Un Week-end à l’Hospice

Don’t panic. I didn’t actually spend the weekend in the hospital. Rather I spent the weekend in the Côte de Beaune for the 154th Wine Auction organized by Christie’s benefiting the Hospice de Beaune, a nonprofit hospital in Burgundy. And what an amazing weekend it was.

So before the exciting details a little bit of history is in order. The Hospice de Beaune, or the Hôtel-Dieu, is an ancient charitable hospital in the heart of Beaune, considered the heart of Burgundy. Housed in an iconic 15th Century building the Hospice provided free medical services and food to the poor. Today a museum, this antique hospital was still in use during the 1980s. But the organization lives on and provides high-quality modern medical services.


The Courtyard of the Hôtel-Dieu

But what truly makes this organization unique is the wine. Continue reading

Summer may be over, but the fun continues

Once again it has been a long time since I’ve written. But I can promise it’s been a crazy if fun (and of course travel filled) six weeks.

On the practical front my visa renewal is all but finished. I have my temporary papers but need to collect and drop off two final school related items to claim the official document. Which means, I officially get to stay in France for another year.

I also took my first trip to Burgundy and stayed with the absolutely lovely L. family. I got to experience Beaune in all its glory. Great Pinot Noir. Amazing Chardonnays. Intriguing Aligotes. (and yes, I am actually raving about white wines) In fact, I added to my steadily growing collection. I got to explore some of the area’s history, the Hospice and Clos de Vougeot. And the wine nerd in me got to see the famous Domaine de Romanee Conti. Now I just need to get a chance to taste the wine…. I’ll have to work on that. Click here for some of the amazing array of photos.

Then I went home for three weeks and almost completely checked out (even though I did bring my computer home). I got to see old friends, celebrate birthdays with family and take a vacation. Stops included Disneyland (yes I’m still enough of a kid to love it), Vegas (yes I’m enough of an adult to take advantage) and Mammoth (got nothing on this one). Sorry no high-quality pictures on this one, but click here for a few iPhone snaps.

And on the way back to France, I made a pit stop in Amsterdam with my dad. And a whirlwind 48 hours it was. A Canal Tour, Heineken Brewery Experience, Van Gogh Museum, the Flower Market, Museum of the Canals, Houseboat Museum, Tulip Museum, Cheese Museum, the House of Bols and Genever, the Windmill Brewery (Brozerit’j IJ) and of course the obligatory tour through the Red Light District. It was a very busy trip and of course this time there were photos.

I would say I don’t have another trip planned but I’m afraid that just isn’t the case. I’ll be back in Spain, visiting the Rioja region with school, in October. And it looks like I’ll be headed back to Burgundy for the Hospice de Beaune Vente de Vin in November. In the mean time, I’ll go back to work and start preparing for the new school year. I’ll confess to feeling very nervous about what this year will bring, but I can say with 100% certainty that I know I’ll be enjoying that wine collection I built up over the summer. In fact, I doubt it will last until Christmas. 😉 But I promise to start posting more wine reviews and updates.

So for now –à la prochaine !