10:55PM | Beaune | Burgundy
With a morning off from tastings, I take the car for a stretch up the Côte d’Or for photo collection. The soft morning sun quickly rises past the haze and clouds to paint a picture perfect blue sky above the shimmering green rows of vines. Many vignerons are in the fields this week — treating with insect deterrents, pruning the top canopies of the vines, and checking on the floraison.
In Chambolle, I walk out into the Musigny vineyard, quiet save for a gentle wind rustling the leaves. Standing among the gnarled vines emerging from rich brown dirt, I am struck by the elements — air, earth, sun, life — that conspire perfectly to form an impossibly complex and treasured drink. At my feet are vines planted before World War II, whose fruit will be consumed thirty years from now — time stretches dizzyingly forward and back from the point on the ground where I stand.
Lunch back in the Place Carnot, then a jet up to Vosne Romanée for a tasting with a new producer — delicate, fine-grained wines with excellent precision. We work our way through the fields to Marsannay for our second tasting, where we’re treated to an impressive range of wines: red, white, rosé and sparkling, all from the town and all well made.
Back at the apartment, we sit outside as the sun bakes the late evening air, calculating we’re nearly at the same latitude as Fort Kent at the northern tip of Maine. Dinner is a few blocks away — chorizo and peas, roasted veal, and strawberries with balsamic-anise ice cream to finish. Tomorrow the Côte Chalonnaise.