Burgundy is only 3.5 hours by car from bustling Paris, but the bucolic region is a breath of fresh air that seems worlds away. Vineyards cling to the rolling landscape and ancient villages provide walks back in time.
There are close to 100 castles and there are more châteaux in Burgundy than any other region in France, some of which are now small luxury hotels like the Chateau De Champ Carre.
Chateau De Champ Carre
The former inhabitants of Burgundy’s abbeys, namely Benedictine and Cistercian monks, were responsible for the planting of grapes in the Middle Ages that provided the groundwork for the region’s best wines. Southern Burgundy is famous for its Pinot Noir and Chardonnay (named after a town in Burgundy) grape varieties. You are welcome to walk, cycle or drive through the vineyards, on your own or through a variety of tour offerings. Many producers, like Domaine de L’Echelette, open their cellars for drop-in visitors.
Domaine de L’Echelette Winery
Along with sampling Burgundy's wines and cheeses, exploring area churches and abbeys provides a visual feast of historic art and architecture. In the village of Brancion, population 100, the Romanesque church of St. Peter displays wall paintings from 1325. Cluny Abbey, founded in 910, was once Christianity's largest church until the construction of St Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican. In the 11th and 12th centuries, it presided over 1,000 monasteries from Portugal to Scotland. Today, only 8% of the abbey complex remains, but its size is still impressive and many monastic buildings are spread throughout the town.
For more on Burgundy, visit https://www.burgundy-tourism.com