When in FRANCE, one must stop & taste the wine. FRANCE is one of the largest wine producers in the world. French wine is produced all throughout the country. We chose to visit BURGUNDY region, east-central FRANCE. It’s most famous for its red wine made from Pinot Noir grapes and white wine made from Chardonnay grapes. We chose to make BEAUNE our home simply for its location.
We spent one full day biking from winery to winery. We rented our bikes from Location de velos Bike rental.
You can book your reservation in advance online, you can even get them to deliver your bikes to your stay if you request it. We rented the bikes the morning of. Their shop is very close to the centre of BEAUNE and the beginning of the bike path La Voie Des Vignes that we took. The staff were lovely – explained the bike route and recommended wineries & restaurants we should visit along the way.
La Voie Des Vignes is a cycling route that allows you to ride along the windy vineyard paths and passes through small cobblestone villages. It did get interesting once the thirty degree weather hit and after a couple wineries to say the least. And of course, the vineyards need all the sun they can get to grow, which means no shade, haha. Bring lots of water + sunscreen. We wouldn’t have done it any other way.
This was a different trip for us – we didn’t pre-book anything, we went with the flow and I loved it.
CHATEAU DE MEURSAULT – We biked 11 km (with stops along the way) to CHATEAU DE MEURSAULT. It was recommended to us by the bike rental company. We took a wine tour through their cellars that dates all the way back to the 12th century. We learned about the different grapes in the region and how the soil and elevation of the vineyard affect wine production. The wine was amazing.
DOMAINE MICHEL LAHAYE – On our way back to BEAUNE, a breathtaking garden in front of a winery caught our eye. An older gentleman and lady were sitting a table in the garden, conversing in french. We couldn’t tell if it was open or not. As we were about to ride away, our friend David asks if they are open and to our surprise, he starts waving us all in. We enter through a massive door that he closes behind us and we enter into a small room that isn’t anything special. Not going to lie, I was a tad concerned at this point. In reality, I had no reason to be. He sat us down at the table in the middle of the room and he started pouring us very generous amounts of his wine. He went on to tell us about his vineyards and his wine. You could tell he loved what he did and that he took pride in his wine. Not too long after we entered, there was a knock at the door, more people inquired if it was opened and he let them all in. I guess we started a trend. There was probably 11 people plus the owner in a small room just enjoying his wine. When we finished, he didn’t even want to charge us for the tasting – I’m telling you, he poured VERY generous amounts of wine. His wine was delicious and bought a few bottles instead. This was what all of us were wanting to experience at a winery in FRANCE.
LE GALION – Okay, so we really wanted to eat at LES POPIETTES, but they were fully booked and the french take their time with meals so the server recommend LE GALION instead. We sat outside enjoying our escargot (snails) & beef bourguignon (beef stew braised in red wine) which were delicious.
LE BON ACCUEIL – This family run restaurant is located on a hilltop overlooking BEAUNE. Our AirBnB was close by so we walked to it. It had a beautiful view, an outside patio and very welcoming staff. The other customers were locals, which is always a good sign. The food was delicious – we tried the Foie Gras (duck liver pate) & escargot (because I’m obsessed). Moderate prices and LARGE portions – I’d go back.
PICNIC – On our bike ride, we had a really hard time finding a lunch spot. Everything appeared closed and the places that were open kept saying they were full (when they clearly had open tables). Anyway, we made the best of the situation, grabbed sandwiches at a local bakery and had a picnic at the park. By the way – we did this A LOT in FRANCE. The sandwiches are so fresh and cheap that it was a great way to enjoy food
We stayed at Gite Les Pierres Blanches through AirBnB. We had an entire place to ourselves that backed into vineyards and with a view of BEAUNE.
Marilyn’s space was decorated in a mid-century modern design, very clean and she was an incredible host. Gave us recommendations and answered our questions quickly when needed. When your place backs up on a vineyard, who wouldn’t take photos 😛 ?
** There was no damage to the vineyards while taking these photos. We respected the plants and Marilyn’s property as we always do. **
ROAD TRIP – we rented a car from SIXT for the rest of our trip. We had no issues with the rental while we were there. We drove from PARIS to BEAUNE which roughly took 3 hours.