Winter promises to be hot!
Little by little, winter takes hold in Burgundy. The sun plays hide and seek behind the smoke that rises from the bonfires scattered across the vineyards. Temperatures fall and nature gently succumbs to sleep. It’s the perfect moment to sample the warm hospitality of the Burgundians: relax at a spa in the heart of Joigny, sit by the fire at a hotel in the Côte de Nuits or a gîte in the Morvan or enjoy a glass of wine in Saint-Vincent Tournante.
The perfect morsel.
The fog lifts slowly over the hills of the Côte Chalonnaise. A few clouds of smoke rise from the rows of bare vines: depending on their size, the logs are burnt on carts known as « brûlots ». In the woodlands, a few rays of sunshine pierce the trees and delight walkers that are well wrapped up. Accompanied by the dog, one of them is on a treasure hunt: looking for truffles! This fungus was the first truffle to be served at the table of the Kings of France! The rewards are well worth the effort. Nevertheless, there are easier ways to discover this exceptional product. You can visit the Maison de la Truffe in Marey-les-Fussey, in the Hautes-côtes, or have lunch at one of the region’s excellent restaurants. . Burgundy’s chefs do justice to local and seasonal produce much to the delight of gourmets. Lunch by the fire is a pleasure: Bresse poultry with truffles, accompanied by a glass of Rully. What a treat!
« Lunch by the fire is a pleasure: Bresse poultry with truffles, accompanied by a glass of Rully. What a treat! »
A dream for young and old alike!
Before the holidays, nothing could be better than a trip to enjoy the fresh air of the Morvan: the Nièvre is one of the main French producers of Christmas trees. Fun and invigorating, a walk in the forest is also educational. It takes a Christmas tree 9 years to reach a height of 1m50! Patience is of the essence…
Even if you are not intending to take home a Christmas Tree, you should come to plan your New Year’s Eve menu: smoked salmon from Borvo served as an amuse-bouche, Burgundy snails for starters, Bresse capons with morel mushrooms and, of course, an incredible selection of regional cheeses. You could also enjoy some sweet treats, such as gingerbread bought at the Christmas markets and chocolates from Bernard Dufoux. For wines that accompany your dishes perfectly, there is Chablis, Maranges or even Aloxe-Corton. Your end of year festivities will be unforgettable and bursting with the memories of your time in Burgundy.
After Christmas and New Year, it’s time for the wine festivals that the cold weather can’t stop. Quite the opposite in fact! Festive, convivial and warm, the Saint-Vincent Tournante for example, that commemorates the patron saint of wine growers, takes place on the last weekend of January every year. Those who love bubbles will have to wait their turn, until March, to celebrate Crémant du Châtillonnais in fine style.
Burgundy also finds a place under the Christmas tree.
Burgundy provides you with so many good ideas for treating your friends and your loved one. What would you say to a break that combines gastronomy, wine tasting, walking and relaxation? It is the ideal cocktail to help you rediscover your smile this winter. Head to Joigny, in the Côte Saint-Jacques . Jean-Michel Lorrain, a 3 star chef, has turned his hotel on the banks of the Yonne into a veritable haven of peace. The spa is, quite simply, breathtaking!
Are you still looking for presents? When it comes to gastronomy, cookery classes are all the rage: in a group or in pairs, they allow you to discover seasonal produce and brush up on the classics – bœuf bourguignon, eggs en meurette, gougères pastry puffs, wine/food pairings – or to explore other sweet and savoury worlds. In Burgundy, there is something to suit all tastes! The region is also home to artisans: glassware or faïence pottery near Nevers, sandstone in Puisaye, pottery in the Mâconnais, the engraving and printing of artworks in the Yonne. Courses are organised all year round and in the four corners of the region.
A Cocooning stop-over en route to the slopes.
February is on the horizon and the school holidays are almost here. If you are heading for a winter-sports break Burgundy provides the ideal stop-over. It is pointless racking up the kilometres. Just a short distance from the motorway junctions, Burgundian hosts will bend over backwards to make your stay pleasurable. You can start by sampling a good hot chocolate on the terrace of a little bistro in Nuits-Saint-Georges. The last rays of afternoon sunshine are really comforting. After visiting the Cassissium (or the Imaginarium) and spending a night in a guest house hidden away in the Hautes-Côtes, you will be smiling when you hit the road again. Some of you will decide to stop a little further down, in southern Burgundy. A visit to the Hameau du Vin (or Touroparc) in Romanèche-Thorins, followed by a stroll along the wharf at Mâcon, will allow you to recharge the batteries. The kids feel refreshed and the parents can calmly re-start their journey after having enjoyed a night in a cosy city-centre hotel.
Why not take a break?
This year, forget about the trip to the mountains and enjoy a well-deserved holiday in Burgundy. Drop your bags off in Dijon where a huge surprise awaits the little ones. The Festival à Pas Contés is completely dedicated to children, with theatre, story-telling, concerts, dance… Head to Beaune, where young and old alike will set off to discover one of the stars of the region: Mustard! There are fun tours of the production site, as well as tastings. The Fallot mustard factory is the last family run, independent and traditional company to be producing this famous condiment and it is great! Budding archaeologists can dive into the history of the Gauls at Bibracte , before setting off for Augustodunum (Autun) ), the Gallo-Roman capital and sampling some sweet treats, Noisettes or Croquets du Morvan. This winter in Burgundy will be an eye-opener for your little ones.