French Wine, Cycling, and Food: Why You Should Visit Burgundy

Burgundy, a historical region nestled in east-central France. It’s famous for its Burgundy wines as well as Pinot Noirs, Chardonnays, Chablis, and Beaujolais. It offers rolling green hills that are intertwined with a network of canals and dotted with grand chateaux.

It’s about as perfect for French wine, cycling and food as you’re ever going to find.

Wine Villages

The villages of Pommard, Volnay, Meursault, Puligny-Montrachet and Santenay are quintessential Burgundy, and each one provides you with the chance to stop off and enjoy the fruits of the local labor.

  • Pommard produces a dark, dry red wine.
  • Volnay makes a beautiful and elegant red.
  • Meursault contributes Chardonnay grapes to create a nutty and vanilla spice white wine.
  • Puligny-Montrachet develops Montrachet white wine, potentially the greatest white wine in the world.
  • Santenay provides plenty of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

A “wine village” is like an adults version of Disneyland, and it’s in these places that wine comes together in particularly rich and enticing form. In 2015, Burgundy’s vineyards were granted Unesco World-Heritage status in recognition of the region’s centuries-old history of viticulture, combined with a remarkable diversity of its wine growing land.

Food

With wine of course comes food. Escargots à la Bourgogne, Boeuf Bourguignon, and Coq Au Vin are just three of the famous regional dishes that Burgundians create with great passion.

The dishes are created with high-quality ingredients including beef from the Charolais cattle that are seen grazing in the stunning scenery throughout the region, esteemed chickens from the Bourg-en-Bresse, wild mushrooms, pigeons, boar, venison, freshwater fish, and of course snails.

Quaint independent suppliers carry on the traditions of excellence with pates, cheeses, sausages and terrines.

You only have to go to the local markets to see the vast array of produce available that’s presented with such pride. Support for the local food artisans is something that Burgundy excels in and is inspiring to the rest of the world.

Cycling

Combining the gorgeous countryside and culinary expertise is Burgundies cycling routes. Burgundy boasts nearly 1000km of signposted cycling trails, the majority of which form the “Le Tour de Bourgogne à Vélo.” As you wander through wine country, this major circuit runs alongside canals, towpaths, former railways lines, and vineyards. Providing you with an overview of everything that makes Burgundy so charming.

Rivers And Canals

In Burgundy winding rivers and cycling go hand in hand. The long towpaths that run alongside the canals provide a host of beautiful, user-friendly trails that can be cycled along. At the water’s edge along the River Saone or the River Loire, cyclists and boaters paths often cross. Whether you choose to ride or sail, one thing that you’ll both agree on, is the tranquility and beauty of the setting you find yourselves in.

The Vineyards

For the ultimate experience, you can roll through some of the most prestigious vineyards on the planet. You’ll need some big panniers to make room for the all the wine and cheese you collect on your way. The only thing you’ll have to worry about is the you’ve not had too many samples of your favourite grape juice to make it home.

2017-02-23T20:17:53+00:00

About the Author:

Mike McLeish is the owner of the bicycle blog Pinch-Flat. He’s currently taking full advantage of the of the warm weather in SE Asia. You can find him cycling through traffic in Kuala Lumpur, attempting to drink coffee from a plastic bag, or eating Nasi Lemak at a local corner shop. Follow him on Twitter at @Pinch_Flat.

9 Comments

  1. Wendy February 25, 2017 at 11:01 AM - Reply

    I’ve always wanted to visit Burgundy to taste the delicious wine and enjoy the beautiful scenery. I’m putting it on my bucket list!

    • Mike February 25, 2017 at 9:10 PM - Reply

      Hey Wendy!

      Yes, it’s a must!

  2. Robin Renken February 25, 2017 at 12:49 PM - Reply

    The variety of wines and the local food do indeed sound like “Disneyland for adults”. But I’m not really a cyclist. Is this doable for simple bicycling (think basket and a bell) or is there another recommended method for traveling between villages, slowly to enjoy the vineyards and landscape?

    • Mike February 25, 2017 at 7:02 PM - Reply

      Hi Robin,

      The distance between all the villages is around 20km in total, so I think it would be doable even on a modest bicycle. If it’s a little too far, you could choose a few of the villages to cycle instead of all.

      If you’d rather not cycle, there are a lot of local companies that will happily drive you around the vineyards.

      Of course, I like the bike the best so give it a shot and see how it goes!

  3. Allison Wallace February 25, 2017 at 1:09 PM - Reply

    Burgundy is very close to the top of our wine bucket list and biking through it is something I’ve dreamed of…bookmarking this article for when we make the trip!

    • Mike February 25, 2017 at 9:12 PM - Reply

      Hey Allison,

      Yeah, it’s a great way to spend a holiday.

      Make sure you stock up on the local cheeses as well!

  4. Casey @TravellingCorkscrew February 25, 2017 at 5:55 PM - Reply

    I have major wine-travel envy right now. It looks and sounds absolutely amazing!

    • Mike February 25, 2017 at 9:15 PM - Reply

      Hey Casey,

      It’s a fun trip and definitely worth giving ago if you ever have a spare week or two in Burgundy!

  5. Winederlusting February 26, 2017 at 1:33 PM - Reply

    Love that Burgundy was recently granted the UNESCO designation, so well deserved. Still can’t believe I haven’t been here yet, thanks for the motivational reading! You’ve inspired me to escalate my planning!

    -Greig

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