A Heritage of Food & Wine
Good wines, exceptional produce and a respect for history are the three cornerstones of life in Burgundy. Centuries-old vineyards stretch from Chablis to the Macon. Prized Charolais cattle graze the verdant hillsides, and the Romanesque bell towers of churches, abbeys, and monasteries dot the landscape. If you’re passionate about food, wine, history and their natural symbiosis, then Burgundy is the destination for you.
Whether eating exalted cheeses from the Abbey of Citeaux, tasting Grand Cru wines in a 17th century cellar or Marvelling at Van der Weyden's 15th century Last Judgement Altarpiece in the Hospice de Beaune, a stay at The Hungry Cyclist Lodge comes with wine, food and history guaranteed.
A Living History
Good wine and food have been at the heart of Burgundian culture for millennia. A vibrant region under the rule of the Gauls and an important part of the Gallo-Roman Empire, Burgundian history is as deep-rooted as her vines.
From the Cistercian monks who mastered wine making in the Middle Ages, to the glorious years of the great Dukedoms when Burgundy thrived as a European powerhouse, Burgundy is a historian’s dream.
With the ruins of a Roman lookout perched high above The Hungry Cyclist Lodge, the Romanesque church of Auxey-Le-Petit visible from the garden, and Chateau de La Rochepot a few kilometres up the valley, Burgundian history surrounds The Hungry Cyclist Lodge.
Wine & Terroir
From Chablis in the north to Macon in the south, the Burgundy wine region is one of the most celebrated in the world. Vines have been grown in Burgundy for over a thousand years.
The Romans realised the potential of the unique region, followed by the Cistercian monks some 700 years later who painstakingly developed the concept of terroir that we understand today.
Terroir, or the environmental conditions, especially the soil and climate in which grapes are grown, giving different wines their unique flavour and aroma, is the magic word in Burgundy.
The 'terroir' of the Cote D'Or consist of a dense limestone shelf with a thin clay topsoil situated in a continental climate that provides hot summers and cold winters. The perfect conditions for the cultivation of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay vines. Meticulously nurtured throughout the year, it’s the fruit from these treasured plants that winemakers transform into their compelling vintages. For newcomers Burgundy can often seem daunting as a wine region.
Thousands of small producers farming tiny plots of land, producing wines that people sniff, slurp and admire. Even for the experienced wine 'connoisseur' Burgundy can seem like a dense puzzle of vintages, producers, and parcels of land. But Burgundy wines are made to be enjoyed, explored and decoded. Like solving a mystery, every taste of wine from this region has a back story that once the plot is unravelled gives each sip even more satisfaction.
“At the Hungry Cyclist Lodge we’re always learning, and it’s our intention to share and encourage a greater understanding and appreciation of the wines of this unique terroir through enjoyment of the region as a whole.”
Tom Kevill-Davies, The Hungry Cyclist
A Land Of Gastronomy
Burgundy is as famed for her food as her wine. The region's produce is second to none, and local chefs pride themselves on creating dishes that honour flavour and are complemented perfectly by the region's wines.
The heritage of Burgundian cuisine is always respected and while many of the great names of modern French cuisine have set up shop in Burgundy, tradition still reigns supreme.
A wine maker in Burgundy will tell you that to make good wine you have to start with good grapes, and this ethos is carried through to the kitchen. Burgundian food is uncomplicated and focused firmly on sourcing the very best ingredients, then cooking them perfectly.
Any trip to Burgundy would be incomplete without tasting snails swimming in garlic butter, meaty jambon persille or the acclaimed Charolais beef, but depending when you visit you should also taste the best in seasonal ingredients. Wild asparagus in the spring, vine peaches and cherries in late summer, and an abundance of ceps, girolles and truffles in the autumn all make for a delicious year.
Whether preparing a cycling picnic, a private cooking course, or an intimate wine-pairing dinner, it is this ethos that inspires the cooking at The Hungry Cyclist Lodge. Burgundian simplicity — we use seasonal ingredients from our garden as well as from local producers, cook with care and share amongst friends, accompanied by excellent wine.