Adventures in Burgundy


The Burgundy wine region, home to the best Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays (and Boeuf Bourgogne) you'll ever taste, is just a short trip from Paris. You can take a train to Dijon and then rent a car and drive down the fabled but unpretentious Cote d'Or to Beaune, where you'll want to stay for a few days. Beaune is convenient to the different vineyards and has its own charms, including good restaurants (eating and drinking are undertaken with great enthusiasm in Burgundy) and a bustling outdoor market on Saturdays. The must-see spot in town is the Hospices de Beaune, also known as Hotel Dieu, a former home for the indigent that's now a museum. It's a real treat, stunning inside and out (the interior can be seen, ever so briefly, in a scene in the enjoyable French film "Roman de Gare"). In the countryside, the wineries tend to be very small and not really geared up for visits by the public, but there are plenty of places where you can taste several wines and get a good education about the various terroirs and wine classifications. One surprising fact: the region produces much more white wine than red.