Witnessing the wine harvest is a must for any real wine lover. Here at The Hungry Cyclist Lodge we won't force you into the fields to pick any grapes, but book accommodation for the Burgundy grape harvest with us with us, and whether you're watching the pickers from our terrace, or of walking in the vines, we guarantee you'll experience the true nature of this important annual event first hand.Read More
It is with a huge amount of pleasure and just a healthy portion of pride that I can announce that The Hungry Cyclist Lodge, is open. A comfortable corner of the world from where you can enjoy the very best, food, wine and cycling in Burgundy.Read More
Hardy plants, branches, watering cans, forgotten garden tools. Nothing is sparred from the sharp crystals of frost that cling to everything. The clear night sky makes way to the bluish hue of morning. A few hungry birds chatter in the bitter cold and heavy blanket of white cold is revealed.Read More
The local classic that the region puts its name to is of course 'Boeuf Bourguignon'. First mentioned in cookbooks in 1903, by chef Auguste Escoffier, whose decedents still live in Beaune, it is likely this hearty, wine-soaked dish has it roots much deeper in regional history.Read More
Every year on the third weekend in January, a Burgundian wine-making village welcomes the La Saint Vincent Tournante, one of the most historic bacchanalian festivals of the world. Organised by the famous Brotherhood of the Knights of Tastevin, La Saint Vincent Tournante, embodies the spirit of wine making in Burgundy.Read More
This culinary tool kit of ingredients make up the famed French dish Choucroute (cooked cabbage). A Sunday lunch special in these cold winter months it hails from the proud mountain region of the Alscase. In this corner of France the pig is king and every morcel is utilised.Read More
Winter in Burgundy is a time of heavy hearty food. There is plenty to do in the garden stripping ivy, cutting logs and digging beds and what energy isn't used on work is burnt trying to keep warm. While I hope the mill will be cool in the summer, at this time of year it is freezing cold. A fire in the evening and plenty of woollen layers help but coming in at noon it is a hard earned lunch that warms the soul.Read More
A rigid wind tugs and pulls at tree-tops. In the low sky, herds of dense cloud push East across the horizon. There is a promise of rain in the air and as the church bells ring out the hour, vingerons in their tired white vans hurry from their lunch tables, along dirt roads back into their vines.Read More
A meticulous task that can only be done by hand, this selective process involves the inspection of each and every vine in order to determine which young buds will go on to produce the years vintage and which will be cut away to enable the vine to focus all its efforts into its remaining branches.Read More
The villages of the Cote d’Or are eerily quiet in late April. Cats sleep in sharp late morning shadows; tree blossoms scatter and mix with dust disturbed by gusts of wind channeled through narrow streets. Lazy silences are broken only by the wispy clapping from the wings of the doves moving from the safety of a medieval belfry to a new roost.Read More
The nights are fresh, the days are hot. Bird song and the tap-tap-tap of a woodpecker mingle with the distant hum of a lawnmower and juvenile butterflies navigate between the years first wild-flowers. Spring has arrived in Burgundy.Read More
A cool glass of aligote to quench my thirst at the end of a days ride and perhaps a warm gougeres to nibble on. Made from ingredients that are almost always at home, these warm cheesy puffs make a perfect snack for any Apéritifs.Read More
Torrential rain is driven by a stiff wind. Falling on the steep hillside it forms streams that run energetically between rocks and vines. Beneath dense clouds, that roll in from the west, the village of Meursault wakes up to another cold and wet February morning.Read More
In January the previous season vine growth is cut away from the vines and burned in make shift braziers. In freezing temperatures and wet conditions this work goes on late into the month filling the air with a sweet scent.
Hunting is a big deal here in Burgundy and every weekend in the the cold months of winter men in high vis jackets march around the country side blowing horns and tracking the powerful packs of 'sanglier' that inhabit the dense forests of the region. A fiercely territorial beast the wild boar of burgundy are all muscle. Combined with razor sharp tusks and a furious appetite they devastate the local crops, gardens and vines and are very much considered a pest.Read More
Taking a break from renovating The Hungry cyclist Lodge and planning tailor-made cycling holidays in Burgundy I decided to slip into my wellington boots and pick grapes for a few days in the prestigious village of Gevry-Chambertin. Last year the pickers and porters were bathed in late summer sunshine that ripened the fruit. In 2012 an autumn chill filled the air while heavy rains mixed with the regions famous 'terroir' to create thick mud. Waking in the dark, getting back into damp clothes and trudging in heavy mud is not a huge amount of fun, but like it or not, these weather conditions are vital in creating another unique harvest for Burgundy wine in 2012.
Here is a gallery of images that I hope give some insight into the human element that goes into each years vintage. Click on the thumbnails to scroll through the gallery.