During my visit to Beaune this summer, Joseph Voillot was my first visit. It was funny because I emailed them thinking I would probably get the same response as I’d been getting from all other producers saying: “we are closed, we do not take visits”, etc etc. However, he replied that we were welcome to visit and voila: he was penciled in.
I walked around Volnay looking for him, first at what looked like the wine cellar and then at what looked like his house. I rang the bell and a woman (I think maybe his mother) opened. In my terribly limited french I tried to explain I had an appointment. She disappeared into the house and a few minutes later Mr. Voillot was there!
He came directly from the vineyards in his tractor. He lead the way through this very tiny door into a small tasting room. There I tasted through his wines while we had a strange conversation in french/english/gibberish. It’s not easy carrying on a conversation when neither speaks the others language. But we managed and I actually learned a little more about wine. It was a truly fantastic experience and I hope to meet him again soon.
It’s not as easy to get visits with winemakers in Beaune as it is in Barolo, but I was lucky enough to get us in at Michel Lafarge. Personally I do not have a lot of experience with the wines, but I follow the family and winery on social media and know a little about them through there. We were greeted by Frédéric Lafarge, who along with his father now runs the winery. The first thing he did was take us into the vineyards, which has to be one of my favorite things to do when I visit a winery.
While in the vineyard he explained the idea of the Clos, as he has his own Clos “Clos du Château des Ducs”. For those who do not know, it just means that it’s a “monopoly” vineyard that is fenced in. He also tried to show us some mildew, as it is a problem in certain years, but luckily for him and his wines he could not find any.
Inside the winery in the cellar we tasted quite a few wines, both from barrel and bottle. What I find interesting about wine tasting in Bourgogne is that you stand up the whole time. In Barolo, you almost always sit down, at least for part of the tasting. In honesty I don’t remember all the wines we tasted, as I forgot to write it down and was unable to take pictures because we tasted directly from the barrel, but the wines were very good! And I hope to come back and visit again!
Caves Madeleine has always been a go to restaurant for our family when we are in Bourgogne, and this time was no different. However, since the owner changed the food has become a lot better. It is one of the best meals I have eaten in a very long time. We all wished we could eat non stop to be able to try the whole menu. Maybe next time.
The restaurant is located just outside the Beaune circle, and the small space seats about 25 people. The menu is scribbled on a black board in french, so we all had a little bit of trouble understanding the menu at first. Thankfully the staff spoke english very well and helped us figure out what we wanted to eat. The picture below is just a sneak peak of what we ate.
When it came to choosing the wine, we first tried to order something new. When the wine arrived, we all thought it was very strange and did not care for it very much. The waiter was extremely kind and let us chose another bottle. The service over all was incredible. I am very excited to go back again next time I am in Bourgogne.
I have arrived in Bourgogne and I spent the first half of today in Volnay. It started with a winery visit with Joseph Voillot. Legendry. He spoke no english and my french is about as good as my mandarin, but we made it through and tasted some very good wines.
Lunch was incredible. We ended up at Le Cellier Volnaysien at the reccomendation of Mr. Voillot. His favorites were the poached eggs and Coq au vin. We did not try the egg, but my three companions (my family) had the Coq au vin and it was very good! We tried one of his white wines, Mersault Les Cras, and it was very good!
So far the trip to Bourgogne has been very good! Hopefully the next visits will be just as fun!
It is true I have a soft spot for Italy and the Barolo region, but I also really like Burgundy. I am going to Beaune this summer, hopefully visiting a few wineries and eating lots of good food. I really wanted to visit Marc Colin but it is proving to be very difficult.
When I was in Burgundy last time we visited Matrot and Liger-Belair. I have previously tried Matrot’s wines but not Liger-Belair. The tasting experience with LM Liger-Belair was incredible. LM is a really interesting guy and his passion for wine is very contagious. The whole tasting was done out of the barrels in the cellar and I had the pleasure of trying his white wine that was only a project at the time. It is now for sale and I frequently drink it at Territoriet in Oslo.
This year I hope to visit LM again, but other winemakers are on the list as well. It would be great to visit Matrot again, Elsa and Adele are always a treat. My parents also met some winemakers at a wine tasting so maybe we will go to one of their wineries.
It should be a fun trip no matter what, and Beaune is such a beautiful town. I can’t wait to wander around the town, visit the wine shops and have a glass of wine at one of the restaurants along the streets. Hopefully I’ll buy a bottle or two to bring back home. Or maybe 10.