As grey, cold and often wet days of December descend on Paris I find myself sitting with a hot cup of tea and looking through colourful photos I took just a few weeks ago during a trip to Burgundy with friends. For a Canadian used to the vibrant reds, yellows, and oranges of the trees that mark the changing of the seasons it can be disappointing living in France. Some trees, at least those in Paris, turn different shades of yellow but many simply turn from green to brown before dropping their leaves. But then we went to Burgundy.
A five-day trip with another couple to get out of Paris, drink good wine and explore a new region – at least a new region for us – seemed like a great way to mark the changing seasons. Who knew that this little getaway would also fill my coffer with more shades of red than I could have imagined, and I’m not just talking about the wine!
Burgundy lies a mere 3.5 – 4.5 hours by car southeast of Paris – and only 2 hours if you take the train. We were staying in the town of Meursault, the heart of wine country just south of Beaune. Our VRBO house (listing: Meursault House rental) was one of the most well equipped we’ve ever stayed in thanks to the loving care of the owners. Over the course of just a few days we visited wineries and towns, large and small, up and down the region. We ate well, we drank well and we shopped at local markets and brocantes. But the highlight for me was all the colours. We’d arrived in Burgundy at just the right time to witness the vibrant changing of the vineyards from green to various shades of red, orange and yellow – yes, I said red! The fields were beautiful, bordered by rock walls that were often hundreds of years old. Walking paths meandered up and down the rolling hills, twisting along dirt roads and between vineyards. It was indeed a sight for sore eyes.
Our travel karma had brought us here at just the right time. By the time we left Burgundy the colours were starting to fade, the cool wet air of November was moving in and the vineyards were beginning to turn brown and drop their leaves. But we were going home happy. Not only had I had a good fill of the brilliant fall colours I missed seeing in Canada but we had a carful of the other amazing reds of Burgundy that will bring back colourful memories throughout the grey winter months ahead.