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Burgundy Restaurants not to be missed

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Hello everyone,
We are going to be in Burgundy for 5 days and were hoping to pick your brains about the palaces of decadence that are not to be missed.
We will have a car so transportation will not be an issue.
Was hoping to get a list of great places and hopefully I can plan our stay around those. In the past we have love the town of Vezelay so will probably start from there.

Just so that you can get a feel for my taste of restaurants, in the past io have loved Chez L'Ami Jean and La Regalade Saint Honore in Paris, Georges Blanch in Vonnas, Le Mas Tourteron in Gordes, The Bistrot du Paradou and La Ferme de la Huppe and in the Luberon.

Look forward to your always insightful suggestions. Thanks in advance

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  1. What are your thoughts on the recent burgundy posts including the discussions on Beaune recommending a range of restaurants?

    6 Replies
    1. re: PhilD

      Huh ?

      1. re: Parigi

        There have been at least ten threads which discuss Burgundy and/or Beaune this year - I thought they may be a good place fir the OP to start.

        Sorriest - don't you think that is a good idea?

        1. re: PhilD

          Pulling your jambe.

          1. re: Parigi

            Far too early on this side of the world for that - coffee machine not fired up yet!

      2. re: PhilD

        I am scanning those right now....Seems like Ma Cuisine is a must from the posts. Other notables might be Le Benaton and Le Comptoir de Totons

        1. re: javi777

          Anything in the area like Le Mas Tourteron in terms of atmosphere and great food?
          Any places that offer cheese plates or carts that are incredible?

      3. Vezelay is quite far from our usual Côte d'Or & Challonaise recos. Will you only be in that area or where exactly? PhilD is right on recent threads, try searching Beaune for those detailed recommendations.

        19 Replies
        1. re: DaTulip

          Thank you DaTulip,
          I'm searching the boards and getting some leads right now.
          Will probably definitely try to use Beaune as a base to explore the area.
          Will post a bit of a detailed selection once i do more research, but i just thought that by telling you all the places i have enjoyed and loved in the past something would spark in your great library of recommendations.

          Thanks for replying!

          1. re: javi777

            So, of course we all have our different reasons for finding a meal memorable or not but here are places where we have had memorable meals in Burgundy and why (in a North to South kind of order). These are all in the Cote d’Or/Challonaise/Maconnaise area as that is where we’ve spent most of our time. Of the favorites you mentioned I’ve only been to Bistrot du Paradou so these may or may not spark your interest. Here’s my rather long response…

            Let me actually start with cheese carts as cheese is something I love. Most restaurants in Burgundy have very good cheese carts/selections. My favorites are at Chez Jeanette and Lameloise (both discussed below) and Le Montrachet in Puligny-Montrachet.

            Also, if you can, visit Gaugry cheesemakers in Brochon (just on the 974 near Gevrey-Chambertin. If you go around 9am during the week you can watch them making the cheeses. You can also arrange for a cheese tasting and of course they have a shop. They are one of the only places still making unpasteurized Epoisses. Stop into Alain Hess on the Place Carnot in Beaune to try several cheeses he’s created like Delice de Pommard (coated in Dijon mustard seeds).

            Cote de Nuits:
            Chez Guy (Gevrey-Chambertin) – memorable for always having very good food and service with a long and reasonable wine list.

            Bistro Chez Jeanette (Fixin) – we often go for a lunch here. The place is looks a bit old fashioned and maybe even a little Alsatian, but memorable for the super food and the cheese cart (one of my favorites!).

            La Cabotte (Nuits Saint Georges) – memorable for the outstanding food and also (sadly) for the surly service. If you don’t let snotty wait staff bother you, go here for inventive cooking and good/reasonable wines. Desserts are fab!

            Le Chef Coq (just outside Nuits Saint Georges at hotel La Gentilhommiere – some say pricey, but we go at lunch and find it reasonable and the food really great. Memorable for the comfortable interior, convenience to daily touring, and good food.

            Cote De Beaune:
            Domaine Comte Senard (Aloxe-Corton) – I LOVE this wine lunch and it has only gotten better over the years. The main course doesn’t matter – the Coq au vin, the boeuf Bourguignon, and the chicken with Epoisses cream sauce are all fantastic. You also have good wines paired and an excellent opportunity for learning about Burgundy wines if you aren’t an expert. The problem…as I understand it, they have really jacked up their rates this year.

            Le Charlemagne (Pernand-Vergelesses) – this is a place my husband loves, but I find odd (but memorable!). The food is always good, so no quibble there and the setting is vineyard gorgeous (though you can’t see much at night). The thing I find odd is the whole production. Things come out in/on unusual containers (pudding in a plastic capsule that looks like a huge pill that you have to unscrew to open, or bread on a tall skewer with a test tube of oil) or with an odd presentation (pop rocks in the sorbet or items served in a glass covered with saran wrap). More than once I’ve looked around for the French version of Candid Camera (let’s watch the stupid Americans figure out how to eat this).

            Ma Cuisine (Beaune) – as I’m sure you’ve read, great food and an amazing wine list. Also, it’s a great place to people watch during wine festivals and events. Always someone who fancies themselves the Best Nose in ____ (fill in the blank). Some I’m sure are and some are just pretentious, but I find this fascinating to observe.

            P’tit Paradis (Beaune) – some of the best food I’ve enjoyed in Burgundy, but it did have an off period in 2011. As the name suggests it’s small, so reserve ahead. Memorable for fresh, excellent and sometimes inventive food (had a tomato soup with goat cheese ice cream one year that I still dream about!). Shorter, but reasonable wine list.

            Caveau des Arches (Beaune) – changed ownership a year ago (or maybe two – time flies, eh?) but food is still good, location great, and atmosphere cave cozy! Standard Burgundian favorites and often good fresh fish. If they have the salmon over warm potatoes, jump on it!

            As for Le Benaton and Le Comptoir de Totons, I found Benaton good, but not great. Maybe trying a bit too hard and a little theatric…smoke under domed dishes, etc. Again, it all goes to what you enjoy. See my notes on Le Charlemagne. Tontons feels crowded and the food is good not great. A place where young vintners hang out.

            Finally in the CDB, there is Le Carnot (Beaune) – great people watching, fun/over the top desserts and good wines by the glass. Definitely not a must go foodie experience, it’s just a bistro/cafe, but it is a place I love to spend time. Relax with a lovely glass of wine and watch the world go by.

            Lameloise (Chagny) – a great 3 star dining experience. Food and service are outstanding! The production of a 3 star makes it extra memorable. Lunch for two with cocktails and wine for us was around 400 Euros.

            Maconnaise:
            Table de Chaintre (Chaintre) – we had an excellent lunch here with some spectacular Maconnaise wines a few years ago. It’s a neat little place with a funky interior and inventive menus.

            Enjoy your trip and making memories of you own!

            1. re: DaTulip

              Thanks DaTulip for this great post. The search for the best cheese cart , and not cheese plate is high on this trips itinerary. Will definitely study your recommendations. Thank you so much!

              1. re: DaTulip

                Re Chez Guy, which has also previously been favorably mentioned here, we finally managed to go there two nights ago. The food was good, but we found the atmosphere cold. As mangeur would perhaps say, for us it lacked soul. Part of this had to do with the rather young and somewhat inexperienced wait staff. The caption of the restaurant is Guy "and family." But we did not apprehend the presence of family. Also, although the wine list was extensive, we found it high.

                By contrast, last night we thoroughly enjoyed the entire experience at Au Clos Napoleon, in nearby Fixin, just up the road from Jeannette (which by the way does look good and indeed a bit Alsatian from the exterior). The food at Napoleon was not quite as good, but the overall experience was better, and we enjoyed being surrounded by local French families instead of visiting tourists.

                By the way, also in the northern cote de nuits, yesterday we had a lovely lunch surrounded by multi-generations of French families, at Toute Petite Auberge, in Vosne. It does not look like much on the outside, but it has a nice (albeit retro late 1990s) garden room. It's run by a family, the service was lovely -- as was the post-lunch ramble through the very nearby Grand Cru vaunted vineyards. We barely made it in without a lunch reservation, and at least 10 people were turned away within the next hour.

                Oh, and a couple days ago, we had a fun casual lunch surrounded by local workers at Au Petit Bonheur, in the hills above Nuits, in Curtil-Vergy.

                Tonight we dine at Le Chambolle, in nearby Mussigny. I'll try to do a more complete report in a few weeks. -- Jake

                1. re: Jake Dear

                  Thanks for the great report Jake! Sad to hear that Chez Guy is on the downtick, but plenty of other good & great places. Will look forward to your report of how Le Chambolle is doing.

                  1. re: DaTulip

                    Having not been there previously, we don't know if this is downtick for Guy -- or if this is just the way it is.

                    Yes there are plenty of other good and great places. We had a great lunch today, 2 km to the south of Gevrey, in Morey St Denis, at Castel des Tres Girard, right across the street from the village vineyard of that name. We were the first to arrive, and the young Asian chef came to our table and chatted with us before the service. On hearing that my wife would prefer a lighter version of one of the entrees (we try to save room for dinner!), he offered to tweak the dish, which he did beautifully.

                    This would be a very elegant dinner spot. The wine carte was at least as extensive as Guy's. The menu selections were very few, and that is the way we like it -- meaning that everything is fresh and cooked to order. There was a definite but subtle Asian influence in the each of the four savory dishes that we had. This was the best food of our three days so far here in and around Gevrey. And walking around the Morey vineyards for an hour and a half after lunch allowed us to rebuild an appetite for dinner tonight!

                    PS, we are staying at the new hotel and Gervey -- Les Deux Chevres. It is lovely, and most of the eight rooms look out directly onto vineyards. The proprietors, Paul and Jolanda, are very personable and helpful in many ways. The breakfasts are perfect, with top local ingredients. They plan to open a little restaurant on premises, so we will watch for that. -- Jake

                    1. re: Jake Dear

                      Thanks, Jake.

                      This thread reminds me of how necessary that old "save this thread to my profile" function was. Such a bore to have to search for this excellent information.

                      1. re: mangeur

                        This reminds me, I wrote "Paul and Jolanda," but I meant to say Paul and Jolanta. And by the way, Le Chambolle was charming. The food was very good, service by the chef's wife was lovely. Again, a limited menu and to us that is a good sign. It is a small place, with two tables at the elevated top of the room near the fireplace, where we sat, and about six tables down below. We found the lighting down below too bright. And some of the pictures on the walls a bit kitschy. The wine carte is again quite good. More later when I have some time….

                2. re: DaTulip

                  DaTulip
                  I'm reviewing all you recommendations since I am leaving next week. I reserved already for Ma Cuisine and Le Montrachet but I am totally wondering about the cheese cart from Bistrot Chez Jeanette. Is it as amazing as it looks on Tripadvisor? Would you mind letting me know how it compares to Le Montrachet?
                  I'll follow the best cheese cart....I will!

                  1. re: javi777

                    Both are good, but I prefer Chez Jeanette only based on cheese cart, though food is good in general. You really won't go wrong with either. I wouldn't go to Fixin if you're touring the Cote de Beaune that day or to P-M if in the Cote de Nuits.

                    Don't miss a trip to Fromagerie Gaugry in the morning on a weekday at 9ish to watch the cheeses made & to taste.

                    I'll post pics of Jeanette's cheese cart when at my computer tomorrow. My silly saying, the squeaker the wheel the better the cart. They all seem to have one.

                    1. re: DaTulip

                      Cheese cart at Chez Jeanette:

                       
                      1. re: DaTulip

                        That is really something!!!
                        Don't know what to do now. I hope the Montrachet has an equally crazy cart and selections
                        Will definitely make it to Fromagerie Gaugry for tasting and picking some picking some picnic cheeses.
                        Thank you!

                        1. re: javi777

                          Here is a photo of he cheese cart at Le Montrachet - a few years old I am afraid but hopefully puts your mind at rest. It was as very good - especially when paired with a good Puligny Montrachet (Chardonnay just works so much better with cheese than a red).

                           
                          1. re: PhilD

                            Thank you PhilD, that looks wonderful, ill stick with Le Montrachet and save quite a lot of room for the cheese cart. Other than Epoisses, are there any other must try cheeses
                            in Burgundy?

                            1. re: javi777

                              And just to give some context - we had just driven down from Paris and arrived just as lunch was finishing so we begged a table on the terrace, a bottle of wine and some cheese (we ere staying there).

                              It was a very fine late lunch, and if the weather is nice, I suggest requesting a table outside as it looks onto a nice little square.

                              1. re: PhilD

                                PhilD,
                                When staying in Puligny, stop by the "pub" on the square, l'estaminet des meix (Northwest corner) in the afternoon and see if anyone of the ex-pats (about 6 families in Puligny) are looking to hit the boule courts on the square. Jacob from Denmark is the local "shark."

                                And if you are going any where near Mesnil-sur Oger in Champagne on this trip, stop by Pierre Moncuit for a drop in tasting. I remember you citing PM in an earlier post. We were fortunate to have Nicole do the pouring last year. What a blast,

                                1. re: BlueOx

                                  Thanks - but we are not the hounds visiting this year - just giving advice to fellow travellers.

                                  Agree about Moncuit. On my last visit I suggested to my wife we should buy two cases. But as I rearranged the car boot to receive them she purchased four!

                                  My logic was everyone knows a case of champagne is only 6 bottles. Hers was everyone knows a case of wine is 12 bottles and champagne is just fizzy wine....her favourite fizzy wine....!

                              2. re: javi777

                                Two other must tries IMO are the Citeaux & Delices de Pommard. I also like the Ami du Chambertin.

                              3. re: PhilD

                                That is indeed the same trolly -- actually, the huge rolling basket – that we had just last week. By the way, the dinner there, with paired wines, was excellent; more about it later. -- Jake

                3. Ferme la Ruchotte in Bligny-sur-Ouche is a working organic farm owned and run by a inspirational chef, originally recommended by Parigi (many thanks again ... the Sunday lunch I ate here last year remains in my memory as a poem of a meal, perfect in its composition for the time and place).

                  The format changed earlier this year so that they only serve lunch on a handful of dates - check their website in case one of these work for you. Otherwise I think they are selling some home-made charcuterie along with eggs at the farm-door.

                  9 Replies
                  1. re: shakti2

                    Yes!!! La Ruchotte seems like such an unique place. I visited their webpage a few days ago but it is very confusing. They seem to bd serving lunch to groups larger than 10. Maybe someone who has been recently can clarify the process. Would love to make it there

                    1. re: javi777

                      Basically if there is enough interest for lunch on a particular day they've decided to offer lunch (10+ persons) then they have the lunch. Email or call them with your date of interest. If 8 others do too it'll be a go.

                      1. re: DaTulip

                        Eva and Frederic just got back to me from La Ruchotte which is close to our hotel a Chateau Sainte Sabine. Is it worth going? In the heavy and creamy Burgundian cooking their preparations seem to be simple and light which us appealing to me.
                        Still would love to hear everyone's experience there.
                        And also wether you would recommend lunch if dinner.
                        Thank you!!!

                        1. re: javi777

                          "Eva and Frederic just got back to me from La Ruchotte which is close to our hotel a Chateau Sainte Sabine. Is it worth going?"
                          Hell yes.
                          I preferred it to the 6 stars I went in the same week in Burgundy.

                          1. re: Parigi

                            Perhaps we need to remember that first and foremost, La Ruchote is a passionate working farm. The chambre and table necessarily come second to the animals and other farm needs. We enjoyed the chambre and the superb breakfast, but dinner somehow got short shrift (a euphamism for pretty sorry). Add a large and demanding table that night. Probably nothing was the house's fault, but our experience was very different.

                          2. re: javi777

                            Strange that I hadn't heard back - I even wrote the email en francais. Maybe they are in fact closed in August?

                            1. re: non sequitur

                              We changed plans slightly, meaning that we ill not be staying at their B&B, and that drastically lowered the dining options to just 1 lunch date which we cannot make.
                              They promised to confirm another date once they have more than 10 customers.
                              Hope it works. Seems a tad unorganized.

                              1. re: javi777

                                Ah - so perhaps they just keep the emails, see if 10 patrons or more materialize, and only THEN reply to the email? That could mean a lengthy wait until I have anything to report back here.

                                javi777: in what month were you inquiring about, out of interest (since they said they had one lunch around your dates)

                                1. re: non sequitur

                                  In about 2 weeks.
                                  They have definite availability for lunch on May 17. I am inquiring for May 18 as well which is the day that we can make it to their place.

                    2. Burgundy is not that large a region, but it is home to more 3-star restaurants than anywhere other than Paris. Where are you staying, and are you interested in those restaurants? Loiseau in Saulieu is still magnificent, if without it's famous chef. I recommend lunch there.

                      88 Replies
                      1. re: ChefJune

                        "Burgundy is not that large a region, but it is home to more 3-star restaurants than anywhere other than Paris."
                        Did you count the Basque country ?

                        1. re: ChefJune

                          Thanks ChefJune, will look at the Loiseau closely.

                          I just finalized our reservations.We are staying at Chateau Saint Sabine about 30 min from Beaune for 2 days and in Hotel Le Home for another 2 days.
                          Any recommendations around Saint Sabine?
                          I am building a list for Beaune which will post soon.

                          Would also love your advice on where to go and taste wine, wether by appointments or without.
                          Thanks in advance

                          1. re: javi777

                            I'm also interested in where to taste wine, and am keeping an eye on this thread for responses also.

                            Forbes ran a story 1 year ago about Maison Joseph Drouhin, "one of Burgundy’s finest winemaking houses, is open to visitors for the first time in its 133 year-history" they write. "Once part of the original cellars of the Duke of Burgundy’s Parliament, they date back to the 13th century." Tour plus tasting of 6 wines is 35E

                            For table d'hote lunches (where producer makes wines paired, properly one would hope, with food):

                            1. Domaine Comte Senard, Aloxe-Corton, 80.26.41.65, www.domainesenard.com. [focus on red wines] "The family-style meal means you get what everyone else does, including delicious potatoes gratin, a perfect match for the hearty wine-braised chicken" Lunch +3 wines 49E - pricey!

                            2. Olivier Leflaive, 80.21.37.65, www.olivier-leflaive.com [focus on white wines - not so interesting to me for that reason], at the Place du Monument, in Puligny-Montrachet. 25E for the food, with flights additional 25E++ [so minimum will be 50E here too

                            ]

                            3. Domaine Trapet (Gevrey Chambertin)

                            4. Table de Pierre Bouree (Gevrey Chambertin).

                            If I were traveling alone, I would want to make appointments and have "alone time" with producers, but given that I'm going to have 2 bored boys in tow who aren't imbibing, the idea of a larger more commercial operation appeals to me. The only such operation I've identified thus far is Chateaux Mersault.

                            Anyway, this is only what I've dug up, but not experienced first-hand, so I look forward to feedback from actual visitors.

                            1. re: non sequitur

                              I also came across the Forbes article when i was researching. Very interesting.
                              Great that you mention Gevrey Chambertin, those would be my go to places if we could all dig some out together. Love that wine.

                              Comte Senard testing and lunch sounds truly wonderful!

                              1. re: javi777

                                For me, an important consideration in "where to stay" was that the place was also a wine producer - that way I could stay and taste at the same place. I found 2 great options.

                                In Pommard: Domaine Thierry Violot-Guillemard (http://www.violot-guillemard.fr/touri...): I researched both the rooms (a deal at 130E) and the wines (not a big operation, but found a US importer and it's serious stuff). I went with this one because 2 of their 4 rooms could accommodate a family of 4. Also they are walking distance to 2 decent sounding restaurants, so it should work for me.

                                In MOREY-SAINT-DENIS (you could walk to Gevrey Chambertin!), I found Domaine Chantal Remy (http://www.domaine-chantal-remy.com/), georgeous looking place not yet "found" by TripAdvisor, also with great B&B, reasonable rates, great wines again, and a "table d'hote" to taste them. They couldn't take kids without renting a whole second room, otherwise they would have been my first choice.

                                I'm sure you'll be there before I am in August, so I'll look forward to your report!

                                1. re: non sequitur

                                  Mmm Domaine Thierry Violot_Guillemard in Pommard seems like a great find. Very close to Beaune as well.
                                  Thanks for sharing those 2 they are great finds and incredible options. Making me question my already found ones.
                                  Any other insights. What are you thinking as far a wine tasting schedule?

                                  1. re: javi777

                                    On the wine tasting, I'm equally in need of guidance really.

                                    Experts do seem to frown on Mersault, but I viewed it as an inexpensive "baseline" allowing me to better appreciate subsequent better finds, but time for me will be short, so perhaps better to 'educate' myself with a few bottles purchased here in Miami between now and August?

                                    My research has become so far-flung that I no longer know the sources, but I had made a note of Domaine Trapet (http://www.domaine-trapet.fr/en/), in Gevrey Chambertin, and the fact that they have tastings of 5 wines 40E, 6 for 55E, and 8 for 70E. Open Monday to Friday (by appointment) from 11AM to 3:30PM. But the website itself is silent as to the details (and this is also supposed to be a place with a table d'hote, which could be really well-worth checking out). Since you expressed interest in Gevrey Chambertin in particular, that (and Pierre Bouree: http://www.pierre-bouree-fils.com/fr/...) could be worth exploring.

                                    I plan to try some of the wines at Violot Guillemard where I'm staying, possibly Domaine Trapet (above), Comte Senard (over Oliver Leflaive, since it seems a waste to me to go to Burgundy and drink anything other than reds), and perhaps Maison Joseph Drouhin (from the Forbes article).

                                    But keep in mind: I know almost nothing about Burgundy despite my appetite for pinot noir (Californian and Oregonian), so you will soon know much more than I.

                                    1. re: non sequitur

                                      For Trapet if you go on the French version of their site under Maison d'Hotes and Degustez it gives information on the lunch/Table d'Hote.

                                      http://www.domaine-trapet.fr/maison-d...

                                      1. re: non sequitur

                                        Pinot Noir in Burgundy is VERY different from either Oregon or California, due to the difference in growing conditions. Bourgogne Rouge is typically neither "fruity" nor "big."

                                        If you are really interested in tasting, it's a good idea to identify at least a bit of what you like, then ask your local wine merchant to arrange a few tastings through the importers of those wines.

                                        If you book a tour with the BIVB (Burgundy Wine Bureau) they will provide a bilingual guide who will take you to several smaller producers.

                                        In Beaune, there are a number of houses that have tasting rooms along the peripherique of the city. Bouchard Pere et Fils is probably the best of these. You can walk in there, but it's still preferable to call ahead and make an appointment. Most Burgundy houses do not have "tasting room staff" the way we're accustomed to in California (and also in New York). The proprietor generally takes time from his/her schedule to meet with you. The "Big Houses" like Jadot and Drouhin do not have walkins. you need to make an appointment through their importers.

                                        If you book a tour through the BIVB (Burgundy Wine Bureau) they will provide a bilingual guide who will take you to several smaller producers.

                                        1. re: ChefJune

                                          Actually with Drouhin now all it takes is an email to them or even a stop in to reserve for the next day (if not during the busy season).

                                          1. re: DaTulip

                                            Thanks, Da Tulip. That's a big but welcome change.

                                        2. re: non sequitur

                                          "focus on white wines - not so interesting to me for that reason"

                                          "But keep in mind: I know almost nothing about Burgundy"

                                          Non sequitur - just a comment on these two points. You do realise that this region is also a world renowned area for great white wines with Chablis and Montrachet being two examples of really world class wines. Both are Chardonnay based but have little in common with the big oaky new world styles. They are really worth trying, and definitely worth seeking out Premier and Grand Cru examples - they won't be cheap but they are very rewarding. Both are perfect for drinking with cheese (far better than any red wine).

                                          1. re: PhilD

                                            I sympathize with NonSequitur since my personal preferences are not attuned to white wine at this moment and only buy a bottle when it is an odd grape than i haven't tried before, such as falanghina or vermentino. My palate just responds better to the fruit and tastes in reds. We all have our preferences.
                                            That said i also see your point PhilD since the whites of burgundy are as acclaimed as the red. I will personally seek to try some Puligny Montrachet and Chablis. This is one of the reasons the table d'hote at Olivier La Flave is appealing to me since they focus on whites.

                                            1. re: PhilD

                                              I shouldn't have implied a distaste for whites generally; I do like several and have a collection of reisling. I've tried Montrachet and it wasn't my thing, but many (if not most) of the places I mentioned do have a mix of reds and whites. I'd just prefer to focus on the reds (hence my preference for Comte Senard over Olivier Leflaive).

                                              Chef June: a guide would be ideal but I investigated the cost and found it prohibitive (for busy people who can pay for convenience and not do the research we are discussing here).

                                              1. re: non sequitur

                                                I must admit that I am also not a great fan of whites and much prefer red so my comment was made from that perspective. I find many whites either too sweet or two acid for my taste and this has evolved as I grew older.

                                                That said I love Riesling, especially when aged. And I love great Chablis and Montrachet, and both are beautifully complex wines with layers of flavour. Like red burgundies they are not all equal and there is a lot of cheap Montrachet and crap Chablis as there is pretty average Pinot Noir. So wise to search out the better wines and if you do the tastings at Leflaive expect to move through the lower order quickly (or skip them) to get to the interesting stuff.

                                                On the red side a good Mercurey is worth searching out, usually far cheaper than it's more famous cousins from the north but it's a sub-region (commune) that produces some very drinkable and affordable Pinot Noir wines in burgundy.

                                                1. re: PhilD

                                                  Mercurey is also hubby's favorite along with Pommard & Gevrey-Chambertin. Francois Racquillet is a nice Mercurey-centric vintner.

                                                  The Cote Challonaise in general has some very undervalued wines. Another fun vintner is Stephane Briday at Dom Michel Briday. Here you're likely to pay less for the wine than the shipping, but the wines are very good.

                                                  1. re: PhilD

                                                    Such a great point about Mercurey. Wine Spectator had an issue centered on Burgundy a few years ago (June 2012) that talks about low radar zones such as Mercurey, Chorey les Beaune, Marsannay, Ruly and St Aubun. I will be searching for these in my coming trip.....along with my Chambertin of course.

                                                    1. re: javi777

                                                      Javi777 also be sure to pay attention to Savigny-les-Beaunes and Aloxe-Corton.

                                                      We had a lovely walk in tasting at Chateau de Pommard. That's a location you might add, especially if you pass by the beautiful property and have a few extra minutes.

                                                  2. re: non sequitur

                                                    Also some of the larger operations including Senard & LeFlaive will ship for semi reasonable amounts (130E/ case last time...2012).

                                                    1. re: DaTulip

                                                      When I was in Avignon tasting fantastic Chateauneuf de Pape, every time I inquired about this exact possibility, I was given the address of a US importer, so I'm amazed direct shipping is possible (given the convoluted 3-tier import regime in the US: importer/distributor/retailer).

                                                      That's another EXTREMELY compelling reason to visit Senard. If you think of any other operations that would ship a case directly, do tell!

                                                      I'm also looking into the Cote d'Or import service (based in Oregon, USA) mentioned a little further down. Brilliant!

                                                      1. re: non sequitur

                                                        Unless things have changed drastically, direct shipping is not allowed to private citizens. If you have connections with an importer, you might be able to arrange to have them take delivery of a shipment for you, but otherwise, it's bubble wrap and 2-gallon zip lock freezer bags in your suitcase.

                                                        1. re: ChefJune

                                                          As mentioned, Côte d'Or and others do direct ship now for a few years. Some connected & usually larger places like Bouchard Pere, Senard, Anthenum, Oliver Le Flaive, Ange Gardien, etc have their own direct ship hook up. It's nice if a bit expensive. Still can't ship to some states like PA who have extra weird state rules.

                                                          1. re: DaTulip

                                                            That's interesting. The places I purchse from are much smaller houses, and have no such arrangements. Here on the East coast, we have no problem getting wines from those large shippers locally.

                                        3. re: non sequitur

                                          Did the Chateaux Mersault tour a year ago. The cellar is huge and impressive, but the guides are aggressive sales folks and the wine poured not very interesting. Locals tell me that Micheal Picard's (Chassagne Montrachet) tour is much better.

                                          1. re: BlueOx

                                            Tour is much better, but sadly not the wine.

                                          2. re: non sequitur

                                            Drouhin is doing tastings - 35E is the lowest for 6 wines (1 regional, 2 village, and 3 premier cru - 4 white, 2 red) and they go up drastically from there 70E for 6 wines, 150E for 8 wines, and 300E for 8 wines. And it's not like there older amazing vintages for those prices either. The oldest in the 300E tasting is a 2007 and there are only 2 Grand Crus in that tasting. It absolutely amazes me that their marketing folks thought this was a good pricing structure…and you don't even get a meal for the 300E/person!

                                            The Table d'Hotes you mention here are all good (though I haven't tried Trapet yet my friend has). Senard has gone up in price quite a bit, but IMO has the best food. Pierre Bouree is also nice (www.pierre-bouree-fils.com). Website for Trapet (http://www.domaine-trapet.fr).

                                            Château Meursault (www.meursault.com) is a nice option. Other big houses in Beaune are Patriarche, Marche aux Vins, and Couvent des Cordeliers.

                                            Easy options in Aloxe-Corton include the Cooperative and across the street, Michel-Voarick. Both are walk in kind of places (VERY rare in Burgundy 99.9% you must make an appointment and often need a connection to even do that).

                                            A good semi-walk in place in Gevrey-Chambertin is Philippe Leclerc. You can go without an appointment but you may have to wait if someone who does have an appointment comes in. One similar to this is Chateau de la Tour next door to the Chateau du Clos de Vougeot.

                                            As for interest in a particular areas wine (e.g. Gevery-Chambertin) just remember that you don't need to go to that town to try the wines. It's not like California or other places where the vintner lives on/near his plot of land. Many vintners live one place, have cellar in another place, and have vines scattered throughout Burgundy. For instance, it's not uncommon to sample a Gevrey-Chambertin at a Domaine housed in Beaune.

                                            1. re: DaTulip

                                              Such a good reply that I cut and paste it into my travel notes in its entirety - thanks DaTulip!

                                              1. re: non sequitur

                                                You're quite welcome. Do make sure you sample at Thierry's where you're staying. His wines are excellent! My favorite is his Clos des Mouches white. He may have it for sampling, but unlikely to have any for buying.

                                                Also, quick note on a rule of thumb, most places other than the big houses mentioned in my post above that charge a tasting fee, expect that you will buy a bottle or two.

                                                1. re: DaTulip

                                                  That was another motivation for seeking out the larger operations: I will buy some bottles, but don't want to go crazy since I need to import it.

                                                  1. re: non sequitur

                                                    I understand completely! The most we've ever brought back in our suitcases was 3.5 cases. It was ridiculous! But...we're still enjoying it!

                                                    I also agree with PhilD, do try some whites (which I'm sure you will). Much more mineral quality than the typical US Chard.

                                                    If you can, try some before you go as you considered. For some reason I think Michel- Voaricks daughter lives in FL. Perhaps you can track them down among others.

                                                    FYI - quite difficult to find and/or pricey in Burgundy are very large ziploc type bags & bubble wrap. Both can come in handy. Consider bringing with you. I had a bottle of cassis break one year with no problem since it was in a ziploc.

                                                    1. re: DaTulip

                                                      When we head to wine regions we travel with a spare suitcase that takes 15 bottles and fill it with bubble wrap on the way out and wine on the way back. Only one failure when I thought I could squeeze in a 16th.

                                                      1. re: PhilD

                                                        I used to love the flat pack 6 bottle boxes they had in Burg. Fit great in a suitcase with each bottle Ina ziploc then a little bubble wrap or clothes on the sides & viola!

                                                        1. re: DaTulip

                                                          OK, now you folks have really done it! There are no secrets left.

                                                          Mercurey and the Cote d' Chalonnaise are gems and the vigernons very welcoming. We always see many ouvert signs hanging out, that means tastings, but not tours. If you do the tasting buy at least one bottle.

                                                          Saint Aubin is discovered, but still is a great location to visit and taste.

                                                          As far as lugging wines back to the US, we now use http://cotedorpdx.com/ to ship. I can handle 6 bottles in our luggage, more is back breaking. It costs about $12 a bottle but for wines that cost more than $50 in the US it is a bargain.

                                                          1. re: BlueOx

                                                            $12 a bottle compares very favorably to the 130E/case DaTulip mentioned above, so I've already sent an e-mail to Cote d'Or - that could be the most valuable piece of information we travel with!

                                                            As for being a "wine mule", the baggage handlers in Miami are notoriously rough, and the most I'd dare to pack in a checked bag is 4, but huge ziplock bags are a good idea.

                                                            3.5 cases boggles the mind. I don't know how you would declare that amount (I guess you'd pay duty, which would mean a very long stay in customs for them to calculate), and I wonder if you need to bring your own labels in english saying "wine is harmful to pregnancy" etc? If Cote d'Or has all this figured out on my behalf, it's certainly worth $12/bottle!

                                                            1. re: non sequitur

                                                              Definitely do not recommend bringing that much back yourself. It is a total pain. We did declare and spend time in customs. They could never figure out the duty, so just sent us on our way. I had figured it up previously and it would only have been about $40 based on the price of the wine and the 1 bottle per person you can bring back under the standard allowance. The risk is that they think the wine isn't for you (that it's for resale). As if you'd go through that much trouble for others! :-)

                                                              Used Cote d'Or years ago and they were not great. HOWEVER, that was in 2009 and I hear many great reports now. Am thinking of using them again this year.

                                                              1. re: DaTulip

                                                                I used Cote d'Or last May for two cases. Looks like they repacked in Portland, OR and did a very nice job. Shipped on a Monday, so no weekend storage. Did a good job of letting me know where the wine was, when. Packed and shipped just like K&L. They price by the case and don't forget to include no 20% VAT in your calculations.

                                                                1. re: BlueOx

                                                                  Our of curiosity, did you prearrande with them & places you were going to visit or did you go to vintners they're already working with? I did the latter when I used them before(2009/10), but I've heard good things since from you and others.

                                                                  1. re: DaTulip

                                                                    I got an email reply from them today, and because it's is responsive I will paste below:

                                                                    [2 options:]
                                                                    "1. Ship wines that people purchase here or there. We collect them from their hotel in the Cote d’Or (usually Beaune, Dijon or between the two) or they drop them off at our facilities near Nuits St Georges, along with copies of your receipts. Pros: buy what you like with no minimum quantities. Cons: pay the value added tax of 20% (TVA) which cannot be refunded by merchants/wineries, in most cases + you carry all the wines with you.
                                                                    2. Visit partner wineries (long list in Burgundy particularly), select wines that you enjoy, place your order and pay for wines at the winery/shop.
                                                                    Pros:
                                                                    1. pay without TVA – savings of 20%!
                                                                    2. no lugging bottles around with you as you go along
                                                                    3. we pick up the wines once we are notified that the order has been placed
                                                                    4. pay for shipping to us when you have finished your purchases (via visa or master card) and take advantage of group pricing
                                                                    Cons:
                                                                    1. minimum order 6 bottles per stop"

                                                                    The prices were also disclosed in a chart I can't paste in, but 12btl=170E, 24btl=295E, and 36btl=415E, to give an idea. It'll be lots more research to see if (I) producers on their list are available in US, (II) if so, at what cost, and (III) are prices here better or worse than in Burgundy, after subtracting VAT, but adding those shipping prices.

                                                                    1. re: non sequitur

                                                                      Thanks!

                                                                      1. re: non sequitur

                                                                        Non sequitor.
                                                                        Im in Beaune right now with about twelve bottles that we have purchased here and there. Want to ship them with cote d or imports but it seems i must drop them in nuits saint georges.
                                                                        Went to a few places and they do not seem to havd any contacts for them in Burgundy, only the Oregon address in their website. I managed to get a phone number and an address from one wine store to possibly drop our shipment.
                                                                        Attached is an image i took of the business card. Do you have an address or number other than this one?
                                                                        Have lots of comments and will post extensively when j return in a few days.

                                                                         
                                                                        1. re: javi777

                                                                          There are several regular posters to this forum who regularly "suitcase" home at least a dozen bottles. Perhaps they might share their packing advice. For much less the cost of shipping, one could pick up a new piece of luggage (perhap at Rayon d'Or at Republique or on rue de Rennes), some bubble pack, and have your trove arrive home at the same time as you, with transit also vetted by you. Well, it's a concept...

                                                                          1. re: mangeur

                                                                            For the packing yourself, we used the flat pack boxes from places in Burgundy & place each bottle in a ziploc type bag first. We close the box & pack in a suitcase surrounded by clothes.

                                                                            I did just hear back from Côte d'Or & they do have a place you can arrange drop off for shipping. You'll need your receipts & you won't get VAT back in this situation. Here's the contact info of the person who responded to my website query:
                                                                            Carolyn Delelee
                                                                            Cote d'Or Imports
                                                                            http://cotedorpdx.com
                                                                            FR: 03.80.61.15.15
                                                                            US: 503 449-2538
                                                                            info@cotedorpdx.com

                                                                            1. re: DaTulip

                                                                              Good info, Da Tulip.

                                                                              We are penny-ante schleppers, only hauling back a few trophy bottles that have seduced us along the way. But we always travel with a half dozen or so neoprene wine "sacks". We have never had a casualty using those, surrounded by clothes. They also work well for stacking small jars of mustard, jams, etc.

                                                                              1. re: mangeur

                                                                                Too much good stuff is a great problem to have eh? I always find myself wondering if someone might not just need a sweater or two of mine so I have more room for goodies!

                                                                                I agree on the schlepping, but you can take it too far (eg the year we brought home the 3.5 cases of wine - 42 bottles actually - plus jam). We're getting too old to lift that much now. We just drink moe when we're there and ship a bit.

                                                                            2. re: mangeur

                                                                              We typically bring back six, and pack ours in groups of two or three, in cardboard, and simply position them the middle of our checked baggage, surrounded by dirty shirts and socks, etc. As mentioned, shipping for less than two cases seems very high. Also, I would be worried about refrigeration during the long shipping and trucking journey before it gets back to our home. Therefore, we have been content to simply bring what we can fit into our checked baggage. (And we generally try to purchase all at once in one place, so that we get VAT back.) -- Jake

                                                                              1. re: mangeur

                                                                                For packing I've always used bubble wrap, packing tape and as extra insurance, 2-gallon zip lock freezer bags.

                                                                                I'll be VERY interested in any success you have in shipping wine back to US as a private citizen and not an importer. I tried very hard to ship 20 years ago, and finally was advised that even if it were legal to ship the wine, it would likely be stolen en route.

                                                                              2. re: javi777

                                                                                When I've used Cote d'Or, it has always been through the wine seller in France. I don't know if they do drop off, but their web site does not list a France address.

                                                                                And I found you need at least 2 cases to get a reasonable shipping/importing price per bottle. Plus if you have purchased already, you will have to file the VAT refund yourself.

                                                                                1. re: BlueOx

                                                                                  If I buy bottles worth 50E, pay about 10E to ship, but get a break on VAT (20%), then it would be like "free shipping" since the VAT is equal to the shipping cost.

                                                                                2. re: javi777

                                                                                  Côte d'Or did tell me that there are 2 options, and your experience matches their description: if you buy here and there, you have to drop at their location in nuits st Georges (as you said).

                                                                                  But if you buy at least 6 bottles from a 'participating vendor', then shipping is arranged in site, and VAT-free.

                                                                                  Their website says they will hold and store wines until uS shipping conditions are optimal, but here in florida that is a hard target.

                                                                                  I think the most I would personally be bringing home would be 6. The issue becomes weight, not breakage.

                                                                                  Can't wait for your report!

                                                                                  1. re: non sequitur

                                                                                    Non Sequitur,
                                                                                    Here's what I've found, after crediting out the VAT it still costs about $12 per bottle for shipping and importing when ordering 2 cases. Don't forget you have to take delivery in a state that allows wine shipments.

                                                                                    So, to me it makes sense to buy small vintners products costing about 25 Euros per bottle that would sell for $60 to $100 in the US. I don't normally pay $75 a bottle for wine, just special occasions, like maybe Saturday night.:>) The cases last a year, then I'm back in France and buying 2 more. And friends always are ready to buy a couple bottles if we don't drink them. We live in the Colorado High Rockies so shipment is not a problem.

                                                                                    Blue Ox

                                                                                    1. re: BlueOx

                                                                                      Any hints for "small producers that are 25E/bt that would sell for $60-100US"? I'd search your old posts if you describe any great finds there, but I don't think you have. Can you accomplish this by buying pretty much any 1er cru?

                                                                                      1. re: non sequitur

                                                                                        NS, we pay about 25 euros a bottle for 1st Cru Reds from small producers in some of the less "hyped" villages, Sanentay, Saint Aubin, Monthelie and Volnay in Cote d'Beaune and Ladoix-Serrigny, Chorey les Beaune, Morey Saint Denis and Falgey-Echezeaux in Cote d'Nuit. Although these Villages aren't as hyped, they are well known. Our vintage of choice is 2005 and 2009.

                                                                                        We start with Bergman's Bourgogne (http://www.bourgogne-info.eu/index.html), get help from MIke McAndrew (http://www.frenchwineroutes.com/) and drop in when we see an Ouvert sign at an interesting looking place while cycling.

                                                                                        The small folks usually don't have distribution outside of the EU, so no US pricing is available. But if you compare the Burgundy 1st Crus from the same vintages to what is available here, it runs that price range.

                                                                                        1. re: BlueOx

                                                                                          "Sanentay, Saint Aubin, Monthelie and Volnay in Cote d'Beaune and Ladoix"
                                                                                          Absolutely agree with this list.
                                                                                          My year is 2010.

                                                                                          1. re: Parigi

                                                                                            BlueOx, I like too like Bergman's Bourgogne. With Parigi, our preferred year is 2010, but we see very few on offer now. And I'd add to the good list of villages, in the cote de Beaune, Auxey-Duresses; and in the cote de nuits, maybe Fixin -- both with just a few 1ers, but both with quite a few good village climats/vineyards.

                                                                                            1. re: Jake Dear

                                                                                              Just a quick note, Bergman is a good source for wine in Burgundy. But I think he may be behind or have different tastes on restaurants.

                                                                                              1. re: Jake Dear

                                                                                                I heart heart heart Auxey-Duresses, stayed at the Châtaeu de Mélin that has its own cave and loved it. Normally I stay at the Moniot-Nié vineyard b&b in Santenay.

                                                                                                1. re: Jake Dear

                                                                                                  PS, speaking of Bergman's Bourgogne, I also like a similar site by yet another Scandinavian, a Dane: Winehog.org. -- Jake

                                                                                              2. re: BlueOx

                                                                                                Cut and pasted into my travel notes - thanks!
                                                                                                Bergman's looks to be a treasure trove of info. On Pommard where I'll be staying: "For some time there have been efforts made to have Les Rugiens and Les Epenots upgraded to grand cru status ... It will take perhaps few years because it needs soils analysis, tasting, organoleptic terms, etc.... But the fact is that these two climats were classified as grand cru at the origin of the classification in 1936, but the winegrowers at this time refused this classification because they were afraid of the lower average production and the taxes!!!"

                                                                                                Maybe I'll load up on Rugiens/Epinots in anticipation of the bump!

                                                                                          2. re: non sequitur

                                                                                            "[T]hey will hold and store wines until US shipping conditions are optimal" -- even more than cost, that's the sticking point for me, I'm not comfortable subjecting my wines to potentially long heat. And so we bring back only what we can pack. Do any of these private shippers guarantee refrigeration? -- Jake

                                                                                            1. re: Jake Dear

                                                                                              Hate to introduce cynicism, but "guarantee" is in the fickle hands of fate. With the best of intentions, things go wrong. To say nothing of "a day off the ice won't hurt" mentality.

                                                                                              1. re: mangeur

                                                                                                On this, I'll raise you one on cynicism -- I'm actually wondering whether most shippers even contemplate, let alone guarantee, refrigeration as a regular feature of the transit.

                                                                                              2. re: Jake Dear

                                                                                                I believe WineFlite does. It was another option that was available in several places we visited. At the end i ended up getting some styrofoam packaging at a wine packaging supply store in Santenay. The packaging for 6 bottles is quite small at around 16x16x8inches and quite light. Didnt even had to pay for extra luggage since we used our checked in allowance. I bought from 3 producers in Gevrey Chambertin and would have loved to get more vintage bottles at the Jadot and Drouhin tours which had a great price.
                                                                                                If i would have had more info on how easy it was to bring on the plane i would have brought 1 or 2 cases.
                                                                                                Will write a full report in the following days.

                                                                                                1. re: javi777

                                                                                                  If I don't have my dedicated wine case I have often just checked in a standard 12 bottle case. I tape it up with parcel tape, and wrap it with a little bubble wrap, but that's about all. In all the trips I have only lost one bottle, and that's when my case of wine had a holiday in Nairobi rather than going direct from Sydney to London. Came back recently from South Africa in Feb with two cases and both were fine.

                                                                                                  You need to watch out with some airlines on baggage rules, some limit the number of pieces as well as the weight. But bottom line is that it's quite simple to do, and if you do it yourself you can VAT refund as an "accompanied personal export" out of the EU on departure. If you use an agent the winery needs to deliver to the agent directly to refund VAT.

                                                                                      2. re: BlueOx

                                                                                        prearrande = pre-arrange (darn autocorrect)

                                                                                        1. re: DaTulip

                                                                                          Most of the smaller vintners we visited knew and offered Cote d'Or importing and shipping. Also, Julian owner of the Puligny Montrachet Caveau was a big proponent of using them and is very willing to help select.

                                                                                          Just an aside, we visit to taste, not tour. Big difference in time, less than an hour to taste and buy vs. 2 hours or more to tour. We don't pre-arrange usually, we are on bicycles and just look for the ouvert sign.

                                                                                        2. re: BlueOx

                                                                                          Assume the VAT refund is only if the winery ships direct to the shipper not for retail sales as for those you need to accompany the goods out of the EU.

                                                                                  2. re: DaTulip

                                                                                    As said before, l travel with a styrofoam 6 or 12 pack and never look back, never an issue.

                                                                        2. re: DaTulip

                                                                          Quite wonderful DaTulip.
                                                                          Thank you so much!

                                                                      2. re: javi777

                                                                        Oh, Le Home is wonderful! We loved staying there. And it's so convenient to Beaune, as well as to all the great wine in the Cote d'Or!

                                                                        1. re: ChefJune

                                                                          Leaving in a few days here is the list of what i have so far.
                                                                          Please let me know what you think

                                                                          Driving from Paris_Staying at Vezelay
                                                                          Sat Lunch at L'Esperance, will try to make it on time from Paris
                                                                          Sat Dinner?

                                                                          Staying at Sainte Sabine.
                                                                          Sunday Lunch Ferme de la Ruchotte
                                                                          Sunday Dinner at Hotel_ Restaurant Le Lassey
                                                                          Monday Lunch Picnic....Fromagerie Gaugry.
                                                                          Monday Dinner- Somewhere around Sainte Sabine or probably Dijon?

                                                                          Staying in Beaune.
                                                                          Tuesday Lunch- Domaine Comte Senard
                                                                          Tuesday Dinner- Ma Cuisine
                                                                          Wednesday Lunch- ? (possibly another picnic) Any favorite picnic grounds....
                                                                          Wednesday Dinner- Le Montrachet

                                                                          Have also reservations to taste at Jadot, and Drouhin. We will stop by Phillipe Leclerc at Gevrey Chambertin and play everything else by ears.
                                                                          Will most likely go to other Caves with many selections which sounds fine to discover multiple producers.

                                                                          Also interesting in going to 1 or 2 markets to get some picnic food (we have loved the Bonnieux market in the past).
                                                                          Which ones would you recommend.? Too bad we will miss the Beaune market on Saturday.

                                                                          Thanks in advance!

                                                                          1. re: javi777

                                                                            Good picks.

                                                                            But, whoa, 2 major meals a day ? Does not sound enjoyable, really.

                                                                            Rest your stomach and your senses after L'Espérance. You will need to.

                                                                            Likewise after the Ferme de la Ruchotte meal. Also, don't be late. Everyone is served at the same time. If you are late, you are despised. The patronne is especially not tendre with late people. I know. I was late. But the stars were algined right that day, and she forgave me.

                                                                            Likewise if you are dining at "Le Montrachet", don't add another meal. It would only dilute your experience.

                                                                            Picnic grounds. We picnic a lot near Beaune, usually in one of the many beautiful wine-growing towns along the route de Beaune all the way to Baubigny and that area, usually choosing one of many spots where the vista is vines and more vines all the way the the horizon. Volnay jumps to mind. Many of those towns along the route de Beaune has a good charcuterie traiteur, where you can get all your picnic food. My fave is the roast chicken from the traiteur off the main square in Santenay, called Santenay Traiteur, 4 Rue Chauchie. It is one of the tastiest roast chickens I have had in France, and I have tasted insanely good ones here.

                                                                            See this list of Côte d'Or market days:
                                                                            http://www.frenchmarketdays.com/cote-...

                                                                            1. re: Parigi

                                                                              Thank you so much! Invaluable info.
                                                                              Will definitely limit to one large meal being lunch or dinner and snacks here or there.
                                                                              Will definitely follow your picnic suggestions.
                                                                              Thanks again!!!

                                                                              1. re: javi777

                                                                                Near Ste Sabine, I vaguely remember Arnay le Duc has a nice traiteur that is part of the hote-restaurant complex Chez Camille. Pricey, classic, but good.

                                                                                1. re: javi777

                                                                                  Everything sounds amazing. Can't wait to hear how it goes, as I'm following along with keen interest.

                                                                                  My second email to Rochette has gone unanswered, and I wonder why that could be? You may find out in person before I do, whether they are closed in August.

                                                                                  1. re: non sequitur

                                                                                    Will let you know. Hopefully there will be lots of interest and they will open when you are there. I'll report when i get back

                                                                                    1. re: non sequitur

                                                                                      What we have to understand and remember is that La Ruchotte is first and essentially a working farm. It is open when it is in the farm's best interest to be open. Superb meals are served when the stars align, when the farmers and animals and vegetables come together with a dose of magic. At other times, the sum of these factors plus or minus the capriciousness of the seasons can result in the ordinary.

                                                                                      1. re: mangeur

                                                                                        Point taken, but it would be nice if they at least acknowledged my email inquiries, since they seem to be communicative when it comes to Javi777's nearer-term inquiries - perhaps there was something "lost in (google) translation?"

                                                                                        To hear a "yes" or "no" would be too much to ask for, I'm just looking for an acknowledgement.

                                                                                        1. re: non sequitur

                                                                                          I hear you, non sequitur. In fact, I have been in your situation with other small providers, since those are the kinds of obscure and esoteric places we look for. And I often find out that their email or WiFi or such has been down. Somehow, life goes on for them during these times while we find it unfathomable to be without global contact.

                                                                                          1. re: mangeur

                                                                                            Already many restaurants in France - - especially the small bistros - do not prioritize email contact.
                                                                                            And the Ferme de la Ruchotte is not really a restaurant. It is a farm. It ran a part-tiem restaurateur business until this year. When I ate there, there were only two persons manning the whole operation: the chef and his wife.
                                                                                            I can't and don't expect them to take time off the farm and part-time restaurant and give prompt email replies, especially this year when they have stated they want to stop operating the restaurant in order to have time off. No use for us to wish that they would do the opposite of their stated wish.
                                                                                            If they can take us on one of their rare operating days, great. If not, domage.

                                                                                2. re: javi777

                                                                                  For drinking/ tasting rather than buying, I much prefer a good wine bar with a knowledgeable proprietor, and in Beaune and Dijon respectively, I love Bar du Square and chez Bruno.

                                                                                  Both have wonderful hospitality (Bruno especially if your party includes pretty ladies), a convivial local crowd and superb lists by the glass (where else would you find a Dujac Chambolle-Musigny poured by the glass ... ) and even better by the bottle (hard to find, older, at reasonable prices).

                                                                                  1. re: javi777

                                                                                    <Tuesday Lunch- Domaine Comte Senard
                                                                                    Tuesday Dinner- Ma Cuisine>

                                                                                    I'm afraid you won't want your dinner at Ma Cuisine after a sizeable lunch -- and that would be a shame, as Fabienne's food is so delicious.

                                                                                    1. re: ChefJune

                                                                                      I know, Its so tough to plan with limited time.
                                                                                      I think this is the only day that we are planning to eat twice.
                                                                                      We have 2 nights around Beaune and i loved the suggestions of Ma Cuisine and Le Montrachet.

                                                                                      Maybe i will limit the food during lunch a bit to enjoy Ma Cuisine better which i am looking forward to!

                                                                                      1. re: javi777

                                                                                        My first time there (many years ago now) my cousin Barbara and I both had veal chops we still talk about... and the wine list is monumental and affordable.

                                                                                      2. re: ChefJune

                                                                                        I know what you mean: we don't want to exhaust ourselves before we even get to Paris!

                                                                                        For us the plan is to arrive on a Saturday afternoon, check-in and walk 50m to "Christophe Queant" (1* with a 35E and 55E dinner that won't break the bank).

                                                                                        Sunday: La Ruchotte for lunch. That probably means no dinner, so we'll have to make sure we've gathered some fromage to have with wine at the B&B. Afternoon I'd hoped to do some wine tasting, but Sunday is probably an off-day for that. If everything is closed we may drive to Dijon to visit the Maile mustard store (kids would enjoy).

                                                                                        Monday: Another "not great" day for restaurant dining. Comte Senard was on my short list, but it's closed Sunday/Monday, so that's out. MA CUISINE just wrote me back to say they are closed all of August (they WOULD have been open on Monday otherwise). And I just learned P'tit Paradis is closed Monday also. Yikes.

                                                                                        So I could make a morning visit to Fromagerie Gaugry, some wine-tasting in Gevrey-Chambertin, and a lunch at Chez Guy (all 3 in very close proximity). Or just do the fromage and wine, with a dinner back in Pommard at "Aupres du Clocher" (also a stumble away from beds in Pommard).

                                                                                        I'm going to have to make some tough choices, and lament missing out on Ma Cuisine, but La Ruchotte should more than compensate me.

                                                                                        1. re: non sequitur

                                                                                          Be sure to take the kids (and yourselves!) to the Moutarderie Fallot in Beaune. They make (imho) the best mustard in France, and their presentation is really interesting. email me if you want more info. Also check out Chateau du Pommard in Pommard. beautiful setting, lovely wines, gracious folks.

                                                                                          1. re: ChefJune

                                                                                            I agree with June. Fallot is a lot of fun. Kids will enjoy "making" their own mustard.

                                                                                            1. re: ChefJune

                                                                                              Wow - I can check out the mustard scene without even leaving Beaune? That will be a time saver. Looks great! Making our own mustard, seeing cheese being made, and lunch on a working farm will make for a visit the boys will remember. And lots of wine for mom and dad, of course.

                                                                                              Ch du Pommard is right next to where we're staying, so maybe that will allow for a tasting on our day or arrival on Saturday (and leads easily to dinner at Queant, which I think is on-site).

                                                                                              1. re: non sequitur

                                                                                                Fallot's wonderful mustard museum in Beaune, besides the tours it runs, also conducts a mustard workshop where you make your own mustard. Excellent mustards, which I wayyyy prefer to Maille. But I can't say it is the best of France because, unlike others here, I have not tasted all the mustards of France. :)

                                                                                3. Javi: are you back yet? I want to find out what you thought of the Drouhin and Jadot tours specifically, but everything else generally.

                                                                                  1. Hello all. First thank you so much for your thoughtful suggestions on Burgundy. We had such a great time. The weather was radiant thanks to the gods and the wine and food superb thanks to you all. I will write a bit about the places we visited

                                                                                    RESTAURANTS:
                                                                                    Ferme de la Ruchotte:
                                                                                    Driving to the Ferme could be quite tricky but we had a GPS with their coordinates so it was a breeze, lots of one way dirt roads to the gates of this small and modest temple to taste. We arrived promptly at 12:30 sharp, following another car that was in front of us. We proceeded to the small dining area and were seated next to the heated fireplace by the Madame who spoke English and greeted us warmly. The dining room is located in the lower level of their living quarters and adjacent to the kitchen, it quickly filled with about 16 people including us, all older French. We thought we would get what it seems to me to be their regular and standard fare that I had read in several posts: a heritage breed of chicken, so you could image our surprise and delight when we saw written in the chalkboard COCHE DE 5 ANS. The Gascon pork of 5 years was cooked perfectly with its juices and presented to each table in a family style serving copper pan. It was incredible, both crispy and delicate, and an amazing treat. The 45 euro prepaid menu comprised of Terrine de Cochon, Salade du Moment (very simple and tasty, the main dish Coche de 5 ans rotie au jus, puree de bouillon on the side (a mash potatoes dish), a selection of local cheeses by Sauniers (local producer) and finished off with a cream and fresh strawberries desert. We order a great wine from their list which champions biodynamic producer, 2011 Didier Montchovet Bourgogne Hautes Cotes de Beaune. It was a perfect time. The chef came at the end and chatted with us briefly although he seem to not be comfortable speaking English as much as his wife. He sat and chatted next to other customer or friends as we left.

                                                                                    Ma Cuisine:
                                                                                    Ma Cuisine was wonderful and had a very relaxed pace and look to it. It is a simple place which looks much better than the pictures it has in Trip Advisor. We arrived earlier than our reservation (at around 7:30) and were seating by the front door. The restaurant was full already. We decided not to go for the prix fix which we had done in many other placed since their menu look so interesting and did not compare to the prix fix choices. Definitely order a la carte in this place if you make it. We had the seasonal white asparagus, escargots (12 in 1 portion), roasted duck with potatoes and a grilled sweetbreads dish. Finished off with almonds crumble pie of some sort which was great. Everything was cooked perfectly and very gently prepared. It is hearty cooking and yet it was refined. Ordered a bottle of 2009 Champs Martin Lorenzon Mercurey Premier Cru. Their wine list was great and varied with lots of hidden gems, a couple next to us ordered a bottle of 1979 Marsannay which seemed incredible for the 180 euro price. After going I can now tell why this place is such a classic and hopefully will continue to be.

                                                                                    Domaine Comte Senard Lunch, Aloxe Corton.
                                                                                    We arrived on time and the place was quite empty since it is a very large dining area. There was another 2 persons and a large party of Chinese wine enthusiast. We opted for the 6 wines middle range option of 69 Euros. The hostess explained to us their vineyard sites, their history, the bottling types, etc and she was very informative. The wine was quite good and we bought a few bottles that are aging in our cellar as we speak. We day’s dish was had the Boeuf Bourguignon which was excellent. We also took a small tour through their vineyards and in the mediaeval cellars that were recently discovered under the property. Great place for lunch and taste.

                                                                                    Le Montrachet:
                                                                                    This was our last dinner and the place is quite nice and elegant. We opted for the 90 euro prix fix menu which you can substitute any of the items if they are not to your liking. We saw that Egg Meurette was not included in the pre fix which we wanted to try and they substituted it for one of our dishes. They are around 8 dishes including the infamous cheese cart which was the highlight. We really enjoyed a soft cheese that was coated in ash, very earthy crust yet subtle and mild inside. Ordered a bottle of 2007 Puligny Montrachet Les Combettes Domaine Vincent Girardin recommended by the sommelier. The dishes we had were all great and included a crab tartare dish, egg meurette, seasonal asparagus, langoustine with carrots, sweetbreads, cheese cart/basket, a 2 kinds of chocolate cake dessert and an apple tart. We were offer also a plate of small dessert bites afterwards, caramels, etc. We has a great night there.
                                                                                    A tip: Their chicken dish seems to be quite popular and looked fantastic!

                                                                                    One of the nights we dined in our hotel’s restaurant at Chateau Saint Sabine, Le Lassey. We actually sort of sample the whole menu as the day before had wine and appetizers in their terrace. Food was great, duck and lamb dishes were exceptional. Their terrine was my favorite in the whole trip. The other days for lunch we always did picnics and got supplied in several small towns here and there. On our last day we picnic next to be Burgundy canal past the town of Santenay. They had tables and it was perfectly peaceful. Really recommend to search for a spot next to the river in one of the many picnic areas.

                                                                                    We also visited Fromagerie Gaugry around Gevrey Chambertin. The place was great, we visited early in the morning while they were coating the cheeses. They are always open so if you find the door close just go around the corner and enter through their little store. We watched the videos in English, saw the process through the windows and has the tasting at the end. The price is 5 euros for 5 cheeses including Le Brillat Savarin, Le Soumaintrain, Le Plaisir au Chablis (this was great), L’Ami de Chambertin and L’Epoisses AOP, and includes a glass of red burgundy. The tasting room is very nice and we were just with another 2 persons. Bought some cheeses in their shop which we ate in a few picnics. They sealed some of the cheese which we intended to bring home but because we did not refrigerated them they did not make the trip. Lesson learned. The place is great, definitely make a quick stop for the tour and tasting and check out their great shop.

                                                                                    On the wine:
                                                                                    On this trip we were partial to reds and we toured mostly in Gevrey de Chambertin. In Gevrey we did not have any appointments and made only stops at a few places we knew were going to be open for tasting. We visited Philippe Leclerc which was very nice and got 2 Premier and 1 Grand Cru bottles from them (2008, 2009). We also stopped while we were there at Domaine Gerard Quivy and got a few bottles there as well (2009, 2011) They are all very young wine and I will probably not touch them for the next 7 years, yet they have lots of potential and I cannot wait for the earthiness and truffle that is sensed in some of them to hopefully express itself.

                                                                                    We tasted in Alone Corton in Domeine Comte Senard with their lunch. I found their variety and complexity really interesting. We also taste at Santenay which is where we bought a 12 bottle styrofoam container at a wine packaging supply shop at the edge of town. We had debated whether to ship via Cote D’Or Imports or Wine Flite but it was much more convenient to take it ourselves and not have to drive to a place and drop them there and also have to wait for them after we got back. We actually visited several stores and asked all the time about shipping and rates. It seems like if you buy several bottles here or there you have to go to their address in Nuit Saint Georges and drop them there which was not convenient enough for us. We did not have any problems bringing the wine back since we checked it as one of our luggage allowances and customs did not seem to care if it is less than 10,000 dollars in value.

                                                                                    Of the major houses we tasted at Domaine Louis Jadot just outside of Beaune center. We actually made the mistake of going to their Beaune center address for our appointment and were given the correct address, jointing our tour or 4 others about 5 minutes late. Actually on our way back to the car we spotted Rick Steves going into one of his recommended hotels. It was a treat for me since I discovered Rue Clear thanks to him many years ago when I when to Paris for the first time as a student. Did not engage in conversation just a polite nod.

                                                                                    The tour and tasting at Jadot is quite informal which was quite nice. Our oenologist tour guide, Cristine Botton took us through the wine making areas and through several of their cellars before arriving to the tasting area. There she just started pouring and pouring from an enomatic machine. We had several appellations and varietals and afterwards she poured several vintage treats for us, mostly 1990’s. It was quite generous and very nice because it was quick and you could see the progression in the development of the wine while sampling from current to older vintages. Their wine shop is nicely stocked with older vintages at phenomenal prices. Wish we knew that from before but we had already bought and packaged all of our wine. Never thought I would have bought Jadot since they are very common in the States but their vintage selection is very worth checking after the tasting.

                                                                                    On the last day we tour Joseph Drouhin which was another highlight of the wine side of the trip. We toured the cellars early in the morning and we were just the 2 of us with the guide. We toured through the old cellars from the monks next to the cathedral, and followed to the cellars of the Kings and Dukes of Burgundy. All these separate cellars have been connected recently in the past years before Drouhin opened for touring. We tasted 6 wines, 3 white and 3 reds included their flagship Clos de Mouches. Similar to other venues all the wines were quite young but in their store they had great vintage bargains to be enjoyed as of now. Really recommends the wine tour and tasting since it was nice to be immersed in the history of a city seen through the lens of a wine glass. You get to see the remnants of a ancient roman wall to the gate in which monsieur Drouhin who was part for the resistance during the war fled when the Germans came looking for him.
                                                                                    I know I am forgetting other things so I will post later on and try to answer all your questions.

                                                                                    Hope this report helps those who are looking in the forums, and again thank you all for your amazing suggestions. This trip was a surprise after our engagement in NY the previous night and you made it truly memorable with your thoughtful replies to my inexperienced questioning. My compliment and regards to each of you. Will post a link with images shortly.

                                                                                     
                                                                                    6 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: javi777

                                                                                      Javi, this is a great report all around, thanks for it. -- Jake

                                                                                      1. re: javi777

                                                                                        Thanks for such a thorough report!

                                                                                        1. re: javi777

                                                                                          What a great time it sounds! Thanks for the thorough report back.

                                                                                          1. re: javi777

                                                                                            Fantastic! Thanks so much - so helpful.

                                                                                            I think I will also opt to check a case of 12 btls - the 4 of us never travel with more than 1 suitcase, so we should have more than enough allowance (though hauling it to the airport won't be fun). I never would have attempted it without the idea (though I would have jammed them in a suitcase as others described here).

                                                                                            I'm fortunate to have an August reservation for Ferme de la Ruchotte, and look forward to that also.

                                                                                            You really beta tested a lot of my itinerary, so I thank you so much for reporting it in such detail!

                                                                                            Though I was the one that mentioned Drouhin, after communicating with them I opted to tour Jadot instead. The main reason is that Drouhin said the kids would have to wait 2 hours in the waiting room, while Jadot said it would be fine to have them along if they are quiet. Also it is 20E, not that cost was deciding factor.

                                                                                            Ma Cuisine will be closed during my dates, but it sounds great - sorry I will miss it.

                                                                                            The fromagerie is on my list for sure - fun for all, even kids. My only concern is that tasting cheese and wine before lunch at Chez Guy may sacrifice some appetite. I'll try to come early.

                                                                                            1. re: non sequitur

                                                                                              Sounds great. I am glad the Ferme got intouch with you.
                                                                                              As for the wine try to find the styrofoam containers in Santenay. There is a great place on the main road pass the main square of the town. They will have the standard 6 bottles packages and you can get two of those withe their matching boxes. About 10 euros each.
                                                                                              In Santenay there is also a great store in which you can purchase some wine in the street next to the main square, it is nicely stocked with many producers. I found their premier crus to bd great and a total bargain. I would really advice you to possible taste some in the town by appointment and then have a picnic lunch with the family around the canal. We found this amazing spot by the canal and had a great time.
                                                                                              Another place that has styrofoam wine packages is a wine store in Beaune in the square with the caroussel.

                                                                                              Also i ran into Monsieur Leflaive while we try to have a tasting and tour of their winery but unfortunely it was full for that day. Seems like a very nice place.
                                                                                              Good luck and i will post some pictures in the coming weeks.

                                                                                              As for Drouhin i don't see why they would not allow the children in. It is a great place and you would love it. If you cannot make it then stop by their store anyways , next to the cathedral.

                                                                                               
                                                                                              1. re: non sequitur

                                                                                                FWIW, here is our dinner at La Ruchotte in August last year.

                                                                                                Poached egg on girolles; coq au vin; fromage; jasmine pot de creme.