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Oooh - Napolean's Favourite Wines
Wine country here we come! Enough of the excuses of the last three days. Beautiful, yes; interesting, certainly. But why did we come to Burgundy? To visit the Côtes D'Or and the famous vineyards of Nuits St George and Beaune.
Today we'll leave Dijon alongside our old friend the Canal du Bourgogne before we head west towards the hills of the Côtes D'Or. During today we follow tiny roads and tracks through vineyards, visiting vineyards in Marsannay and in Gevrey-Chambertin, as well as the Clos de Vougeot before we arrive at Nuits St Georges where we stay at the Hostellerie Saint Vincent.
The Chateau at Clos de Vougeot is well worth a visit. Originally built by the monks of the Abbaye de Citeaux, the Chateau has been beautifully restored. One room dating back to the 12th century contains four original oak presses that are truly enormous, each one weighing over 20 tons. Once a year one of these presses is still used when the Confrérie des Chevaliers du Tastevin kick off Les Trois Glorieuses on the eve of the Beaune auction.
The main function room is the old wine cellar. It isn't actually a cellar - the monks replicated the attributes of a cellar by building a vast low-ceilinged room with tiny windows and a roof of soil several feet thick. This is where the Chevaliers strut their stuff. The Château also boasts a 'spectacular' 14th century pitched roof. The adjective is from Michelin, and it's fully justified here.