Tuesday, February 24, 2015

fevrier 2015

View from my kitchen- love the dog!
The work it takes to cut back all the vines by hand.
Vines at the back of our house named "Craite Paille"
Febuary 2015 and Gevrey and stuff

I thought this month I would write about my town Gevrey-Chambertin and some of the area around here.
Gevery-Chambertin is a wine village with 5,235 inhabitants. The pinot noir grape variety from here makes one of the famous red wines of the world. In Gevrey, there is only pinot noir. Napoleon always drank Chambertin and took it on his campaigns (imagine what it took to keep him in wine while fighting a war).

Chambertin is the name given to the grand cru vines, and Gevrey is the name of the village. Gevrey was the first village to join the village name with the famous vineyards. Others followed: Morey-Saint-Denis, Nuits-Saint-Georges, Chambolle-Musigny.

The last two weeks I have walked around with my camera taking various photos. I will start with vineyards (note that some of there are in the middle of the village). The vineyards have names (lieu-dit), and I noted the names of some of the vineyards below with my photos.
This month many vignerons are cutting last years growth off the vines and burning these branches (sarments). This cutting is done by hand, vine by vine.

These small plots of vines are also called "climats". The area called the "Côte", (côte de Nuits-Saint- Georges and côte-de-Beaune) have applied to UNESCO so this area could be classified as a UNESCO site. This has been called "Climats de Bourgogne". This year the decision will be made, I think this June. The UNESCO committee was visiting last week. Stay tuned.....

Vineyard in Gevrey "Combe du bas"
Working in "Combes du Bas"
Going up - looking south over Gevrey " Petite Cazetiers"
This is on a hillside..
Walking  not far from our house - vines are "Les Crais"
Flat side of the village.
Late afternoon I walked up the hill. This vineyard has been
taken up and is now ready to be planted with new vines
" Combe aux Moines"
In Gevrey, I am standing next to the church looking west..
" Clos de St Jacques" in the distance 
and " Clos de Chapître" in the foreground
Just south of Gevrey "Aux Etelois" (I think) . See the smoke from
burning, and the barrel lower left used for burning
Up on the hillside "Ruchottes"
Again on the hillside in Gevrey
looking north, "Fonteny"
OK this is in Brochon with the wall of the Chateau
Vineyard "Le Creot"
I find even in winter there is a beauty in the vineyards and especially the light.

Other sites within my village that I happened to photograph last week (I have hundreds of photos of Gevrey, these are all recent):
This was the school (similar to grade school) in the village.
All classes have been moved to the new school down on our side
of highway D974. This building is now under construction and will be the
Mayors office and a few other government offices. This will be
accessible...the current office is up 2 flights of stairs.
Just an old building. An old door stoned in and
new door added, I presume. All the alterations so visible
Courtyard on an old building in the village
"Jobert de Chambertin"
Art representing Gevrey; seasons, vines-
from 2000 (not that old)
Michelin (the tire company) had erected these road signs around France.
Now they are slightly beaten up...narrow roads and 
large trucks making deliveries
Chateau ( env XII century)  and vines "Chesaux" by the Chateau and
foreground " Combes du Dessus"
The church St Aignan  XII century
Center of the village, a small grocer
I have heard that the Burgundians are hard to get to know. It is true, they are closed. You can be a like a vacationer, or decide to live here and get to know people. Once you decide that you want to integrate, the Burgundians are as welcoming as any other people in the world.

So now ..more photos. In my photo club we have photos themes every so often. This week the theme is "Chemin ou sentier" (dirt road or small path). Here are the photos I am presenting...always more photos.
Photo Feb 2013..out for a walk in the hills
At the ponds of Gevrey- March 2014
Feb 20 2015 _ tacot path at Gevrey
Nice place for a walk
And more photos from my walks of the last couple of weeks. February has been a productive month (for photos, other things-  not so much).
I love all the dry stone walls that are all around. The texture
of the stone, and the various sizes, and yet a symmetry to it all.
This wall is in Brochon, it was late afternoon so it has a golden glow
Ah yes, Brochon again. This is an éolienne.
Eolienne is a wind mill, and a moulin is

a water mill
Gevrey train station- looking south
Liked the graphics
Signs of Spring - Hellébore Fétide
more spring flowers popping up
even a daffodil...yes spring is coming
The winter days are fading. The sun does not set until 6:15pm now..woo hoo!! The winters are damp and cold (not Minnesota cold, but cold none the less). Actually this winter has been mild. We had one week where the day temperatures were below freezing. Lately we have had a couple of gorgeous days tossed in between the cold days. That is why I have had so many walks, the days were warm and sunny. I can not resists those sunny days of 60 degrees.

We do enjoy our life here. Never thought I would like living in a small town again (when I was 18 yrs old), but here we are. We enjoy our village, our friends, the wine, the food and the close proximity of so many things. We can take a train to Italy, or Spain, or Germany or Denmark, or Belgium....it is so easy to see so much.

We have integrated ourselves into our new life, and maybe picked up some of the good things from our new culture. We now enjoy "Slow meals" and a meal with friends can take 6 hours -no problem. Dinner with the two of us takes at least an hour. We taste our food more, use fresh food more and food in season. We walk more (or ride the bike). Keith does grocery shopping by bike; we walk or bike to mail letters. We recycle more, since it is so easy.  We are more polite..."bonjour, s'il vous plait, merci, bonne journée"..are used all the time. We savor the new pace of our lives.

Just a couple of other things I wanted to mention this month (kind of bouncing all over!). New regulations in France this year. First is accessibility : Public places in France must be accessible.
Of course there have been some exceptions and will be more. There are some extensions to complete the work, such as the mayors office in Gevrey moving into the old school building. It is not ready yet, so I think Gevrey has an extension. But it is at least being reviewed, and it is a issue that has attention. Sidewalks and Bus Stops have been changed for accessibility - here in Gevrey.

Then another new regulation effective this year-where the heart of France is concerned, food. It was  said that some restaurants were using frozen food products, or buying prepared food ( even high class restaurants).
Now this year, restaurants must display this symbol 
that tells the customer that the food was made at the restaurant  (fait à maison). Not sure exactly when it is mandatory, but I have seen this already on some menus, but not all.

Have to continue with the food theme for a sidetrack note. We just had lunch at a bistro near Beaune (feb 24). A bistro is usually a working "persons" lunch place. There is a set menu for a set price. Here in Gevrey, the restaurant near us is open for lunch Monday through Friday. For 14.30€ you get and entre (starter), main plate, cheese course, dessert, wine and coffee. The food is not fancy, but very filling since it often is serving people who do manual labor.
Today at the Beaune restaurant, lunch was only 12.50€, but wine is not included.
A bistro may have only the "plate du jour" (plate of the day) and others may have a menu with salads, sandwiches and omelets too.

To finish off the Blog for this month - I continue to play with some still life photos. I am enjoying trying to take these photos -something new to explore.

This is where I will stop for this month.

Recipe of the Month

PANAIS, panais, panais  (or parsnips) Mashed 

For whatever reason, parsnips had not been part of my life. I think I tasted them once, and there was a bitter taste. So I ignored them. I have now tried parsnips...wow, I love them.
First I cut them up in large cubes along with potatoes, and carrots, tossed with oil and roasted them. For valentines day, I made a purée as a bed for a couple of scallops. Purée or mashed are easy, just like potatoes.

For 2 or 3 people

3 medium parsnips (should be firm)
2- 3 Tablespoons butter (depending on your butter quota)
1/3 cup creme fraiche or sour cream
Salt and Pepper (white) to taste


  1. Peel the panais and then cut into pieces
  2. Put into boiling water and let boil for about 15-20 minutes (depends on size of pieces) check that pieces are soft and will mash easily
  3. Drain
  4. Mash the parsnips, butter and sour cream together until smooth. Use any method that you use for potatoes
  5. Salt and pepper to taste.
VOILA....excellent side dish