In Burgundy, the vineyards are everywhere, sprawled over the 1,247 terroirs viticoles producing some of the world's best wines. Some have climates classified as UNESCO World Heritage Sites, from Pommard to Meursault through Volnay and Romanée-Conti. The fields seem to catch fire when the leaves turn red, then mellow into gold in the valleys—it's an enchanting sight, and the perfect backdrop to discover the vineyards and wines they produce.
Fall is the mating season for deer in Burgundy, when stags, fallow and roe deer are the most visible. They can be heard courting, seen in the clearings of fields and woods like the Nièvre, the Auxois or the Morvan. Listen closely, and you can hear the stag's mating call bellowing in the fog of early morning—the does are never far away.
The Burgundian forest is in its glory when the trees adorn themselves with the colors of fall. If you want to lose yourself among the trees, it's an embarassment of riches: the forest of Pontigny, the woods of the Bertranges, or the national reserve of Bois du Parc in Mailly-le-Château and its many unusual plant species are yours for the wandering. Serenity and a retreat into nature are guarenteed.
Fall in Burgundy means the promise of sensual aromas of wet earth and mushroom harvests—fill up your basket with seasonal products, picked in nature or picked up in the market. Fans delight in the marriage of cep mushrooms and game like venison and rabbit, interpreted with finesse by the greatest chefs in France. Even better when the meal is concluded with époisses, the star cheese of the region, and a berry liqueur. But, the biggest question: after eating, do you take a nap or go for a long walk to digest?
Is there a better way to soak in the festival of fall colors in Burgundy than from the Loire or the canals of the region? Whether floating for a few hours in a rowboat or on a river cruise for a few days, it's up to you to choose your itinerary on some of the 1,200 kms (745 miles) of rivers and canals in Burgundy. Watch the vineyards, typical villages, castles, churches glide by you in perfect autumnal peace.
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