Dijon, France–Really, you’ve come all the way to France and you’re only going to spend 4 hours touring the wine route in Burgundy? Well, if that’s all you have, it’s possible to do it and do it well through Alter & Go. What turned out to be the highlight of our trip to France was a four-hour trip into the terrior and back roads outside Dijon to sample local cheese, wine, and to see vineyards and historical sites.
Our guide, Damien, first stopped at a bakery and bread oven built in medieval days that is still used once a year. We drove a short way to a church in Fixin built in in the 10th and 12th centuries and still used today. “If you see a church with two roofs, you know it is Gothic,” he said.
We drove by a round washing well, unusual in that most were square shaped. It looked like a lovely fountain. The sky, dotted with clouds, is quite typical of the area, according to Damien. “We have a mystical atmosphere. The sun changes, the clouds change the colors of the vineyards,” he said. What a wonderful way to embrace a rolling cloud day!
After a short drive, we stop at the Gaugry cheese factory to sample various local cheeses. Sometimes cheese production is underway, but today there are just a few workers handling the cheeses. Apparently a slight patting by hand is necessary to make the cheese taste just so, as well as a bit of alcohol in some. The samples, along with a small glass of wine, create a perfect moment of pleasure. There is also time to buy local mustard and cheeses, and a bit of gingerbread, flavored with blackberry.
After the cheese factory, we drive up to view more vinewards. “If someone says they know of Burgundy, they would be lying. We say it would take two or three lifetimes (to sample all the wines)” he says.
Soon we are heading into a village where Phillipe LeClerc’s winery is located. We tour the cellars, see a bit of his extensive collection of wine and farming equipment, and then settle in for a wine tasting. We try several levels, from village to cru to grand cru burgundys. Each has a distinctive scent and flavor of course, and we rate our favorites. There is time to buy a bottle of wine for the trip home, and then back to Dijon.
Tours with Alter & go can be booked directly through the Dijon Tourism Office.