Happy Wednesday, friends! I know I've been talking about France an awful lot lately, and I'm still not done! Today I'm talking about another region I visited during my two week road-trip through this beautiful country: Dijon (which falls in the Côte de Nuits region of Burgundy). To be honest, it all started because I saw Dijon was on our way from Provence to Paris and I thought to myself "Could be fun to see where the mustard comes from." Little did I know all this area has to offer in the way of wine-making and gastronomic offerings-- not to mention gorgeous countryside, rolling green hills of mustard fields and medieval villages with a wide range of architecture.
I got in touch with my friends at Destination Dijon who helped us plan the perfect itinerary for our short visit. As I mentioned, Dijon is the capital city of the historical Burgundy region in eastern France (which encompasses Côte de Nuits- kind of confusing). This area is home to most of the world's great Pinot Noirs (along with a small number of high-quality Chardonnays) so naturally, wine tasting was high on our agenda.
While there were certainly and abundance of wineries we could visit, we opted for Dufouleur Père & Fils because of the great reviews we read and its proximity to the heart of Dijon (where we were staying). It was hands down the most fun I've ever had at a wine tasting. Our winemaker was hilarious and so personable- we became instant friends (and he taught us some pretty hysterical phrases in French). Not only was it fun and set in the idyllic, dimly-lit wine cellar but we also tried some seriously incredible wines. I usually only get to bring 1-2 bottles of alcohol home from each trip since I'm gone for so long and my suitcase is already so full, but this was one of my bottles (I'm not typically a chardonnay drinker, but they made the best I've ever tasted in my life and I couldn't leave without some). I'd definitely recommend popping in here for a tasting during your visit- and of course, to purchase some wine to bring home yourself!
Our friend at Dufouleur Père & Fils told us we couldn't leave the area without trying some cheese at Fromagerie Gaugry, so we took him at his word. We went on a tour of the property and learned about the process of making the cheese: starting with the milk, the ripening and coagulation of the milk, moulding, draining and unmoulding, salting and finally- maturing. After, we sat down to try all the different kinds: L'epoisses Aop, Le Petit Gaugry, L'ami du Chambertin, Le Palet de Bourgogne, Le Soumaintrain P.G.I, Le Chaource AOP, Le Brillat-Savarin, Le Brochonnais and Le Plaisir au Chablis. Each was unique in its own way, but all were delicious! We browsed the gift shop (where you can purchase any of the cheese, along with a wide variety of Dijon-made mustards in the area). If epicurean delicacies pique your interest, this is definitely a stop you'll want to add to your itinerary.
Both Dufouleur Père & Fils and Fromagerie Gaugry were fantastic ways to observe two great French passions, wine and food, coming together in the beautiful region of Burgundy. And there are loads of other places like them you can visit in Dijon! For more information, check out the available wine & gastronomy tours at Destination Dijon.
While we spent most of our time on this trip in the outlying regions (doing the wine + cheese tours/tastings) we stayed in the heart of Dijon at Grand Hôtel la Cloche Dijon, which is a beautiful five-star luxury hotel by Sofitel. Nestled among the steeples of the capital of Burgundy, this property is a classified historical monument and in an ideal location for your time in Dijon. I loved that the exterior was quintessentially classic + French, but the interior was chic + modern.
The breakfast was fantastic, the room more than comfortable, and overall I give it a big thumbs up. If you're staying in Dijon, this hotel will not disappoint.
For the rest of our time in Dijon, we let ourselves get lost in the charming sandstone streets. The architecture here is so lovely - I was happy to simply walk around for the rest of the afternoon + evening to admire all of it. We sat at a cafe outside in the main square, Place de la Libération for dinner that evening which was so fun for people watching. Kids were playing in the fountains, people were walking their dogs, and we made friends with the family from Brussels at the table next to us. It was the perfect ending to our time in this idyllic town.
Dijon is a lovely little village in beautiful region worth exploring. Trains from Paris are under 2 hours, making it a perfect little excursion to add onto a pre-existing trip!
Still have questions about this area that I didn't answer? Let me know in the comments below! Thanks so much for stopping by, friends!