So we were in France from Thursday to Wednesday. We’ve visited quite a few wineries here. At least two a day! We traveled all over southern France and experienced a big traffic jam on Saturday which caused us to have to cancel two tastings but we were able to make up one on Sunday morning! The bus can be brutal spending hours a day on it traveling but you get your own two seats which helps and I’ve been taking a French type of anti-car sickness that works amazing! It is totally worth it once you see the beautiful vineyards and the views along the way.
On Friday, we went to Louis Latour in Beaune, Burgundy. It was amazing. The cellar was so big but the only problem was that the difference between the 95 degree weather and the chilly cellar did not wok out too well for myself. The mold and dust all over doesn’t really help much either. My throat started to bother me and I was having trouble swallowing and was waking up at night because my throat was so dry. I was eventually able to get cough drops to help take away the pain. We went to three wineries today and each time we went into the cellar my throat started to tickle so badly that I would start having a coughing fit so I had to suck on a few menthol cough drops and it really helped! I’m almost better! (Don’t be freaked out by the photo below. These are the vintage aged wines that are like this. The new ones don’t get in the cellar for a while.)
My favorite winery so far in France would have to be a tie between Joseph Drouhin and Domaine de Mourchon.
At Joesph Drouhin, the cellar is huge and still has rooms that were built when the monks made wines hundreds of years ago. The cellar kept going for a while and when we came to the end we were around the corner at their store front. It was amazing to say the least. Domaine de Mourchon is owned by a Scottish family for the past 15 years and is located in Rhone, France. They have traditional stainless steel, oak barrels, and something I’ve never seen before: concrete vats. They are in the wall and automatically have a cooler temperature in the cellar and are cheaper to maintain.
On Friday, we had a chance to get lunch on our own and walk around. My group and I chose a small cafe. Our server’s name was victor and fortunately he spoke a little English! I ordered a cheese pizza. It was 10 euros. I didn’t realize how big it was gonna be so fortunately some friends tried it too!
We’ve tried a ton of Rieslings, Pinot Noirs, Chardonnays, Gamay’, and a few others. It’s crazy how much I’m taking in from each of the guides at the winery. My favorite part is when the group presents our guides with a bottle of wine and some chocolate from Colorado and they are so surprised and thankful! It’s really cute to see their faces!
On Tuesday, we went to Champagne, France! We did a tour and wine tasting at Moet and Chandon! It was amazing there. Their cellars are 3 floors and a total of 28 km (about 17.3 miles) long! It was so cool and we learned a lot about the process of making champagne. You can see that the hall way goes on forever!
Now that I’m back in Germany, the stress is off! We no longer have to pack a bag before we go to bed to be able to grab it and leave in the morning. I’m all unpacked and settled into my new room in Koblenz! Although my WiFi isn’t working well the hotel staff are trying their best to fix it. It’s great being able to have your own room because you need some time to relax because usually you’re always with someone! I wish there was more American TV but it’s still pretty amusing watching Spongebob Squarepants or Friends dubbed over in German.
Yesterday we started class again with a new professor (just for the day). She’s an American but has been living in Germany studying wine for over thirty years. She was really helpful and sweet. We learned all about the different styles, ripeness levels, and grapes of Germany.
After class we got dressed nicely to go to an Austrian dinner. It was four courses with paired wines. Our new professor was there to guide us through and tell us about the meals and wines from Austria.
Today, we are learning about Austria! It has similarities to Germany but also has many differences! Our professor is very nice and he brought us gifts! A lot of pamphlets about Austrian wines and pairing, a pencil, and a laptop case all with a label of Austria Wine!
We have a free weekend starting after class today. A bunch of us are planning to do a river boat tour on the Moselle River and there is a music festival in town as well! I’m glad to have some time to rest and get some sleep. Our trip to France kind of knocked the wind out of all of us!