How to Bring in Fall in Burgundy

In early September, Geneva celebrate a very old holiday which dates back to the 16th century – Jeûne genevois. It is a day to fast in honor of the struggle of Protestants who had been persecuted in nearby Lyon, but also seems to be the unofficial “so long summer” Labor Day-esque weekend in French Switzerland!

We really took the fasting to heart and instead fled the city to Burgundy, France for a weekend of wine tasting. After a hectic summer of travel (Italy, Spain, Germany, Austria, US, UK!) we really dropped the ball on planning anything for the long weekend and fortunately, James’ “Aunt” C really came through and invited us to crash an overnight in Burgundy with her and our friend S! (also we’re the worst and didn’t take a group photo.)

After just a two-hour drive from Geneva, we arrived at the loveliest little Airbnb in La Rochepot, about a 15 minute drive from the “heart” of Burgundy, the town of Beaune and at the foot of a 12th century castle – you know, naturally! We woke early with James (naturally) and took the nicest family stroll through the castle grounds, as always, just marveling over our good fortune to spend time in these amazing spots.

It was that perfect time of year where you just need to start putting another blanket on your bed and throw on warm jammies at night – the most ideal place to drink a Pinot Noir (what the region is known for, along with Chardonnays) and usher in the fall season. We made a cozy beef bourguignon (of course) at home but have heard rave reviews of the restaurant La Lune that we’d love to visit next time!

Burgundy (or Bourgogne in French) stands in stark contrast to Piedmont – where the Italians make big, bold, blow your-palette-barolos, Burgundy wines are generally more mellow and subtle. I say that there is a time and place for both! That spirit also extends to the personalities of the vineyards and wine growers. In Piedmont, as you might expect for Italy, there were endless snacks, stories, and pleasant conversation with the owners (and your tasting fee was generally waived with a wine purchase.) The French of course gave us perfectly nice tours, but without the Italian hospitality, and were mostly pretty happy to see the Americans go (and always charged the wine tasting fee.)

Our favorites were the vineyard right at our Airbnb, Domaine Fouquerand – who were so welcoming and knowledgeable, and Domaine Charles, Père et Fille (managed by father and daughter!)

Also – if you are wine tasting in France, consider booking reservations through Rue des Vignerons – the easiest place to arrange wineries for tours and tasting in English. It was such a snap!

Our last morning, we visited the market in Beaune, a town full of adorable stone and ivy walls,  to pick up some goodies for a quiet dinner back in Geneva.

Our time in Burgundy was short but sweet, and we’d love to go back! Maybe minus the baby to hit the restaurant scene 😉

As you read this, we are off to Prague and have my mom visiting next week for a trip to Vienna! Shortly, I’ll share our very special trip to Gstaad, Switzerland – one of our favorite hikes to date!


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