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If you are looking for a last-minute trip to take before school goes back, then jump in your car and head for nearby Burgundy (Bourgogne). In about 2h30 to you could be in the heart of the Côte d'Or wine region, also well-known for restaurants. Here are some suggestions.

 

Dijon

www.visitdijon.com/en

As well as the Dijon mustard, this region is also rich in wines, liquors, and more. Start at Beaune working your way up to Dijon via Gevrey-Chambertin (see bottle at bottom of this article), Vougeot, Vosne-Romanée, Nuits-St-Georges, Pommard, Volnay, Meursault; all very well-known villages to wine buffs. From Beaune to Dijon, enjoy the scenery and gastronomy on the famous N74 Côtes d’Or road.

Note: Don’t forget to pick up some flavored mustards: spicy pepper, truffle, cassis, honey, tarragon, etc.

 

cassissium

Le Cassissium

Rue des Frères Montgolfier

21700 Nuits-Saint-Georges

France

0033/380 62 49 70

www.cassissium.com

Enjoy a guided visit of Vedrenne’s facilities (1h30). You will learn some of the secrets of making Crème de Cassis (Blackcurrant Cream Liquor) and you will be able to admire the giant oak casks aging in the cellar where Burgundy spirits (Marc and Fine de Bourgogne) are maturing.

At the end of the tour, you will be invited to sample a Crème de Cassis, or for the kids, a cassis sirop. Shop on premises carries all things blackcurrant.

 Self-guided audio-tours are also available in 6 languages; French, English, German, Dutch, Japanese, and Italian.

Open mid-November through March Tuesday to Saturday 10h30-13h and14h-17h30, April to mid-November 10h30-13h and 14h-19h.

 

La Dombes Bird Sanctuary

RD 1083

01330 Villars-les-Dombes

France

0033/474 98 05 54

www.parcdesoiseaux.com

DIRECTIONS: Take the A40 and A42 to Ambérieu, then the D904 to Chalamont and Villars-les-Dombes. 1h45 from Geneva.

The largest and most popular bird park in France is set in 380 hectares of wetlands. It attempts to present the birds in their natural environment. Note: Ask for a map in English at entrance. There are 4 snack bars in the park.

Open March, October and November 10h-17h30; April, May, June & September 9h30-19h; July-August 9h30-20h.

 

Hameau Duboeuf, Wine Museum

La Gare

71570 Romanèche Thorins

France

0033/385 35 22 22

www.hameauduvin.com/#/en

DIRECTIONS: Autoroute A6 (toll), exit Macon Sud and take the old RN6 south for 12km towards Belleville. 2 hours from Geneva.

A series of large exhibition rooms explains how the grapes are grown and the wine made in the Beaujolais region. A shop allows you to purchase some bottles before leaving.

Museum open 7 days a week all year-round (except December 25) 10h-18h30. Shop open daily 8h-19h.

NOTE: The jardin en Beaujolais is a botanical garden themed aroung wine-growing. The parcours des Momes (kids’ discovery trail) in the museum and gardens is great fun for the kids. 3D film in French, English, and German.

 

Perouges, Medieval Village

Syndicat d’initiative

01800 Pérouges

France

0033/474 46 70 84

www.perouges.org

DIRECTIONS: Take the A40 and A42 to Pérouges (exit 7). 1h30 from Geneva.

Perched on a short escarpment, the fortified village of Pérouges contains picturesque old buildings, narrow cobbled streets, restaurants, a fortress church, a street market and workshops reminiscent of a typical mediaeval village. It has been the setting of many films and television series.

There is no entry charge. An annual program of guided tours is available for reservation for groups and schoolchildren.

 

Dole

http://www.tourisme-paysdedole.fr/version-anglaise.htm

Another small, but beautiful town, is Dole. Please add this to your itinerary for a stroll and an afternoon glass of wine! The tourist office offers guided tours but there are other private domains with wine-tasting nearby.

 

gevrey-chambertin_1985Restaurant Alambic

Rue du Général De Gaulle

21700 Nuits-Saint-Georges

France

0033/380 61 35 00

www.lalambic.com

Have your gastronomic meal in a wine cellar! Excellent food and ambiance. The price is right and the wines are not over-priced.

 

 

This has been an excerpt from Know-it-all passport ® 2011/2012. If you don't have your copy yet, then don't wait. The next edition won't be out for another year!