John at www.bandb-burgundy.com has offered an excellent choice of things to do in Burgundy, Eastern France and the environs.
As always there are lots of wine fairs and village fetes all over the place, however there is a major music festival Fetes de la Vigne in Dijon (21 Cote d;’Or. Burgundy) 27 August -2 September 2012 in the Autour des Halles, Place Francois Rude. Entry is free but a souvenir glass and tasting tickets cost from €2.00 open from 10:30 – 20:00 each day to sample wines from the fine Burgundy crus – lots of wine-related events around the pedestrianised centre of the town.
Also in Dijon is yet another inland summer beach – Dijon Plage open until 10 September at the intriguingly named Lac Kir!! – see map
Over in the Jura there are things to do. Particularly interesting is a guided wine-tasting through the wines of the Jura in historic Chateau Chalon. Every Tuesday until 29th August 2006, at 20:30, six vignerons bring one example of their work to a tasting evening. A Professor of Wine talks you through the wines of the Jura, their individualities, quirks, and characteristics and how to taste them! How to recognise the alcohol content from swirling the wine around the glass, developing and recognising the aromas, and finally the taste. Once all the theory has been dealt with you get to taste the wines! Much chat with people in the audience being asked their opinion, what can they smell, and or taste in each of six different types of wine. The range of Jura wines is well covered. You’ll start with a Cremant (Sparkling wine), go next to a Red, either Poulsard, Trousseau (you’ve not heard of those have you) or Rubis (Pinot Noir with Trousseau mix). Following that is a Chardonnay, as unlike a Chablis or Californian Chardonnay as is possible to find, thence to a Chardonnay/Savagnin (yes the spelling is correct) mix which starts you off on the typical Jurascian tastes. Next is the classic Chateau Chalon Vin Jaune. A white wine which positively mugs the unaware. Finishing with a Macvin (mix of Marc du Jura and grape juice) the whole evening will take about 2-2½ hours and costs the princely sum of €5.00! (and you get to keep the glass!) Booking is advised from the Tourist Office in Chateau Chalon (email@example.com) website: www.hauteseille.com Good French is definitely helpful but not totally necessary.
Add for something completely different – a trip around a brewery! The Rouget de Lisle Brewery in Bletterans (39 Jura, Franche-Comte) has tours during July and August weekdays at 1000 & 1500 and weekends at 1500 only. No booking necessary, just turn up at the time – see www.larougetdelisle.com/. Foreigners had perhaps be on their best behaviour, as Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle was a soldier, engineer, poet and musician who composed “la Marseillaise” – so expect some due reverence to a true French icon.
A perfect base for these visits would be the British owned and run B&B with John & Carolyn Scallan at “Le Bourg” in Sens-sur-Seille (71, Saone et Loire, Bourgogne) – see map – website at www.bandb-burgundy.com
Keywords: France, wine, burgundy,jura,beer,tourism,festival, accommodation