Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Magical Macon & Mercury – Wed., 4/23/08

Wednesday morning was cloudy with light rain, but I packed the car and headed north to the Macon. It was less than an hour’s drive from my hotel outside of Lyon. Macon is a pretty magical land with rolling hills, tiny villages tucked into the folds, and some very famous cliffs – such as the Rocks of Vergisson (see photo).

The only downside of Macon is very poor signage. Their two most famous villages – Pouilly and Fuisse are almost impossible to find. The roads twist and turn with very few signs. Finally after 45 minutes of driving in circles – and find the rock and village of Vergisson by mistake – I finally asked someone for directions. Eventually I arrive in the small village of Fuisse for my first appointment – a good 30 minutes late.

This was not a problem for the owner of Domaine Christopher Cordier, however, and we had a lovely tour of the cellars, viewed the vineyards outside, and tasted some wonderful ripe apple, full Macons –all chardonnay, of course. Chris won winemaker of the year in 2005 and makes very high quality wine which he exports around the world. Indeed, he had run out of wine to sell.

Lunch was in the famous village of Cluny where I was able to see parts of the ancient and largest cathedral outside of Rome. Very impressive town. Afterwards I drove through the hills to the small town of Vire where I visited Domaine Sainte-Barbe and was able to spend much time in the lovely 60 year old organic vineyards. Jean-Marie even let me taste his rare boytrised chardonnay.

Last stop was Mercury where I visited Domaine Dumeix-Foulart where Agnes had built an impressive new cellar painted in red and pinks tones. She specialized in both pinot noir and chardonnay and we tasted through her wines. She bottle ages up to 2 years and enjoys “taking her time to make good wine.”

Around 6pm, I arrive in Beaune to check into my hotel – Hotels Stars. Immediately I tried to find a new hotel, because it was not a place to stay for 4 days. I lasted one night and moved the next morning to a lovely place (see next blog for details). However, had a wonderful dinner in old town Beaune and was amazed to see how large the town had become since Mike and I last visited in 1992.

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