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January 5, 2019

France: Châteauneuf-du-Pape

Filed under: Europe, France, Photography, Travel, Travel, Wine, Writing — Tags: , , , , , , — anotherheader @ 6:45 pm

A group of visitors walk through the vineyards towards Châteauneuf-du-Pape.

It was the wine that brought us back to Châteauneuf-du-Pape. The 2015 vintage is a good one in France and being temporarily homeless we figured it would be a good time to stock up. While we were there we were also able to do some early reconnaissance on the 2016 vintage, which may well top 2015. (more…)

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France: Saint-Émilion


The roads leaving Saint-Émilion head through the vineyards.

Saint-Émilion is one of our favorite wine towns. Recently we visited the commune again for our third time. We did not visit alone. Saint-Émilion is a very popular stop for oenophiles from around the world. Usually the crowds put us off but for some reason the throngs of red wine addled tourists are more tolerable in Saint-Émilion. (more…)

January 3, 2019

France: Burgundy, Wine Festivals

Filed under: Europe, France, Photography, Travel, Travel, Wine, Writing — Tags: , , , , , , — anotherheader @ 9:21 pm

Domaine d’Arlot’s wines and a map of the vineyards

The French regularly drink wine. There’s little doubt about that. But where do they buy the wine they drink? In 2018 we learned a little more about how the French purchase wine. (more…)

December 20, 2018

Spain: Madrid and La Venencia

Filed under: Architecture, Europe, Photography, Spain, Travel, Travel, Wine, Writing — Tags: , , , , , , , — anotherheader @ 7:46 pm

Madrid has some characters on the streets.

In November of 2017 we escaped the cold and wet weather of Burgundy France and headed to warmer and drier Spain. The trip was impromptu with the upcoming destinations planned as we proceeded. After popping around with short stays we decided to stay a little longer in Madrid. Initially we booked the room in the center for six nights. In the end the hotel was comfortable we extended our stay to nine nights. (more…)

November 28, 2018

France: Riquewihr

Filed under: Europe, France, Photography, Travel, Travel, Wine, Writing — Tags: , , , , , , , — anotherheader @ 5:28 am

A steeple through the Alsatian vineyards

If I was transported blindfolded and dropped in the French Alsace region I would instinctively think I was in Germany. This area of Northeastern France looks more German than French to me. Indeed it looks so Germanic that I have tendency to reach for my few German words in everyday interactions. That is inconvenient and embarrassing as I know far less German than I do French. The Germanic appearance of the Alsace influences an unconscious part of my mind that chooses the language to use, even when there is no real choice. (more…)

November 19, 2018

France: Château de Savigny-lès-Beaune

Filed under: Europe, France, Photography, Travel, Travel, Wine, Writing — Tags: , , , , , , — anotherheader @ 5:03 pm

This North American F-86D at Château de Savigny-lès-Beaune.was used by the Royal Danish Air Force but has been repainted to represent North American F-86D Sabre USAF 23667/FU-667.

Attractive villages are sprinkled along the base of the Côte-d’Or escarpment in Burgundy. Gevrey-Chambertin, Chassange-Montrachet, Nuits-Saint-Georges, Morey-Saint-Denis, Chambolle-Musigny, Vosne-Romanée: The names of the towns read like the expensive section of the wine list in a posh restaurant. This is the heart of the Burgundian wine country. The vineyards in this region produce some of the most sought after wines in the world. Like pendants on a necklace the famous communes are connected by the Rue des Grands Crus, a touristic road route that passes through some of the world’s most famous vineyards. (more…)

April 9, 2017

France: Great Saltworks of Salins-les-Bains and the Royal Saltworks of Arc-et-Senans


A tunnel beneath the saltworks at Salins-les-Bains brings brine to the drying pans.

Salins-les-Bains and Arc-et-Senans are in the Jura and Doubs departments of France, respectively. Both administrative departments are on France’s eastern border with Switzerland. As of 2015 Jura and Doubs were part of the larger administrative region of Franche-Comté, the only region of the continental portion of France that we hadn’t visited. But by the time we first arrived in Franche-Comté in 2016 it turned out that we already had visited all of the administrative regions of continental France. How did that happen? At the start of 2016 Franche-Comté was consolidated into a larger region, Bourgogne-Franche-Comté. A legislative act eliminated Franche-Comté before we could visit. (more…)

April 8, 2017

France: Arbois, Maison Pasteur

Filed under: Architecture, Europe, France, Photography, Travel, Travel, Wine, Writing — Tags: , , , , , , — anotherheader @ 11:22 am

Pasteur’s laboratory

In the Jura department of France, near the border with Switzerland is the commune of Arbois. The town of around 3,500 people is known for its cheese-centric food, theft-worthy Comté cheese, and wine. Indeed, in 1936 Arbois’ viticulture areas became the first designated “Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée” or A.O.C. in France. Today the Burgundy, Bordeaux, and Champagne appellations are more famous, but Arbois was the first. (more…)

March 18, 2017

France: Côte d’Or


The commune of Vosne-Romanée

Burgundy’s most famous and most expensive wines originate in the Côte d’Or appellation, a band of vineyards extending from the southern outskirts of Dijon to Santenay. On the east side of this limestone escarpment the vineyards spill down the hillside onto the valley floor. A designated 60-kilometer long road route through the vineyards, the Route des Grands Crus, takes oenophiles (more…)

February 17, 2016

France: Châlons-en-Champagne

Filed under: Architecture, Europe, France, Photography, Travel, Travel, Wine, Writing — Tags: , , , , — anotherheader @ 4:51 pm

Inside Cathédrale Saint-Étienne de Châlons

Inside Cathédrale Saint-Étienne de Châlons

Châlons has interesting history, attractive historic buildings, and good food. One of its churches, Notre-Dame-en-Vaux, is included on the UNESCO “Chemins de Saint-Jacques-de-Compostelle en France” World Heritage listing. The French Ministry of Culture and Communication has designated Châlons-en-Champagne as a “Villes et Pays d’Art et d’Histoire (“Towns and Lands of Art and History”). (more…)

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