The daily diary of a wandering restaurateur
June 1 - Pommard, Beaune

Well, we couldn't very well spend a week in Burgundy without going to at least ONE legendary winery, and since this was our last full day here, today was obviously the day. We headed south past Beaune to Pommard and visited the Chateau de Pommard itself. They have been making wine here since the 1600's and they have it figured out! Chateau de Pommard is the largest single block of Pinot Noir grape under one ownership . . . and the owners still live in the chateau! The place is ancient. There is something about exquisite wine aging in natural caves that does wonderful things to the senses and history was all around us today. You can follow along with the photos in the section below.

After the tour . . . and tasting . . . and purchase of a few bottles to put away for awhile . . . we went into town for a late lunch. This time the lunch gods were with us and we arrived at a wonderful little restaurant 15 minutes before they closed for the afternoon. We did the Burgundian thing -- escargot, Boeuf Bourigignon, roasted rabbit in mustard sauce and even a Creme Brulee (with, of course, a glass of local red) -- all of it exquisite and, for once, very reasonably priced. I was particularly impressed with the dessert presentation which you can see in the restaurant photos.

Heading back toward home put us in Beaune, the heart of the Burgundy region. One guide book I saw called it the "Disneyland of Wine" and while it was not quite that commercial, there were a lot of places to taste and purchase the local grape. There were also a ton of antique shops which gladdened Margene's heart! Beaune has a nice feel about it, even for a small city.

Then it was on to Dijon to buy a little more of the draft mustard. The Palace of the Dukes of Burgundy not withstanding, Dijon seems like a semi-sophisticated medium-sized city to me. Of course, we got there right at rush hour so we found a parking spot, bought our mustard and headed for the relative sanity of the rural life in Fontaine-Francaise (not to mention the aperitif hour and dinner with the new crop of guests!)

Tonight was a very full house. We had two film-makers from Brussels, a couple from England on their way to Switzerland, a family from the Netherlands headed to a family reunion in southern France and another Dutch couple on a French tour (we think.) Three or four languages going at any one time, lots of laughing and some very different dinner conversation from what you may find at your neighborhood Applebee's. I am really going to miss the camaraderie of this place.

Tomorrow we head for the outskirts of Paris for two nights, then out at the crack of dawn on Monday morning. I don't know what we will have to report tomorrow, but I will at least post the photos of the people that have made this week so magical for us.

Chateau de Pommard Winery


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