The province of Burgundy (Bourgogne) is famous for its vineyards and white wine. We spent a month in this beautiful area and continued our cheese pilgrimage.
Päivi’s parents came to France to have a holiday with us and rented a summer cottage (gîte) from a little Burgundy village called Clavoillon. There were about one hundred residents and hundreds of funny-looking beef cows all over the paddocks together with some donkeys. The village and scenery was much like in Cheviot in the South Island of New Zealand, except a bit hillier.
The village itself was beautiful and quiet, ideal for a relaxing holiday for ever so busy Finns. We enjoyed lazy days reading, cooking, having walks, and exploring nearby, picturesque villages. Wildlife offered occasional surprises including a fox, a wild boar just like from Asterix comics, lots of forest moles and hawks, and an owl.
The biggest city nearby was Beaune (pronounced like Bonn in Germany), living from wine tourism. The city is very wealthy and bourgeois like Dijon which is also popular among tourists, both French and foreign. The cities are full of little souvenir, wine, cheese, and delicacy shops. Wine is here a bit like Buddhism in Tibet, and sometimes cheese looked like a means to show off. It is a sacrilege for the French to buy cheese or bread from a supermarket, or in general favour industrial products.
In addition to Päivi´s wine tasting we continued our cheese pilgrimage. The most famous Burgundy cheeses are l’Epoisses, La Chaource, Le Mâconnais, and Le Langres. L’Epoisses became our favourite. It is one of the strongest cheeses leaving a nice smell indoors and sticking also to hands. If you want to avoid gaining weight but enjoy cheese, you can just sniff some l’Epoisses!
See also the previous travel story from France: Le Centre.