Some of you may have seen my teaser at the end of my first post about our trip to Beaune. It certainly was a memorable one!
After a leisurely morning wandering through Chassagne-Montrachet, we headed up to the Chevalier-Montrachet vineyard for a picnic. While the thought did cross my mind that maybe I was going to get out of the car and turn around from taking photos to see Jared on one knee behind me…..but when it didn’t happen, I wiped the thought out of my mind and realized this was just another romantic picnic in France. We popped the trunk of our car, pulled out the goods, and spent a good hour eating, drinking, listening to music, and chatting – all very normal. I wandered up into the vineyard and took some photos before walking back towards Jared who had followed me into the clos. As I got closer, he points to a vine and says “what’s that” – gullible me leans over to see and he spins around on one knee, ring box in hand! Cue the complete shock of a lifetime!
I had some time to pause and get in the moment, because at that exact moment that Jared grabs the box and is on his knee looking up at me with a huge grin, a vineyard worker pulls up in his van and needs to turn left, where our car and trunk picnic are completely blocking the road! We had literally been up there for over an hour without a soul in sight, of course someone would pull up at that very moment! He handed me the box and left me standing in the middle of the vineyard, screaming “oh my god oh my god” while he went to move the car! He came back in, said “let’s try this again” and got down on one knee. I wish I could say I remember what he said, he did end with asking me to be his wife so he could love me forever, I remember thinking “make sure you actually say the word yes!” After hugging, kissing, and laughing as the ring was a little tight from all the cheese consumption, another couple popped their head into the vineyard and called out “I think we may have just witnessed something special…..” Again we hadn’t seen a single person the entire time we had been there and then the exact moment he gets on one knee all of a sudden we have an audience! They were so nice, took a million photos of us and toasted to our future right there in the vineyard (they had been married 40 years, a good sign that they were the first people we encountered!)
After an hour of toasting and reveling in that perfect moment in the Burgundy sunshine in one of the most famous Chardonnay vineyards in the world, it was time to move on to our tasting appointment at Domaine Pillot. Laurent welcomed us into the cellar and tasted us through his expansive lineup of both Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. The Pillot’s have been making wine in Chassagne since the 17th century; Laurent is the 4th generation managing the 15 hectares spread across 22 appellations including Chassagne-Montrachet, Pommard, Santeany, Saint-Aubin, Puligy-Montrachet, Mersault, Volnay, and Beaune.
I really loved all of his wines but my favorites were the 2016 Volnay and the 2016 Pommard Clos De Verger. The Volnay was full-bodied but ready to drink now while the Clos De Verger could be enjoyed now or age for years to come. Clos De Verger is a Premier Cru and a “quasi-monopole” as there are only 2 owners of the plot. All of the wines were feminine, approachable, and utterly enjoyable!
We decided to make a stop at Domaine Olivier Leflaive to see if we could convince them with our engagement story to pour us a Coravin taste of the Chevalier-Montrachet, alas they only make 600 bottles a year and didn’t have any on hand. So, we had a glass of Champagne and shared a tasting of the “other” wedding wine: the 2015 Bourgogne “Les Sétilles” which was the white wine served at Prince Harry and Meghan’s wedding! It was really nice to be able to have a moment in their backyard just the two of us, it was the first time we had been alone since the proposal! I did the full tour and lunch tasting last time I was in Beaune and I would highly recommend it. They also have an inn if you wanted to stay the night!
We headed back to Beaune with plans to visit a vintage poster store we had walked by the night before, but as we drove into town, Jared drove right past the store. I protested that we had passed it, he said he was following the GPS instructions. I started to question “where are we going? we haven’t been to this side of town yet, this is where dinner is, this is where my mom and I stayed last time…… ” the minute the words were out of my mouth I knew but asked anyways “is my mom here?” he looked at me and goes “yep”. And sure enough, we pull around the corner and there she is, standing in front of Chez Marie where we stayed together last time. Another absolute shock! Her first words as I got out of the car were “you didn’t call me!” and all I could ask was “how did you get here all by yourself??” We hugged, I was too shocked to cry once again. When Jared and I first started dating my mom warned him that we were a package deal, he listened.
The three of us enjoyed dinner at Caves Madeleine, I’m pretty sure I was in disbelief the entire time, just in a dream! How did they pull this one past me?? I’ve never been so surprised, or felt so loved, how lucky am I to be able to be in my favorite place with my two favorite people? Burgundy is for lovers indeed!