A Taste of France! - Michael Burke

A Taste of France!

October 18, 2018

Is there any sight more iconic than the Eiffel Tower at night? Millions of words have been written about, and thousands of photos taken of this 130-year-old engineering and architectural marvel, and for good reason. It is said to be the most visited paid monument in the world.

Paris was the last stop on a two-week jaunt in France, which included three days in Dijon and a week-long bike and barge trip through the Burgundy wine-growing region, also known as the Cote d’Or. Two weeks is certainly not enough time to explore the largest country in the EU; it’s barely enough time to sample the overwhelming selection of great foods and wines. But that was our goal. By combining time in one of the country’s premier wine-growing regions with four nights in Paris, Sherry and I willingly put ourselves in jeopardy of sensory overload.

It was harvest time in the vineyards of the Cote d’Or, drawing lots of tourists and temporary workers to harvest the grapes. I was fascinated by how a wine-growing region only one mile wide by 25 miles long could provide such a variety of high-quality wines. The primary grapes of the region, pinot noir and chardonnay, produce some of the most notable and expensive wines in the world.

The system of classifying French wines is one of the most highly developed in the world and is attributed to Roman Catholic monks in the 14th century, who noticed differences in taste depending on where the grapevines were planted. Unlike other wine-growing regions in France, which identify a wine by the chateau producing it, Burgundy wines are categorized by their terroir (pronounced “tare WAHr”), that unique combination of climate, soil and terrain that gives wine its subtle differences. This explains why every plot, from the regional appellations in the lower areas to the Grand Crus growing on the upper slopes, has a unique name.

Our brief visit to the country left an indelible impression, from the delectable scent of freshly-baked croissants in the neighborhood bakery to the almost-beyond-words sight of the Paris skyline at night after a stunning sunset.

I hope you enjoy these images of Paris and the Cote d’Or. To see more images from our visit, click here. As always, you are welcome to share them with your friends.

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