because the day went up to 35C!

On the second day we walked around the town of Beaune. We went to a mustard tasting where we tried 10 different kinds of mustard, some spicy, some mild, some have berries and some unusual flavors like blackberry or red pepper, Ryan’s favorite was maple syrup!

The B&B we are staying at is the best we have visited so far, with a spacious interior and an air conditioning unit, even the pool was the best one (because it was so hot outside). For that reason we swam in the morning of our big drive from Beaune to Verzy in the Champagne region.

We went to visit some big champagne houses on our first day. We visited Mo√ęt and Chandon’s champagne cellars where we learned the process on how to make champagne. One would first make regular white wine by pressing and fermenting the grapes. You then bottle it with added yeast and sugar to ferment more, this second fermentation is what gives champagne its bubbles. Once the second fermentation is complete there is residue or sediment on the bottom of the bottle, to get it out they tilt the bottle forward so it all comes to the neck of the bottle which they freeze, open the bottle and the small ice cube pops right out.

The second champagne house we went to had closed its cellars but we saw how they promoted their company. For example, they built the world’s biggest barrel of champagne and carted it to the world expo in Paris where it won second place behind the Eiffel tower. What I found interesting is Champagne grapes must be picked by hand so that the red skin of the grape does not interfere with the white juice. We are learning a lot in the region of champagne, and I hope to learn more! See you next time!

Beaune

We have left Annecy now and have driven north west to Beaune. We are on our way north to Belgium.To our surprise it feels far hotter now then when we were in Annecy. On our drive we stopped at a Chateau, Ryan and I were expecting antiques and castles but we were astonished to find seven different motor museums in the chateau’s grounds.

The first one was a motorcycle museum full of many strange and some typical motorcycles from the 1920’s onwards. The second museum was about the Abarth race car, an Italian manufacturer of race cars. They had at least twenty different kinds of cars, all unique and all red!

The next museum was a tractor museum, the tractors in this area are not the kind we would normally see. They are suspended far off the ground with four legs for the wheels. It is made to go over the grape vines to spray pesticides, prune them and pick them when they are ready to harvest. Because all that functionality is crammed into one machine it is quite complicated so it looks like a robot.

The most interesting museum was the fighter jet museum. With at least thirty kinds of planes from WWII to The Cold War to the present, there was a lot to see and learn from these full size retired aircraft. As we got to the end we saw a small car museum with a few custom cars and a fire truck museum with old fire trucks.

We then made our way to our B&B, we were glad to find air conditioning in the house when we arrived. We also enjoyed the pool which was warm from the sun. We are enjoying ourselves a lot and I hope to see you next time!