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Day Trip to Beaune?

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Is there way to visit a decent chateau near Beaune or Dijon without having to rent a car? I'm planning on taking the TGV to either Beaune or Burgandy and was hoping to catch a bus of some sort that'll take me to a nearby chateau (kinda like what I was able to do in Florence). We will not have a car but recommendations for cheap bike rentals in either city would be greatly appreciated. Also any notable chateaus near either Beaune or Dijon within walking/biking distance would also be appreciated. Thanks in advance!

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  1. Id think if you got down to Beaune from Dijon (I dont know the travel options) it would be en excellent place to base for some vineyard visits and that biking around that area would work just fine (there are many small roads and marked bike trails through the vineyard area. which is very close indeed to the town of Beaune. The town is itself very interesting with many tasting opportunities. Give yourself a day or two and you will be happy. Cant imagine a day trip working too well, though.

    Here's a post about our quick visit (by car) to the area last June and a very nice restaurant we enjoyed just outside the walls in Beaune - we had a couple of quick tasting visits in Volnay and Meursault - just dont try vineyard visits at lunchtime - the tasting rooms will pretty much all be closed!

    http://www.chowhound.com/topics/30584...

    2 Replies
    1. re: jen kalb

      Thanks lots! I need to double check the TGV schedule. I thought I was able to get to Beaune through a Dijon transfer.

      1. re: Porthos

        You definitely will

        http://www.voyages-sncf.com/dynamic/_...

    2. it looks from my Michelin city map that there is a train station to the east of the town center. The center is walled, with a moat and street running round the outside and roads running out the gates like spokes. Le Benaton is on the Rue de la Fg. Bretonniere (N74) heading out toward Chalon. FYI we stayed at Auberge La Bretonniere a short walk down the same street. The town had a festive atmosphere (all that wine I guess) and it and the tourist crowd there looked prosperous! the Hotel Dieu is not to be missed.

      ps. My daughter would kick me for not mentioning a "great food" of this region - the gougere.

      1. it looks from my Michelin city map that there is a train station to the east of the town center. The center is walled, with a moat and street running round the outside and roads running out the gates like spokes. Le Benaton is on the Rue de la Fg. Bretonniere (N74) heading out toward Chalon. FYI we stayed at Auberge La Bretonniere a short walk down the same street. The town had a festive atmosphere (all that wine I guess) and it and the tourist crowd there looked prosperous! the Hotel Dieu is not to be missed.

        1. There is a train station in Beaune, ro be sure, but unless I'm 'way off, only local trains stop there. The TGV stops in Dijon and Lyon in that neck of the woods.

          1 Reply
          1. re: ChefJune

            TGV stops in Macon too, closer than Lyon and a jumping off point for the southern part of Burgundy (Beaujolais, Maconnais, Cote Chalonnaise).

          2. The landscape in Burgundy is much different from Bordeaux where grand chateaux dot the horizon. Estate producers are much smaller around Beaune without imposing buildings or large cellars. But they are much more accessible for the general public and happy to pour their wine. A few of the big negociants have facilities in town that you can visit. Francois Gaunoux has a sales/tasting room in the middle of Beaune, http://www.gaunoux.com/ .

            I've run into French tourists on the weekends in Beaune who bought TGV-rental packages out of Paris that includes a RT train ticket to Dijon and a car for the weekend for local use. You might check into those kinds of deals.

            http://www.flickr.com/search/?w=19407...

            2 Replies
            1. re: Melanie Wong

              Thanks Melanie. Have you been to both Caves Patriarche or Marché aux Vins?

              1. re: Porthos

                Sorry, I have not, but I hope someone else can tell you about them.

                Be sure to take a look at the L'Athenaeum de la Vigne et du Vin, a fabulous wine bookstore, on Place Carnot. One of the handiest purchases I made is the French-English pocket size wine dictionary.

            2. The BIVB (Burgundy Wine Education Bureau) is in Beaune, and has day and half-day trips to places that would be difficult to get to without a car. Here is the web site for the education site in english. http://www.burgundy-wines.fr/index.ph...

              Have a great time.

              4 Replies
              1. re: ChefJune

                I would recommend that you stay in Beaune for more than a day! The city centre is quite charming and the vineyards in the surrounding areas are beautiful. The tourist office is in the city centre, not to far away from Hotel Dieu. They will probably be able to give you some guidance on bicycle rentals. There are also companies that run half to full day guided tours of the vineyards. But they can be pretty pricey.
                My impression of Burgundy is that there are a lot of small wine producers, and so there are not really chateaus to speak of. Just many family-run operations in each town.
                If you're looking for a good place for dinner, I would recommend La Gourmandin. We had a wonderful 4 course meal there, for a reasonable price!

                1. re: mightycheesehead

                  I know, I wish we had more time but I only have a week with Paris as my homebase. Thanks for the La Gourmandin recommendation.

                  1. re: Porthos

                    The Burgundy Wine Education Bureau (BIVB) is located in Beaune, and they have reasonably priced programs you can sign up for, for a day, half day, or longer. They also do bus trips to some vineyards. I would look into those, if you are interested. They have programs in English as well as French.

                    I really enjoy Ma Cuisine, a small restaurant in an alleyway off the Place Carnot (I'm pretty sure that's the location. I don't have my notes with me) They have or had one Michelin star, but their prices are extremely reasonable, and the food is superb. It's owned by a couple named (appropriately) Escoffier, and the woman, Fabienne, is the chef. I think anyone in town will be able to direct you there!

                    If you know any wine retailers in your town, you may be able to get them to contact the distributor of either Louis Jadot or Joseph Drouhin, both of whom have houses in Beaune. Tours of those places are always by appointment, but they are definitely worth the effort you expend to get one arranged.

                    1. re: ChefJune

                      Yes, Ma Cuisine is just off the Place Carnot. Here's my long ago post on eating there my first time in Beaune.
                      http://www.chowhound.com/topics/26014...

              2. Do take advantage of your time to check out Perardel. You can have a list of inventory emailed to you to reserve bottles before your arrival and have them delivered to Paris.
                http://www.chowhound.com/topics/301801

                1 Reply
                1. re: Melanie Wong

                  Thanks for that heads up, Melanie!

                2. Porthos, if you take the train to Beaune you will probably transfer at Dijon. Then when you get to the station in Beaune, walk a block and a 1/2 towards the center of town and rent a bike from Florent at Florent at 03.80.22 0603:
                  http://www.detours-in-france.com/
                  Florent is accustom to arranging things via email. He will supply a map, draw a route to suit you and recommend where to taste and eat. You should decide if you want to ride 10KM north into Cote d' Or or 10KM south via vineyard roads into Cote d' Beaune. If its bad weather, skip the bike and visit the négociants in Beaune.

                  If you ride south, we like Le Cellier Volnaysien 03.80.21.61.04 in Volnay for lunch. If you want to ride about an hour south to Puligny Montrachet, have lunch at Olivier Leflaive, 38 euros with 8 wines. Its a trip with Pascal doing his song and dance about wine. When we were there last time a group stopped in clutching their R Parker bibles.

                  Also, stop by Alex Gambal's place in Beaune:
                  http://www.alexgambal.com/hist.html
                  He is from DC and has been a négociant in Burgundy in 1997. He is located around the corner from Florent (close to the Beaune Post Office). He can tell you about the restaurant finds in the Beaune area.

                  BlueOx