July 2016 – France – Impressionism and Gourmet Travel – Chapter 3-3: Driving through the Côte de Beaune, shopping in Beaune

July 2016 France "Impressionism and the journey of gourmet"
July 2016 France "Impressionism and the journey of gourmet"

Visit Date: July 20, 2016

Purchase an appellation guide at a local tourist information center

Sightseeing in Burgundy after 4 years. The last time I came here was when I was on a tour of the most beautiful villages in France. I did wine-related sightseeing again this time.

The day before our visit, we decided to go to the tourist information center in Dijon to check out the wine cellar tours. There were a lot of cellar tours and they looked interesting, but the cheapest one was 60 euros per person, and the most greedy one was 100 euros. It’s true that you can get a lot of explanations and tastings, but it’s easy to go there by car, and I thought it was too expensive and wasteful, so I didn’t apply. Besides, I don’t understand the language even if the local people explain it to me. I don’t have the ability to follow the French guide yet, so I need to study more and more.

So I decided to go around on my own at my own pace. As usual lol.

さてどこに行くのか、3年前には「コート・ド・ニュイ(Côte de Nuits)」を縦断したことがありましたので、今回は「[highlight]コート・ド・ボーヌ(Côte de Beaune)」[/highlight]をドライブしてみることにしました。

Let’s check the location. Burgundy is divided into five major areas when it comes to wine, and the most famous of these areas are the Côte de Nuits and the Côte de Beaune.


The main cities of Burgundy are Dijon and Beaune, Dijon being to the north of Beaune. Between Dijon and Beaune on the north side is the « Côte de Nuits », and the « Côte de Beaune » stretches to the south of Beaune. I think the distance between Dijon and Beaune was about 20 minutes if you drove on a public road.


So we left Dijon after breakfast, took the highway to Beaune, and then followed the national road south along the Côte de Beaune to our first destination, Santenay. We ended up in the very quiet village of Santenay, about 50 minutes from Dijon. I parked my car in the central square and went to the tourist information center. The tourist information center was located in the station. I didn’t know whether the train was running or not.

Côte de Beaune_20072016-_MG_8077

We found the following books and maps which seemed to be written in detail about Burgundy wine, so we bought them. It is here.

You can also study French with this, so you can kill two birds with one stone.

The following is a brief description of the approximate structure and structure of Burgundy wines based on the guide.

The guidebook is full of information and will be quite detailed!

By the way, the guidebook which I bought at the tourist information center in Santenay is quite substantial and very informative. I might carry this with me.

In fact, at that time, I only looked at the map and the name of the village (Domaine) when I was sightseeing there, but still, it will be very useful for the future.

Now, to give you an idea of what this book is actually about, here’s a bit of an introduction to some of the contents of this guidebook. (Some of the sources may be from the website.

The map is easy to read and comprehensive, and shows the Grand Cru and Premier Cru vineyards at a glance

For example, the following is an example of a vineyard in the village of Arroz Corton. The reds are Grand Cru vineyards, the oranges are Premier Cru, and the yellows are vineyards with AOC status.

Corton is a village very famous for its Grand Cru red and white wines. And the Corton Charlemagne, a special class, is the most famous and exclusive wine in the Burgundy cellar. Will there ever be a day when I can drink it? I’ve got the location figured out!

Actually, it’s more white wine.

I think I misunderstood because I personally like red wine, but in fact, Burgundy produces more white wine than red wine.


Of the wines produced in Burgundy, red wines account for 28,6%, while white wines more than double at 61,2%, with the remainder being Crémant (see left figure).

However, only the Grand Cru seems to have more red wines. The proportion of white wines seems to be highest in Appellations Villages (see right).

The types of grapes (cepage) are simple and straightforward!


Is this common knowledge for wine lovers? You might say so. The percentage of white wine is higher, which inevitably means that Chardonnay is more common.

and there is a lot of information like this. It’s going to be quite detailed. Now I just need to be able to taste each domaine, each vintage! (But that’s the hardest part…)

This time we traversed the Côte de Beaune!

So, let’s go back to the story again. As I mentioned before, we decided to go across the Côte de Beaune. If you look at the map, it looks like this. It’s a beautiful map. This is made by the site of Burgundy.


However, at the beginning, we didn’t stop at the producer’s place to get an explanation of this and that, but we just continued driving to enjoy the atmosphere. (I thought it would be difficult without a guide.) So, I moved around while being aware of this village. But when you actually go to a place with a map by yourself, you can feel where and how far you have to go to find a village, and you can remember it. Anyway, I think I have become strong in geography, and I can answer the questions even if they appear on a test.

From Santenay, which is almost at the southernmost tip of the Côte de Beaune, we went north along the « Grand Cru Road ». Even though it’s a Grand Cru road, it’s just an ordinary road as you can see.

Côte de Beaune_20072016-_MG_8091

You can drive a car without any problem. You can see some drivers who seem to be tourists here and there. Most of them are running slowly.

Anyway, it was a beautiful day and not too hot since it was still in the morning, so it was a perfect day to drive and occasionally get off and walk around. In the beginning, we went north to Beaune, and we didn’t have an appointment, but we thought we’d go and see if there was a domaine or a winemaker’s facility that we could visit.

Lunchtime in the city of Meursault

Even though we only drove through three villages (Santenay → Chassagne-Montrachet → Puligny-Montrachet), it was more fun than I expected. Was it a surprisingly long distance?

Just after noon, we were in the village of Meursault, almost in the center of the Côte de Beaune, so we decided to take a lunch break here. Meursault was one of the larger villages we passed through so far.

Côte de Beaune_20072016-_MG_8106

The village of Meursault has a lot of white wine and Chardonnay, so we had a glass of white wine for lunch. However, I had to drive, so I only had a little of what my wife ordered.

For lunch, I chose the daily menu (Menus formule). I had the chef’s terrine.

And I asked for the local dish from Burgundy here, « Egg Mouret ». It was my first time to eat it. It tasted just like this.

ところでブルゴーニュにはAOCを含め数多くのフロマージュがあります。その代表の[highlight]「エポワス(Epoisse)」[/highlight]、これをふんだんに、というかほぼまるごと?つかった「Tartipoisses (Tartiflette à l’epoisseを縮めたこのホテルの造語かと)」を頼んだのは私の妻。ゼッタイこっちほうが美味しそうだ。

I just thought it looked a little heavy. I hope it didn’t affect your night….

It was a casual restaurant run by a small local hotel, but it was not bad. The appearance is like this.

Côte de Beaune_20072016-_MG_8103

Meursault was a small but nice city. Even though it was small, it was there in this area.

After dinner, stop at Volnay, Pommard, etc.

After a break in Meursault, we headed north towards Beaune. Between Meursault and Beaune, there are

  • Auxey-Duresses(オーセイ・デュレス)
  • Monthéli(モンテリ)
  • Volnay(ヴォルネイ)
  • Pommard(ポマール)

There are some villages which are recognized as AOC. We dropped in on the villages of Volnay and Pommard.

We parked our car in the square where the village of Volnay, the town hall on a slightly higher ground, and the church are located, and went sightseeing to the extent of taking photos.

Côte de Beaune_20072016-_MG_8111

Côte de Beaune_20072016-_MG_8115

Pommard is also a small town and was beautiful. There were directly managed shops of various domaines. If it wasn’t hot season, I would have shopped there.

Côte de Beaune_20072016-_MG_8119

Côte de Beaune_20072016-_MG_8123

The directions are excellent and bicycles are recommended.

Côte de Beaune_20072016-_MG_8080

By the way, the Côte de Beaune is about 20km long at most between Santenay and Beaune, where we started this time. The road is flat and there is not much traffic, so there are many people walking around by bicycle. Indeed, I think there were many people on bicycles.

There are many bicycle maps in each village in Burgundy, so you will never be short of information. However, language ability is required. There were some places where the guide was only in French. However, there are maps and photos, so you should be fine.

Côte de Beaune_20072016-_MG_8117


レンタル自転車関連情報: Location de Vélo – Bourgogne Évasion

The price is 20 euros per adult per day for a normal bicycle, and 40 euros per day for a normal bicycle, which is rather expensive, but it seems that electric bicycles can also be rented, so older people can go to some extent.

I think I’ll try it for exercise purposes next time I go.

A little bit of sightseeing in Beaune

Then we arrived in Beaune. I was there to buy wine, but I also did a little sightseeing. Speaking of Beaune, this is the place, but I’ll skip the details. Sorry.

Côte de Beaune_20072016-_MG_8133

Côte de Beaune_20072016-_MG_8145

Of course, the souvenir is the familiar European Yamato wine delivery service

In Beaune, the capital of Burgundy wine, there are many shops selling wine, but since the season is in the middle of summer and there is still a week to go before I go back to Japan, if I buy wine here, I will have to carry it in my car under the hot sun. So we can’t just buy it directly and go home.

But we do have you, Yamato Transport! We have a wonderful system called European Yamato Wine Delivery. We used to use it in Champagne and in the Medoc. Here in Burgundy, there are several shops in the city of Beaune that can use European Yamato’s wine delivery service, but they are mainly in Beaune.

List of stores where European Yamato is available:.

これらの4店舗のうち3つに行ってみました。まず3のLES VINS DE MAURICE (レ・ヴァン・ドゥ・モーリス)さんはボーヌ市内にありましたが行ったときには閉まっていました。たまたまヴァカンス中だったのでしょうか。

続いて2のLa Grande Boutique du Vin (ラ グラン ブティック ドゥ ヴァン)さんですが、こちらはボーヌの中心から少し離れたところになるのでクルマで移動していきました。お店は開いておりましたがとても広いところ、いろいろ取扱の品は多かったのですが、逆に大きすぎてどうしたらよいのかわからない感じ。まだ開いていそうだったので、とりあえずもう一軒の3の「」に行ってみることにしました。

そして最後に訪問した1の[highlight]MAGNUM (マグナム)[/highlight]さんは、一見すると普通の民家で本当にここがお店なのか外から見ただけでは全くわかりません。それもそのはず、普通のガレージをワイン貯蔵庫として利用しているからです。どうやらガレージのシャッターは常に閉めっぱなしで、一年中エアコンで温度調整をしているようです。

When I visited there, we were the only customers. A young woman answered our questions, but since I was a foreigner and my French was still not good enough to speak enough to buy a bottle of wine, the owner who seemed to speak English came out and answered our questions.


He told me that there is actually a Japanese woman working here, but unfortunately she is not working today. He told me that if I had any questions, I could contact her by phone, so please don’t worry. Well, even though I’m just buying wine and I’ve used Yamato delivery service several times, it’s better to have someone who can understand your language in case of emergency.

I was given a wine list, but there were so many different types and vintages that I had no choice but to take his advice.

I asked you briefly to…

  1. 赤(ピノ・ノワール)と白(シャルドネ)をそれぞれ半々ずつ
  2. だいたい1本あたり5000円から10000円くらいで買えそうなプルミエクリュとかが理想
  3. でもグランクリュでもあったら教えてもらいたい

I wonder if my way of communicating the price per bottle has improved. I guess they thought it was impossible to buy a Grand Cru for less than 10,000 yen. Well, I knew that much about it, but I went there because it was local, but it was still not there.

However, at the Premier Cru level, I think I could find something that fit my budget quite well. The vintage is inevitably younger, but still adequate.

In the end, we ended up with the following items to purchase.

I guess I should have been a little more straightforward and said I wanted a bottle or two of the Grand Cru class as well, even if I had to say the price to some extent. But it would have been a waste of money and I wouldn’t have drunk it. It’s really difficult to order wine.

So I successfully selected the product, and now I just need to send it to Japan. Of course, it is summer now, so I told them that I would like to send it in October when it is cooler. They said no problem. Apparently, they can keep it for about half a year. Then I filled out the various forms and completed the process. Because the person of the shop seemed to have been accustomed to it, the procedure went extremely smoothly.

At the end of the day, I was able to get in touch with a Japanese person who works at this shop, so I talked to him on the phone. I reconfirmed that I would like him to send me the book in October just in case.

This is the end of the purpose. The wine I bought here arrived safely in October. Before sending it from France, I was informed by email that I would be sending it soon.

This is a rather redundant and unorganized post, but I think it means that I spent a very fulfilling day. I feel that I still have a lot to learn about both wine and French, so I would like to visit this place again to experience more things and deepen my understanding.