We again found ourselves at Les Trois Bourgeons for dinner, at a table further away from the constant, freezing draft coming from the front door. Ted sat at the head of the table between Andrea and Sébastien Christophe, looking forward to the arrival of Arnaud Lambert, another one of his favorite producers, who was on his way over from his...[ read more ]

Chardigny vineyards

After leaving Chez Dutraive, our next stop was a business call to two promising young Beaujolais producers that Jean-Louis had met a few months earlier, when they had sold him a shipment of much-needed grapes after the losses to hail. Once he tasted their wines it immediately occurred to him that Ted should meet them. Again we drove through countryside...[ read more ]

On the night of our visit to Les Carrières de Lumières and Van Gogh’s asylum, dinner started at ten. By then I was starving and as luck would have it, it was yet another Provençal feast. There were as many oysters as I could eat, pulled from the Mediterranean, and they were delicious yet some of the saltiest I’d ever...[ read more ]

As evening approached, we were on our way to see Ted’s good friend Nico Rebut, a former sommelier of great talent and repute who has since become a very successful wine distributor in Paris. Each week, he makes the five-hour drive or train ride from the Alps to Paris, his primary market and where he also consults quite a few...[ read more ]

Ted comes from a deeply religious background and after he left the fold, he shifted his faith to that in nature, and he believes that the most conscious winemakers cede control to this bigger force. But as Masson had touched upon with his need for flexibility during tough times, this clearly presents a quandary when people need to pay the...[ read more ]

Masson took us to his production building and gestured quickly at his variety of medium-sized wine tanks (none of his wines are vinified or aged in oak barrels) before leading us into his cellar, a dark, ground-level little room adjacent to the one with all the equipment. The walls were roughly spackled, with rounded corners to the ceiling, giving a...[ read more ]

Just to the south of Apremont is Mont Granier, a colossal roughly-hewn trapezoid of limestone with a thick evergreen forest at its base. Its sheer cliffs suggest the usual erosion and fall away, but in 1248, the entire twenty-three hundred foot north face of the mountain broke off. The resulting rockslide rumbled across many miles, destroyed five villages and killed...[ read more ]

We headed south toward Mâcon, where we would sleep for the night before continuing on the next day to the Savoie department, up in the French Alps. It was a straight shot and about an hour to our destination, through mostly flat and featureless fields. A high point came when we reached a tollbooth and Ted achieved a small and...[ read more ]

Crédoz took us back to his house, a 300-year-old cement-faced structure with slatted shutters, which he planned to renovate soon and turn into a bed and breakfast. I thought the change a good idea, since the building was a bit homely and seemed hastily built, an appraisal that Crédoz seemed to share. But it stood over the real attraction: the...[ read more ]

As the road into the Jura Mountains got steeper, a cliff loomed to our left like a slanting wall of neatly stacked flagstones, done by some midcentury architect with a sense of humor. Each layer of limestone had been laid down as sediment over countless years and then striated vertically every foot or so as the mountain pushed skyward. We...[ read more ]

Credoz

Come morning in Puligny-Montrachet, Ted threw together a great breakfast of farm fresh eggs with the most golden of yolks and sautéed potatoes with the requisite baguette from the gods. I inhaled it all in a couple minutes and washed it down with four strong pod coffees kindly provided by the Airbnb host. Then we packed up and left for...[ read more ]

Blog

After our visit at de Montille’s garden, Ted’s friends decided on a restaurant for dinner in Beaune, the nearby, perfectly preserved and walled-in medieval city at the center of Burgundy’s Côte de Beaune. We rolled down its one-lane cobblestone streets between ancient buildings with storybook gables and spires until we came to a modernized town center. It was full of...[ read more ]

At the legendary domaine of the de Montille family, we were greeted inside the gate of an old stone villa from the 1700s by Alexander Götze, the vineyard manager and assistant to the winemaker. He led us up a narrow stairwell to a lofty space with updated sleek blonde floors and huge, roughly-hewn, exposed dark wood beams that jutted out...[ read more ]