Trois Glorieuses - Burgundy Celebration
The ‘Trois Glorieuses’ festivities are a series of spectacular wining and dining events connected with the annual wine auction, which, according to wine guru Robert Parker is “the greatest eating and drinking experience on the face of this planet!” This starts on Saturday evening with a dinner at Clos Vougeot and ends with a marathon lunch on Monday in Meursault. It is now possible to bid in the wine auction that takes place on Sunday which is run by Christie’s.
That evening there is the prestigious post-auction dinner at the Hôtel Dieu at which we have managed to obtain places for this special tour. The food and wine at this event alone are phenomenal! Attending the ‘Trois Glorieuses’ of Burgundy is a must do for all Burgundy lovers, indeed for all wine lovers. Andrew Jefford, the multi-award winning wine writer, leads you through this great Candlelit dinner in the Hotel Dieu and to his selection of the most exciting Burgundy properties. Andrew will make his personal selection from a mix of exclusive small domaines and some of the best négociants. Many of these do not normally accept any visitors and have asked us not to put their names in any of our literature, as the invitations are made as a favour to our wine expert and to Arblaster & Clarke clients. With them we will taste sublime examples of many of the greatest crus from a selection of the top villages, such as Morey-St-Denis, Chambolle Musigny, Meursault and Puligny-Montrachet.
Arblaster & Clarke Wine Tours’ participation in the event includes the option to attend the 153rd annual auction of wines from the Domaine de Hospices de Beaune which you can participate in if you wish. Barrels or “pieces” of 216 litres (288 bottles) only are sold and these go under the hammer for anything from 3000 euros to in excess of 45,000 euros depending on the contents!
We meet in Lyon where we spend our first night at a delightful central 4* hotel (with memorable breakfasts!), which is the hotel school of the Institute Paul Bocuse. We begin with a dinner, which will be paired with a selection of wines chosen by your Wine Guide.
Next morning, heading north, we will visit one of our favourite Beaujolais producers, Château Thivin in Villié-Morgon producing among the best Côtes de Brouilly, from the hill itself, as well as a good Brouilly from the slopes below which are structured and intense. Their wines have a wonderful gutsy, fruity nose, lovely fruit and body on the palate. They also have the typical spiciness of the Côte de Brouilly wines.
We continue to Beaune which is our base for the rest of the tour staying in a 4* hotel in the charming old town. The greatest Burgundy vineyards are found here in a thin strip known as the Côte d’Or, that runs between Dijon and Santenay, and is divided into the Côte de Nuits in the north, and the Côte de Beaune in the south. For centuries these sites have produced some of the finest wines in the world, steeped in both tradition and prestige.
Beaune itself is a beautiful medieval town, with a maze of cobbled streets, surrounded by ramparts and many fine 17th Century buildings, some of which are roofed with colourful Burgundian tiles. Alongside the shops and museums, there are the négociant houses. However, the most famous landmark here is the medieval Hospice, the Hôtel-Dieu, founded by Philippe le Bon’s chancellor Nicolas Rolin after an outbreak of plague in 1443. The Hospice owns 58 acres of vineyards and the wines produced are sold at the auction. All proceeds go to the modern hospital just outside the city walls.
In the afternoon, the Auction of the wines from the Domaine des Hospices de Beaune takes place. This is the central event of the Trois Glorieuses. It is more exciting nowadays being run by the auction house Christie’s. The sale is now ‘under the hammer’ rather than ‘by the candle’, as before, which was slow, rumoured to be fixed, and frankly, was rather boring. If you register in advance, you can go in to watch, and indeed, you no longer have to be a Burgundy Négociant in order to bid. In the evening we attend the famous Dîner aux Chandelles at the Hotel Dieu and in the Bastion as guests of the Chevaliers de Tastevin where an array of amazing wines are served as well as many Burgundian drinking songs!
In Morey St Denis we’ll visit one of our favourite estates, where we have been welcomed since the late 1980’s. Back then they were making awesome wines when many others stumbled. Although people often remark on the cellar work, the oak and the lack of destemming, here they have always been adamant that the quality, and at this estate it is great, is made in the vineyard.
We include lunch in Aloxe-Corton as previous years, at a dynamic estate that produces wines that have a purity and intensity that makes them very special. We will also feature Andrew’s personal selections from one of his favourite estates in Volnay as well as one of the top Chassagne-Montrachet or Montrachet estates. Our last dinner is with one of the great Négociants in Beaune for a comprehensive tasting of their extensive range before dinner as private guests.
Andrew Jefford will lead you on an unforgettable wine tour with many wonderful wines. Places are strictly limited to 16, so we recommend early booking.