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Tasting the wines of Burgundy on a Uniworld River Cruise

Tasting the wines of Burgundy

We visited the Burgundy region of France as part of our Uniworld river cruise and despite the rain, I was excited to see row upon row of vines, as we were driven through some of villages in the Saone-et-Loire region that make the famous wines of Burgundy.

Tasting the wines of Burgundy

First stop was the ancient fortified chateau in the village of Rully dating back to the 12th century with 32 hectares of vineyards, one third of which are Premiers Crus. Not only were we going to taste these fabulous wines from the Burgundy vineyards but also to have lunch and a guided tour of the château with the owner.

Read more about this cruise;
10 things to expect on a river cruise with Uniworld
12 Culinary highlights of our Burgundy and Provence river cruise
Titan Blog: Burgundy and Provence with Heather on her travels

Wine tasting at Chateau Rully near Beaune in Burgundy Heatheronhertravels.com

Wine tasting at Chateau Rully near Beaune in Burgundy

The château and the vineyards are owned by the Comte de Ternay, whose family has lived here continuously for 22 generations and who will be our guide to the Burgundy wines today. That period of time means that this family has been in this château and most probably producing great Burgundy wine since the 12th century.

The Château is located on the side of a hill, facing the plain leading to the River Saône. The square keep was built during the 12th century with a dry ditch around the château to reinforce the defence. Later the fortress became a manor house and in the 18th century the outbuildings, the great and lower courtyards were created.

Wine tasting at Chateau Rully near Beaune in Burgundy Heatheronhertravels.com

Wine tasting at Chateau Rully near Beaune in Burgundy

We learned that this ditch was later filled in because the Count’s grandfather fell in it one night and decided that it’s time had come. History does not record why he fell in it but I’d like to think it had something to do with (too much) good Burgundy wine! There is now a very tasteful dining room and a wine tasting cellar full of ancient barrels some of which have been converted to tables.

The Comte de Ternay, met us from our Uniworld luxury coach, an affable chap looking slightly frazzled. He explained that this was due to the obvious presence of three small boys who he refered to affectionately as his monsters. It was lovely to see that the same family has more children and that they do not see their château as a museum but a family home with a business attached. We felt lucky to be here knowing that this was a special place with no pretension whatsoever.

Read more about this cruise;
10 things to expect on a river cruise with Uniworld
12 Culinary highlights of our Burgundy and Provence river cruise
Titan Blog: Burgundy and Provence with Heather on her travels

Wine tasting at Chateau Rully near Beaune in Burgundy Heatheronhertravels.com

Wine tasting at Chateau Rully near Beaune in Burgundy

The Count started his introduction with a quote from Benjamin Franklin.
“Wine is sure proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.”

However I prefer the Galileo’s words that my father often quotes before he enjoys a glass.
“Wine is sunlight, held together by water.”

The region of Burgundy produces some of the most regal Grand Cru and Premier Cru wines in the world, with 100 different appelations and more than 3,000 individual producers. The Château de Rully vineyards are one of only 120 in the entire region of Burgundy which are owned by an individual. Around 80% of the wines made here are from the Chardonnay  grape vines which enjoy the limestone terroir and south-east exposure.

Wine tasting at Chateau Rully near Beaune in Burgundy Heatheronhertravels.com

Wine tasting at Chateau Rully near Beaune in Burgundy

We were invited to a dimly lit cellar underneath the 12th century keep. It was full of ancient barrels some of which had been turned into tables and with the wine we were served some delicious cheese puffs called gougères. We tried the Premier cru 1er Cru Clos de la Bressande Monopol, the Clos being a low wall surrounding the vineyard which helps the grapes ripen by protecting them from the wind. The Count told us that the Chardonnay grapes are picked by hand and not by machine and then they are sorted again on tables, so that only the finest grapes are used in making the wines of Burgundy.

Read more about this cruise;
10 things to expect on a river cruise with Uniworld
12 Culinary highlights of our Burgundy and Provence river cruise
Titan Blog: Burgundy and Provence with Heather on her travels

Wine tasting in the kitchen at Chateau Rully in Burgundy

The wine had a floral nose with aromas of honey and orange blossom and an elegant oakiness. The Count told us that he loves drinking it with cold cuts of meat, fish or white meats and sauces and that it was particularly good with goat’s cheese. Thi delicious wine of Burgundy really tastes like sunshine in a glass.

We then tasted the Appellation Village Rully Les Saint-Jacques Ouest which was a lower classification called a regional appellation. It was good too but there really was a difference and the Premier Cru was the one for me. It was delightful to be drinking such beautifully made wine while chatting to a man whose whole life is dedicated to the estate outside his sitting room window.

Wine tasting at Chateau Rully near Beaune in Burgundy Heatheronhertravels.com

Wine tasting at Chateau Rully near Beaune in Burgundy

After the tasting we moved back to the former stable block where a delicious lunch awaited us, all included in the Uniworld excursion. Unsurprisingly we were served a speciality of Burgundy, the classic Boeuf Bourguignon made with the château’s own red Burgundy wine. This was accompanied by a potato gratin with a crispy topping of local cheese. For pudding there was an equally classic and simple apple tart. It really doesn’t get much better than this.

Read more about this cruise;
10 things to expect on a river cruise with Uniworld
12 Culinary highlights of our Burgundy and Provence river cruise
Titan Blog: Burgundy and Provence with Heather on her travels

Lunch at Chateau de Rully Photo: Heatheronhertravels.com

Lunch at Chateau de Rully in Burgundy

After lunch the Compte gave us a personal tour of the Chateau. There were some beautiful objects within the part of the house, but most interesting was that the Compte’s family have lived there since the 12th century and throughout that long time they have been producing and clearly enjoying the delicious wines. It was a remarkable day out that allowed us to connect with what it means to be part of the Burgundy wine region.

Wine tasting at Chateau Rully near Beaune in Burgundy Heatheronhertravels.com

Wine tasting at Chateau Rully near Beaune in Burgundy

The visit to Chateau Rully was offered as an optional excursion as part of our Uniworld Cruise. The Chateau is also open for visits by appointment in July and August. For more information visit the Chateau Rully website.

This guest article is by Guy Cowper, who enjoys accompanying Heather on her blogging trips, especially where wine tasting is involved!

Read more about this cruise;
10 things to expect on a river cruise with Uniworld
12 Culinary highlights of our Burgundy and Provence river cruise
Titan Blog: Burgundy and Provence with Heather on her travels

Travelling with Titan Travel and Uniworld Cruises

You can book your Uniworld Cruise through Titan Travel who specialise in escorted holidays and cruises. When you book through Titan Travel you enjoy their VIP Home Departure Service which is included in your holiday, to transfer from your home to your departure airport in one of Titan’s own vehicles.

Uniworld offer boutique river cruising on the rivers of Europe as well as other worldwide destinations. Like their sister company, Red Carnation Hotel Collection, the Uniworld ships feature luxurious furnishings and artworks with outstanding, personalised service.

Heather and Guy travelled on Uniworld’s Burgundy and Provence River Cruise through Titan Travel, on an 8 day cruise from Lyon to Avignon, from £2049 per person. As with all Uniworld cruises, the holiday is all-inclusive and covers meals and drinks on board, daily excursions, gratuities and airport transfers.

Thanks to Titan Travel and Uniworld for hosting our cruise.

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This article is originally published at Heatheronhertravels.com – Read the original article here

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5 Comments

  • Reply
    Hels
    July 29, 2016 at 2:23 am

    Ships, architectural history, French culture, gardens, wine and great food. What more could a middle aged human being want in life 🙂
    Hels´s last blog post ..Design in Napoleon’s Consular and Empire periods (1799-1815)

    • Reply
      Heather Cowper
      August 3, 2016 at 11:51 am

      @Hels It was a fun trip and plenty of food and culture to enjoy

  • Reply
    Lauren Meshkin @BonVoyageLauren
    August 9, 2016 at 4:28 am

    I really enjoyed following your snaps! This sounds like a dream. Great post and photos, thanks for sharing 🙂
    Lauren Meshkin @BonVoyageLauren´s last blog post ..The Library Hotel Collection – My Favorite NYC Hotels!

    • Reply
      Heather Cowper
      August 11, 2016 at 12:49 pm

      @Lauren Thanks it was a fun trip with no shortage of wine tasting opportunities!

  • Reply
    Neil Patel @ Best Flight Deals
    August 11, 2016 at 7:24 am

    Perfect trip planning to enjoy the wines of burgundy uni world cruise.

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