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 Moët 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!