The Summer months are just around the corner. High temperatures and blue skies are expected to drench the region all month long. In Burgundy, July is the month Burgundy transforms with travelers, tourists and oenophiles taking root on the iconic winemaking appellations of the Côte d’Or with a passion and purpose last observed during Beatlemania.
To ensure your wanderlust is whetted during your travels to Burgundy this Summer, here’s our low-down on the 11 best things to get up to in July, as picked by the team at Château de Pommard, all of whom live locally. Feel free to ask for any recommendations.
1. Beaune Market
Every Saturday and Wednesday during Summer, Beaune, the heart of Burgundy, beats with all the energy you would expect from the region’s wine capital. The market, a cacophony of technicolored stands offering a dazzling array of fresh produce, dairy, meats and poultry, herbs and spices and breads and pastries, is where locals (and tourists, naturally) choose to spend their Saturday mornings, filling their traditional woven baskets with a plethora of pretty flora and local delicacies, as well as catching up with friends in one of many cobbled street-side bistros, patisseries and restaurants.
The market is held in the town’s bustling centre, adjacent the famous Hôtel Dieu, with dozens of arteries running off the main square rewarding visitors with pungent prizes of fresh coffee, olives, local cheeses and rotisserie chickens.
If you want to experience the magic Burgundy all at once – Beaune Market has it all.
2. Le Mois des Climats
Every June 8th to July 8th, the Association de Climats de Bourgogne hosts Le Mois des Climats, 30 days of events and activities that aim to promote the 1,247 Climats vineyards of Burgundy. These Climats were listed as World Heritage by UNESCO in 2015 for their “Universal Value”.
Today, the region does it’s very best to show off this proud accomplishment, and Le Mois des Climats in July is an excellent way to understand the importance of the rich tapestry of terroir that defines the Côte d’Or.
From guided experiences and tours around large and smaller domains, as well as exhibitions and conferences and many, many wine tastings to choose from, Le Mois des Climats is a great way to enhance your Burgundy wine education and stretch your legs throughout the region, with events popping up from Dijon to Santenay, and everywhere in between.
For a comprehensive listing of the Le Mois des Climats program, head here.
Which event(s) will you choose?
3. Beaune Beach
We know what you’re thinking – Beaune has a beach? It most certainly does. And it’s incredible. Four separate sized swimming pools, for children of all ages and abilities, all naturally treated and maintained, complete with bridges, diving boards, rope swings, a climbing wall and lots of space to sunbath. All in all, the perfect location for families and friends to spend time together, and an ideal location to cool down on a hot day.
The beach allows only 1,500 people through its doors each day, to ensure the quality of the water remains super fresh, so arrive early in your swimsuit to avoid disappointment.
Check the opening times here.
4. Stargaze in Clos Marey-Monge
Pommard is famous for fine wines (and the best pizza in Burgundy, check out Calabria restaurant). But another activity that is putting Pommard on the map is the recent rise in astronomy lovers have observed. And it’s little wonder. The sheer quality and quantity of the night sky that can be seen over Clos Marey-Monge, and all parts of Burgundy, is astounding especially for those professional enough to calculate long exposures and star trails with their cameras. As we have experienced first-hand, the stars look even brighter if you have a glass of Clos Marey-Monge Monopole in your hand as you look up and wonder.
5. Rootstock Festival 2018
Burgundy’s best music, wine, and food festival, Rootstock 2018 returns this summer during the French holiday Bastille weekend (July 13-15, 2018). The festival will feature a roster of chart-topping international acts, including British band Jungle, Canadian group Soul Jazz Orchestra, Swiss band Le Roi Angus, and Nigerian-born guitarist Keziah Jones. This international lineup will be completed with the French pop electro group Isaac Delusion and a special Bastille Day DJ set of the unmissable Breakbot.
Alongside the music, the domain invites international travelers to its enjoy the luxury Pop Up Hotel glamping accommodation, where guests can fall soundly asleep seconds from the sounds of the festival site, surrounded by centuries-old vines and 17th-century architecture.
Learn more, and buy your tickets today, at www.rootstockburgundy.com
Burgundy is famous for wines. And vines. And food. Everybody knows that. But, did you also know that one of Burgundy’s most on-the-rise appellations, Givry, located in the south of the region, is home to one of France’s largest adventure parks.
A perfect way to work up a thirst for an afternoon of wine tasting, Acrogivry is action-packed with climbing, crawling, sliding, riding and jumping activities – each one perfect for kids of all ages, of course – including rope and climbing courses and ziplines and bicycle ziplines all set inside a Burgundian forest and nature setting.
Acrogivry may be less thrilling than the wine, but it’s still a great family day out! Make your reservation here.
7. Cycle the Route des Grands Crus
Running parallel behind Château Marey-Monge and Château Micault, the Route des Grands Crus is the best way to see Burgundy. Stretching from Dijon down to Santenay, and running through the iconic winemaking appellations of the Côte d’Or, the world’s most famous wine road can be seen by car (and hot air balloon) but is best enjoyed by bike. Taking a spin from Pommard to Puligny, via Meursault, takes approximately 45 minutes – unless you stop for a glass of wine and absorb the panoramic views in Volnay. En route, you’ll discover a wealth of vineyard animals, a winemaker or two, and of course millions of grapes coming to fruition.
8. Panoramic Views
Burgundy may have fine wine in abundance, but it also has the views to match. Dotted all over the famous slopes of the Côte d’Or are panoramic viewpoints where 180 degrees of Burgundy is visible before your eyes. It is a sight to behold. On a clear Summer’s day, as to be expected in July for sure, Mont Blanc, the famously tall French mountain attached to the Alps, can be seen from these viewpoints. Though, as local legends tells us, “if are lucky enough to see Mont Blanc today, prepare for rain tomorrow”.
The panoramas from Volnay, Pernand-Vergelesses (perfect for a picnic) and above Beaune’s “Les Teurons” vineyard (behind Parc de la Bouzaise) are all particularly terrific, but to ensure your eyes enjoy an authentic Burgundy feast head on over to Santenay’s “Les Trois Croix”, where at the top of the spot a 360 degree view of the region will make your head spin with beauty.
9. Gourmet Experience at Château de Pommard
Launched in May 2018, Château de Pommard’s premium wine and food pairing workshop, the Gourmet Experience, has also become the flagship experience for the domain’s wine education platform. For travelers, wine amateurs, and Côte d’Or connaisseurs, the Gourmet Experience rewards guests with a 90-minute, immersive adventure into seven Burgundy wines matched with local dishes and delicacies. All you have to do is give in to temptation.
The Gourmet Experience can be booked online.
10. Burgundy from Above
You simply can’t go home until you’ve been on a hot air balloon above Burgundy. It’s that simple. From the air, the patchwork quilt of the region’s 1,247 Climats unfold and you getter a much better picture of the intricacies of this sacred geography. Plus, you get to ride in a hot air balloon, which in itself always a cool thing to do.
Local Hot Air Balloon company, Beaune-Montgolfière, offer three separate flight experiences.
11. Best Croissant in Burgundy
OK, so you’ve enjoyed Beaune’s best coffee at Cook’s Atelier (rue de Lorraine) and you’ve devoured Burgundy’s best Croque Monsieur/Madame at La Dilettante (Rue du Faubourg Bretonnière) – but you’re still hungry. Don’t panic, the region’s greatest croissant experience is only a few footsteps away at Lapalus Boulangerie and Patisserie (rue Doctor Jorrot) in Beaune. Famous to all of the city’s residents and locals, Lapalus make quite simply the best croissant, pain aux raisins and pain au chocolat you’ll ever taste. Which, let’s be honest, is one of the main reasons you came to France to begin with.
Extend Your Stay…
There’s so much to do in Burgundy that you simply won’t have time to do everything you’ll be recommended. However, if you can be tempted to stick around, we also suggest these other stunning things to do:
1) Watch the world go by and enjoy a glass of wine at Maison du Colombier, Beaune. It has the best view of Notre Dame Church.
2) Find the perfect Burgundy souvenir at Athenaeum, Beaune. If you’re looking for anything Burgundy-related, it will be here.
3) The famous Poulet de Bresse is a must at Bistro de l’Hotel. They have a special oven that roasts the chicken to perfection.
4) Tired from walking on too many cobbled streets? Pull a chair in Beaune’s busiest wine bar, le Bout du Monde. The wine list is to die for.
5) Rising to fame in the region, Givry’s Les Musicaves Music Festival at the end of the month is a stunning showcase of international music in a winemaking appellation that deserves all the attention it gets.
6) Julien’s Wine Caveau, at the heart of Puligny-Montrachet, is where serious wine lovers spend their afternoons watching the grapes grow.
7) The world has gone crazy for Step Count Challenges. Come and walk around Clos Marey-Monge, before your Wine Experience, and work up a thirst. The walk will bump up your step count for the day. But can you guess how many?
8) Still hungry? A local treat that not many tourists are aware of is the B-Comme Burgui food truck that services the region’s foodies. The van parks up in Beaune Friday evening is in Dijon, Tuesday morning and Thursday and Friday morning, and Meursault on Tuesday evening. The van serves the most heavenly Epoisse burger you’ll ever try and, dare we saw it, is worth the trip to Burgundy all by itself. See you there!