June 11 – Wednesday
We boarded our coach at 9.45am outside our hotel in Reims and in the safe driving hands of Herve we headed south to Beaune. It is motorway all the way and travelling in our new Mercedes coach was indeed a very smooth ride. It was a welcome opportunity for me to blog the events of our big day in Champagne on June 10 and the 4-hour trip (included a 30-minute stop at a roadhouse) flew by so quickly that I was just shutting down my laptop as we arrived at Les Cedres Hotel in Beaune; our home for the next 3-nights. After booking in everyone set out in different directions to enjoy their free time exploring the streets and shops of Beaune.
After a freshen Virginia and I did likewise spending 3-hours walking the streets of this beautiful town. Back at our hotel to freshen and change in readiness for a quiet dinner with our good friend and host for tomorrows visit; Christophe Thomas of Joseph Drouhin. Royce & Jenni Everett joined us and Christophe drove us a short distance from town to the appellation of Pommard where we dined at a restaurant on one of the estates. Being mid-week it was very quiet (normally seats around 80-persons) and for most of the evening we had it to ourselves. Floor to ceiling glass walls enabled us a vista over the vineyards, which was incredibly calming. The food was superb and the wines… Ruinart Blanc de Blanc Champagne – Joseph Drouhin 2001 Le Foliataires Montrachet, Joseph Drouhin 2010 Clos de Mouche Rouges and a powerful 2009 Gevrey Chambertin Grand Cru (the name of which I forgot to record) were all sublime. Later Christophe dropped us back to the our hotel and the evening was so clear and balmy we sat outside in the gardens enjoying a nightcap of Rosé Champagne and a high quality Marc (similar to a cognac and produced by fermenting the grape skins and stems left over after removing the free run juice) that was rich and raisony with nuts, dried fruit and a fine brandy like finish. Christophe bade us farewell and headed home while we and the Everett's enjoyed one more glass, whilst discussing the many fine moments we had already experienced on tour and this was only day 4.