Starting the day with a wine tasting … what else? We were at the vineyard of our friends Charles & Marie-Francoise Audoin, whose Domaine Audoin is on the northern edge of the Cote d’Or. The vineyard has been in the family for generations, with son Cyril being the latest member of the family to continue the business. Charles & Francoise have added to the property, which now covers 35 acres around Marsannay-La-Cote, & with the diversity of the soils & grapes they can produce 14 different wines, white, rose & red. They use traditional methods of production and are proud to be registered as organic producers.
Because the weather had been very wet, and now very hot, vines which should have been able to be trimmed gradually now need to be done all at once, so Charles & Cyril were frantically busy in the vineyards, with teams of workers, and it was Francoise who took us to the different “parcels” of land to explain about the different soil types & methods used. Then back to the winery for the traditional tasting in the cellar – except for David, the chauffeur!
Then off to Nuits St George for a leisurely & delicious lunch before descending on the pretty town of Beaune. After the ride on the Petit Train to familiarise themselves with the town, a visit to the Hotel-Dieu was obligatory!kers, & Francoise showed us around the vineyard & hosted the wine tasting in the cellars – & of course we bought a few bottles!
The Hotel-Dieu was founded in 1433 by Nicholas Rolin as a medieval hospice for the poor. With huge donations including 53 hectares of vineyards (!) it became known as the “Palace of the Poor” & up until the 20th century the sick were cared for by the Sisters of the Hospices of Beaune. It is a beautiful building, famous for it’s deep roofs covered in glazed multicoloured tiles in geometric patterns – typical Burgundian roofs.