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The Republic of France

Beaune - France

Holiday in Beaune, FranceBeaune is the wine capital of Burgundy in the Côte-d'Or department in eastern France. It is located between Paris and Geneva. Beaune is one of the key wine centers in France and the annual wine auction of the Hospices de Beaune is the primary wine auction in France. The town is surrounded by some of the world's most famous wine villages, while the facilities and cellars of many producers, large and small, are situated in Beaune itself. With a rich historical and architectural heritage, Beaune is considered the Capital of Burgundy wines. It is an ancient and historic town on a plain by the hills of the Cote d'Or, with remnants from the pre-Roman and Roman eras, through the medieval and renaissance periods and up to recent history and modern times. Beaune is a walled city, with about half of the battlements, ramparts, and the moat, having survived and in good condition, and the central old town is extensive. Historically Beaune is intimately connected with the Dukes of Burgundy. Landmarks in Beaune include the Halles, the Hospices, the Beffroi, and Notre Dame.

Holiday in Beaune, FranceThere is a comprehensive traditional shopping area clustered around the central square with a focus on gourmet food, fashion, and wine, while large supermarkets, business parks and other more contemporary businesses are situated on the outskirts of town. Beaune is the center for wine industry services, such as tractors and equipment for vat-rooms, as well as a number of wine-related institutes and educational facilities. The train station is served by TGV, through Dijon or Lyon. Beaune has a major fine fresh food market on Saturdays, where there are a large number of stall holders supplying a broad selection of products and specialties from Burgundy and the surrounding regions. Bresse chickens, Jura cheeses, small goods, spices, produce of every variety as well as seasonal specialties such as truffles are available. There is a smaller market on Wednesday, and special-event markets and fetes are held throughout the year. Although Beaune is not primarily a tourist town but one centred around the wine industry, it nevertheless attracts a large amount of tourism and is definitely well worth visiting. About five traditional smaller hotels are located within the city walls with around five chain hotels on the outskirts. Technically Beaune is a commune in eastern France, a sub-prefecture of department 21, the Côte-d'Or department, in the Bourgogne region.

Holiday in Beaune, FranceBeaune is one of the wine communes of the Côte de Beaune subregion of the Burgundy wine region, which bears the name of this town. Although Beaune is lacking a Grand Cru vineyard in the commune, it is the hub of the region's wine business, as most of Burgundy's major négociants are here. Beaune is renowned for its annual charity wine auction on behalf of the Hospices de Beaune. It is on the route des Grands Crus tourist trail that takes visitors on a tour among the vineyards. The road runs north from Beaune to Gevrey Chambertin towards Dijon and Nuits-Saint-Georges and south to Nolay, Saisy and Autun. Burgundy is one of France's main wine producing areas. It is well known for both its red and white wines, mostly made from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes, respectively, although other grape varieties can be found, including Gamay, Aligote, Pinot Blanc, and Sauvignon Blanc. The region is divided into the Côte-d'Or, where the most expensive and prized Burgundies are found, and Beaujolais, Chablis, the Côte Chalonnaise and Mâcon. The reputation and quality of the top wines, together with the fact that they are often produced in small quantities, has led to high demand and high prices, with some Burgundies ranking among the most expensive wines in the world.

Holiday in Beaune, FranceFounded in 1442 by Nicolas Rolin, chancellor of the Duke of Burgundy, and his wife, the Hospices are a charity running hospitals and other services for the needy. The Hospices de Beaune or Hôtel-Dieu de Beaune is a former charitable almshouse in Beaune, France. It was founded in 1443 by Nicolas Rolin as a hospital for the poor and needy. The original hospital building, the Hotel-Dieu, one of the finest examples of French fifteenth-century architecture, is now a museum. Services for patients are now provided in modern hospital buildings. An important charity wine auction is held in November each year - formerly in the great hall of the Hôtel-Dieu. The charity auction has been arranged annually since 1851, taking place on the third Sunday in November amid a three day festival devoted to the food and wines of Burgundy called Les Trois Glorieuses. The charity auction is preceded by a black tie dinner at the Clos de Vougeot on day one and followed by the lunch La Palace de Meursault on day three. The Domaine des Hospices de Beaune is a non-profit organisation which owns around 61 hectares or 150 acres of donated vineyard land, much of this classified Grand and Premier Cru. With bidding by professional and private buyers, the barrels, from 31 cuvées of red wine and 13 of white wine, attain prices usually well in excess of the current commercial values, although the results give some indication of the trend in expected bulk wine prices for the vintage from the rest of the region. The auction has been organised by Christie's since 2005, setting a record total figure at the 149th auction in 2009 when 799 barrels were up for sale, and 40% bids by telephone, internet or fax connecting some 500 participants from around the world, the auction has in recent years evolved from a wholesale market to a retail market.

Holiday in Beaune, FranceLouis Chevrolet were born in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Canton of Neuchâtel, Switzerland. In 1886, Chevrolet's family left Switzerland to live in Beaune, in the Côte-d'Or departement of France. It was there as young men Louis and his brothers developed mechanical skills and interest in auto racing. Louis Chevrolet (1878-1941) was a race car driver, co-founder of the Chevrolet Motor Car Company and co-founder of the Frontenac Motor Corporation with brothers Gaston and Arthur. Arthur Chevrolet (1884-1946), was also a race car driver and co-founder of the Frontenac Motor Corporation with brothers Louis and Gaston. Gaston Chevrolet (1892-1920) was the 1920 Indianapolis 500 winner and the 1920 AAA National Champion race car driver as well as being a co-founder of the Frontenac Motor Corporation with brothers Louis and Arthur. Beaune is the birthplace of Bruno Latour, born at Beaune in 1947, an anthropologist and an influential theorist in the field of science and technology studies. Latour is related to a well-known family of winemakers from Burgundy. As a student, Latour originally focused on philosophy and was deeply influenced by Michel Serres. He quickly developed an interest in anthropology, and undertook fieldwork in Côte d'Ivoire which resulted in a brief monograph on decolonization, race, and industrial relations. Latour is a French sociologist of science and anthropologist and an influential theorist in the field of Science and Technology Studies best known for his books We Have Never Been Modern, Laboratory Life - with Steve Woolgar and Science in Action.

Holiday in Beaune, FranceAbout 40 kilometers north of Beaune is the well known city of Dijon. Dijon is the historical capital of the region of Burgundy and home to the Dukes of Burgundy from the early 11th until the late 15th centuries and Dijon was a place of tremendous wealth and power and one of the great European centres of art, learning and science. The Duchy of Burgundy was a key in the transformation of medieval times toward early modern Europe. The Palais des ducs de Bourgogne (English: Palace of the Dukes of Burgundy) now houses city hall and a museum of medieval art. During World War Two it was occupied by Nazi Germany from June of 1940 to the 12th of September 1944, when it was liberated by joint French, British and American forces. Dijon is famous for its mustard. The name Dijon mustard (moutarde de Dijon) designates a method of making a particularly strong mustard. This is not necessarily produced near Dijon, as the term is regarded as genericized under European Union law, so that it cannot be registered for protected designation of origin status. Most Dijon mustard, brands such as Amora or Maille, is produced industrially and over 90% of mustard seed used in local production is imported, mainly from Canada. In 2008, Unilever closed its Amora mustard factory in Dijon. Dijon mustard shops also feature exotic or unusually-flavored mustard often sold in decorative hand-painted faience (china) pots.

Beaune has an oceanic climate with a semi-continental tendency. The oceanic influence is seen with frequent rains in each season, though autumn has the most and summer has the least, along with many other weather changes. On the other hand, one sees the semi-continental influence with one of the greatest seasonal temperature differences, characterized by cold winters with frequent snowfall, and hot summers with violent storms. It is this climate which creates the unique microcosism for which the cote d'or is so readily known.

Climate Data - Beaune
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 4.2
Average low °C (°F) −1
Precipitation mm (inches) 59.2
Avg. precipitation days 11.1 9.3 10.5 9.6 11.7 9.2 7.4 8.3 7.9 8.7 10.5 10.9 115.1
Mean monthly sunshine hours 52.7 89.6 139.5 177.0 204.6 234.0 266.6 229.4 195.0 120.9 69.0 52.7 1,831
Source: Hong Kong Observatory


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Wine Tasting Notebook

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The fastest and most direct way to learn about wine is to take good tasting notes. This is no big secret, but simply the way that beginners learn the fundamentals and professionals hone their skills. The wine tasting forms act as both time savers for professionals and training wheels for beginner and intermediate wine tasters. The accompanying guides serve as a great way to jog an experienced taster's memory as well as an excellent introduction for novices to hit the ground running and learn about wine.

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There is not a more detailed, technically accurate or better looking Wine Map of France. The maps are extensively researched and includes adjacent regions in Germany, Switzerland, Italy and Spain. The map includes detail maps of Bordeaux, Côte d'Or and Beaujolais. Each is 24 by 36 inches, expertly printed on heavyweight acid-free archival paper that is suitable for framing. Included with each is an eight page index booklet.

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Wine Varietal Chart

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Clearly see the big picture of wine grape varieties and how they relate to one another. A beautiful addition to any tasting room or wine cellar. The accompanying reference book, The Wine and Grape Indexes, is the most comprehensive index available of the grape varieties used in worldwide wine appelations. It helps to answer the proverbial question: what grape am I drinking? The Wine Grape Varietal Table is 24 by 36 inches printed in color on acid-free archival paper and is suitable for framing, making it a great gift for any and all wine lovers.

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An Encyclopedia of the Wines and Domaines of France
by Clive Coates

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In this handsome and engaging book, Clive Coates, one of the world's leading authorities on wine, gives us the most up-to-date, comprehensive, and detailed study of the wines of France ever written. Coates's vast knowledge of his subject together with his natural gift as a storyteller make An Encyclopedia of the Wines and Domaines of France as informative as it is entertaining. He discusses every appellation and explains its character, distinguishes the best growers, and uses a star system to identify the finest estates. With more than forty specially commissioned maps that show the main appellations and wine villages of France in detail and a format that invites browsing as well as in-depth study, this book will be essential reading for anyone, professional or amateur, interested in wine.

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