Thursday, November 9th, 2000 Bueane, France
Well, we still don’t know who our next president is….Florida is doing a recount because the votes are so close! Had breakfast with Terry and Bonnie and then bid them goodbye. Exchanged addresses and plan to see them again some where. If not in the states at least again in Europe. We’ll keep in contact!
Today we toured the local chateaux…started with Commarin, wonderful, but closed for the season. Need to return to see the inside. Then over to la Bussiere, an abbey. Biligny was a great town. The best was la Rochepot, a Burgandy Chateau, but also closed for the season. It is tiny but charming! Just South of Beaune.
Lots of mistletoe growing in the tops of the trees. Unfortunately we can’t reach them or we’d try to take some home for Christmas. Later Lisa said they stand on top of their car and use a boat hook to reach some for themselves and friends at Christmas.)
Then we went into Beaune for our wine tour. First we went to the large bookstore next to the information office. Found great cookbooks in English and a wine book.
Wine tour was great…two American women, one from Belmont Shores and her friend from San Francisco. Our mini van held eight passengers and the Driver drove very fast! He drove right into the vineyards to all the top places. Got out of the van at the vineyard of the most expensive wine in France. He explained about the rose bushes….they are sensitive to the blights and other diseases that affect the grape vine prior to the grape vine. An early warning system. Also the special plastic hangers that were developed by the Germans. They give off the scent of the female butterfly. It confuses the male and they cannot mate in the area so therefore it eliminates the caterpillars that damage the plants! Lots of information on wine and the grading, etc.
When they prune the vine each year they leave one major wood stock with six buds for the following year and also one extra one with some buds for the year after that. Always knew they had a great wine but didn’t know why until they started testing and found the weather was important, but more important was the type of soil. The area is known as Côte d'Or, hills of gold, because of the value of the land. Two and half acres are worth about 7,000,000 francs (about one million dollars). Vines have a lifetime of about eighty years. When the yield becomes low they take the vines out and then they have to wait three years to replant. The new plant has to be in the ground three years before they can harvest the grapes. Rabbits are the greatest enemy of the grape vine when new. Once it turns woody they don’t touch it again. When harvesting they only pick the best. Once the vineyard is picked, the rest are left for the birds as they only pick once! Late blooms are left on the vine.
After the tour we walked around Beaune from 5:30 to 7 pm and then had dinner in a delightful restaurant. Very small, only about ten tables. So good we made reservations for dinner on Saturday evening. Got home shortly after 10 pm. The ramp up to the boat was icy and slick! Very cold outside! But, not raining!