11.06.19 - Last night it just carried on raining. Didn’t bother us, all snug in Dave and watching more Killing Eve. Another good place to overnight - very peaceful.
My turn to drive today. Tried the moho service station on the quay, but the machine wanted our credit card in order to get water - we didn’t give it!
Spent a while deciding where to go, services seem few and far between, so instead of going to Beaune, went to Nuits-Saint-Georges - about 30 minutes away. The moho carpark is only about 10 minutes walk from town, and has free services.
Despite it raining lightly, walked into town. Bought a baguette - a huge Italian ciabatta style - as the ‘proper’ baguettes looked bien cuit! (well cooked - and maybe a little burnt looking!)
Picked up maps and information from a helpful young lady at the tourist information - and had a quick wander around. June, admittedly not good weather, but hardly anyone around...
Had lunch back at Dave and reviewed all the leaflets. Despite being in Nuits-Saint-Georges, we didn’t really fancy going wine tasting. However, I wanted to visit Le Cassissium - all about blackcurrants. Only about 10 minutes walk away. Was €19 for both of us. We asked whether there were any tours in English as we’d just seen a whole coach load of people going in before us, and didn’t want to be with them! A lovely girl went and found a really shy young lady called Clarice - and she gave her first ever English tour to us! She read from notes, and we corrected her pronunciation when she queried it. She was so sweet, well under 5ft tall, beautiful big almond coloured eyes, who blushed all the time. Her English was, once again so much better than our French! she even offered to take photos of us together. We did both use Google translate with hilarious results, hers was something about thunder and leaks - probably not what she meant!
Firstly just the two of us saw a short film in English all about the humble blackcurrant. It’s not just about Ribena! (Here not at all!) So many uses in jams, sweets, as a digestive, aperitif, used in cosmetics etc. Blackcurrant buds are used in quite a few perfumes - out of a list of 9, I’ve worn 3 of them - must like the sweet smell!
There are over 150 different varieties of blackcurrants, the best being Noir de Bourgogne.
Canon Félix Kir (22 January 1876 - 26 April 1968) was a French Catholic priest, resistance fighter and politician. He added blackcurrant juice to wine and served to delegations, it was well liked so thus became what we now call a Kir and a Kir Royale.
We had an exclusive guided tour showing us about the production - crushing fruits, maceration, the filtering process and the addition of sugar.
They had four huge oak barrels, each containing 32,000 litres of product! - plus lots of other barrels. Think they’re stored for up to ten years, but may be missing some information due to language barriers! We then went onto have a tasting session. Clarice wasn’t up to this by herself and listened whilst her colleague explained things.
The company selling the products is called Vèdrenne (founded in 1923) and is known worldwide for its crèmes, liqueurs and fruit syrups. (Far too many to contemplate - but great if you need any flavour for cocktail making!)
Started off with a neat 20% crème de cassis (their Supercassis - the most awarded crème de cassis), then tried it with white wine as Kir, then tried a cherry liqueur (nicer than the one from Portugal last year!) - then Tintin tried it with beer! It was surprisingly nice, as I don’t like beer. It’s because it makes it sweeter! It’s also good to have with cider, and even red wine! Apparently you should store it in the fridge, or at least somewhere dark and cool, as it oxidizes (about a year).
They used to alternate rows of blackcurrant bushes with rows of vines in this region - who knew!
We then went back to look around the interactive museum - which was pretty good. I liked the bits more related to its use in homeopathy, essential oils, cosmetics etc. Blackcurrants contain rich levels of health-promoting micronutrients, even compared with other "superfood" berries. They are an exceptionally rich source of vitamin C – containing three times more than oranges – and natural phenolic compounds, notably anthocyanins. This winning combination appears to bestow an anti-inflammatory effect, promoting cardiovascular and brain health, and offering some protection against age-related eye problems. Some research suggests the phenolic compounds help prevent urinary tract infections and relieve the symptoms. Does this mean we need to swop our rum and coke for a Kir each evening - as it sounds positively good for one!
The place was clean, staff really friendly, smelt lovely - would recommend if you’re in the area as a change to tasting wine!
Bought a litre of the Supercassis for €19.90 - may need help in using it all before it oxidizes (yes Mum and Sarah!)
Back at Dave, had a cup of coffee/tea and some biscuits and waited a while, just in case I had too much alcohol in my system...
‘Serviced’ Dave, and then drove for about 20 minutes to another fabulous Park4night carpark. We’re at Morey-Saint-Denis overlooking rows of vines. Surprisingly enough, there is a man in a van with a pizza oven - and hardly anyone around. Well, it would be rude not to take advantage of the facilities - so we’ve just been and ordered - it will take 45 minutes! Maybe he has lots of telephone orders?!
Could I just add, although Tintin used the photo of the patisseries - we didn’t buy any today!