A HORIZON TRACED IN VINES
This is a land of water, of abbeys and vineyards. Perhaps the best-known wine country in the world, Burgundy could also be portrayed by its waterways. The waters of the Nivernais Canal, once the supply line to Paris for wine from the Arrière Côte and wood from the Morvan forests. The waters of the Burgundy Canal, flowing in Joigny past the vineyards that produce the Côte Saint Jacques “gray” wines. And the waters of the Saône and Bresse valleys, punctuated by ponds all the way to the romantic cliffs of the Jura, whose terrain stretches out in a series of plateaus. At their feet lie saltworks heated by wood from the vast forests of the plain. This is the terroir of the famous vin jaune and “straw wines,” whose flavors nicely balance the mellow pungency of Comté cheese from the pastures of the Haut Jura, a cousin of Switzerland’s Gruyère. Dominated by stark white reculées (limestone canyons), surrounded by caves and sparkling waterfalls, the Romanesque abbey of Baume les Messieurs guides us, like pilgrims on the road to Compostela, toward a historic beacon: the basilica of Vézelay, with its shadowy narthex and dazzling white nave.
Vézelay overlooks the foothills of the Morvan, a unique enclave in the heart of the region, a highland of rugged, dark beauty blanketed with forests and pitted with lakes. All around are Burgundy’s famous rolling valleys full of farms, pastures marked out by hedgerows, small stands of trees and, of course, vines. Only those who have tasted a Puligny-Montrachet or a Gevrey- Chambertin in the cool damp of a cellar at one of these renowned vineyards can truly understand the richness and diversity of the terroir. Planted with pinot noir for reds or chardonnay for whites, each plot of land expresses its own character. The growers in the Côte de Bourgogne refer to “climates,” as a reminder that each vintage has a distinct history and identity depending on the makeup of the soil, the way the sunlight strikes the vines and the winemakers’ skill. The monks of Cluny and Cîteaux, who were among the world’s first oenologists, did not choose their locations by accident - any more than the founders of the Hôtel Dieu in Beaune. A well-known symbol of Burgundy with its slim spires, pale stone pillars and colorful tile roof, it hosts one of the world’s most prestigious wine auctions every fall.
Hotel and restaurant in a park. With a lake and a botanical garden, the grounds of this 12th century Cistercian abbey are marked by a long tradition of humility, peace and hospitality and exude tranquillity. Magnificently restored by the Cummings family, the subtle architecture of the exterior of the Abbaye de la Bussière contrasts with the spectacular interior design, which incorporates ancient frescoes discovered during the renovation of the building. Antique furniture and silken fabrics create an ambiance of subtle sophistication and pure elegance. Dine in a cathedral-like setting and enjoy a wine list that offers the very best of Burgundy. ... Learn moreless
Restaurant and hotel on a river. The Côte Saint Jacques, in the heart of Burgundy, is a captivating destination. Most of the pleasant rooms have nice terraces, and there are panoramic views from the jacuzzi on the banks of the river Yonne. With an array of activities available, from cooking lessons, to strolling along the canal, an indoor swimming pool, a spa and special programmes for children, you will not be at a loss for things to do. Chef Jean-Michel Lorain, the hotel’s talented and exuberant owner, will welcome you like a friend, and if you’re lucky, he will let slip the secrets of his recipes. It’s worth a trip here just to enjoy his Genesis of a Dish on the theme of the oyster. ... Learn moreless
Restaurant and hotel in a village. The name Bernard Loiseau evokes a unique sensory voyage and an authentic culinary experience. Chef Patrick Bertron, MOF (Best Craftsman of France), has added his talent to the legacy left by his master, with cuisine based on simplicity, powerful tastes and new flavours. But the food isn’t the only attraction at this stunning Burgundy location: owner Dominique Loiseau has made this hotel exceptional in every way. The breakfast room is a listed historical monument. The dining rooms offer a panorama view of the gardens, the rooms are elegantly decorated and at the spa, the welcome is warm and attentive. This is a magical and timeless place where the idea of well-being takes on its full meaning. ... Learn moreless
Hotel and restaurant in a vineyard. On the banks of the river Bouzaize sits a beautiful white house with an elegant French-style garden and a majestic five hectare park with century-old trees. Susanne and Jean-Louis Bottigliero are the happy owners of this very charming property that skilfully blends tradition and modernity, in the heart of the prestigious Côte de Beaune vineyards. In the gourmet restaurant the chef serves a traditional cuisine with a modern flair. The vegetable garden allows for simple, delicious dishes at the Bistrot du Bord de l’Eau in the ancient kitchen that dates back to 1750. Finally, the cellar boasts a selection of 800 references from the most prestigious wines from Burgundy. ... Learn moreless
Restaurant and hotel in a village. A true institution of French gastronomy and a charming hotel, the Maison Lameloise has cultivated art de vivre since more than 90 years. In medieval times the cuisine attracted already the Dukes of Burgundy. This long and delightful story is continued by Chef Éric Pras, MOF (Best Craftsman of France), and Frédéric Lamy at the head of the former coach house dating back to the 15th century. The fresh, precise and delicate cuisine of Éric Pras gives this iconic restaurant a new, young image. With the fine tart of Burgundy snails and the potagère of fresh herbs or the suckling veal chop rubbed with marjoram and orange, it pays a delicious tribute to the region and the heritage of the property. ... Learn moreless
Restaurant and hotel in a village. In Vonnas, Georges Blanc, emblematic Chef and visionary businessman, has developed a veritable Gourmet Village on the river bank, around a reconstruction of the inn of his great grandparents. Together with his family, Blanc constantly reinvents Bresse specialties through creations such as the “crêpe vonnassienne” with salmon and caviar or the legendary Bresse chicken with foie gras. Visits are available upon request to one of the five most exceptional cellars in the world, with more than 135,000 bottles. In just under five hectares of grounds, discover a heavenly spa, an aquatic space next to a pond and a large, landscaped park that is illuminated at night. ... Learn moreless
Restaurant and hotel in a village. Renowned interior designers Roland and Véréna Schön have turned this former home of a marquis, located amongst pristine lakes, into an astonishing hotel. Cedarwood parquet floors, period furniture and silky wall hangings make each room like a work of art. Enjoy a swim in the environmentally friendly pool with 100% natural water, sink into an armchair to read a book or sample the best wines of the Jura, before sitting down to savour starred Chef Pierre Basso-Moro's generous, subtle cuisine. The hallmark dishes, like Bresse chicken from the Roussel-Voisard farm in a sealed terrine with Vin Jaune, are worthy of feasts from bygone days. ... Learn moreless