Meanderings through France ~ Gourmet walks in French vineyards
There are several ways to discover the world of wines. Enjoying a good bottle would of course be the first step. Then you might want to know more about wine making and go to meet wine makers and travel to France or Italy or any of those wonderful countries producing wines. It’s a
great experience and most of the time you will actually meet enthusiastic people eager to make you share their passion. On the downside once you have seen the cellars and tasted the wines you feel like you have to buy at least a few bottles even if you didn’t like the wines that much!
For several years now there is another way getting more and more popular in France: the Gourmet Walks. From spring till autumn many wine growing areas set up these walks. It is truly a very pleasant way to discover not only good wines but also local cooking while walking through beautiful landscapes in a friendly atmosphere.
It is actually an itinerant lunch, 6 to 7 stops will welcome you on your way: aperitif, hors d’oeuvres, meat, fish, cheeses and desserts. From a few hundreds up to two thousands people are expected at each gourmet walk, but of course they don’t leave all at
once! This has nothing to do with a marathon! Small groups start walking every 15 minutes, every participant holding a tasting glass in a lovely bag gotten before setting off. It’s only a 5 miles walk but it will take you around 5 hours to complete it!
Every second Sunday of June over 2000 walkers meet in the lovely village of Rauzan in the Bordeaux area to follow a 4 miles long way going through the vineyards. Each stop is an occasion to sit down in front of long tables side by side with old friends or brand new ones drinking Bordeaux wines and eating local specialities: oysters from Arcachon, foie gras, rib steaks cooked on vine shoots… Perfect moments to eat, drink and have fun to the sound of music bands!
If you already had the opportunity to drink Chablis and enjoyed it you may get interested in their gourmet walk: “Chablis bouge son cru” takes place every year in late April. Chablis is also the name of a small village in Northern Burgundy, surrounded by 5500
hectares of vineyards planted with only one grape variety, the Chardonnay grape. Only on grape variety but many different wines, depending on the production site and its soil. All along the way of the gourmet walk you will be able to taste Petit Chablis, Chablis, Chablis Premier Cru and Chablis Grand cru
in a growing scale of “bouquet”. They come along with local specialities such as “andouillette” a small sausage made of chitterlings, “gougère” choux pastry filled with cheese and well known cheeses: Chaource, Epoisse, Crotin…
In Alsace “Le Sentier Gourmand de Scherwiller” will take place on September the 7th 2014. Vineyards are especially beautiful in autumn when their leaves begin to turn gold. On a sunny day you won’t be able to stop taking pictures! Along the 4 miles and 7 stops you will be served “Choucroute” the iconic plate from Alsace made of sauerkraut with smoked pork, Frankfurters and potatoes, foie gras, kugelhopf … And of course the Alsatian wines, each one made with only one grape variety (blending wines is seldom made in Alsace): Sylvaner, White Pinot, Riesling, Gewurtztraminer…
Last but not least: Champagne! The walk called “Escapade Petillante et Gourmande en Champagne”(A Sparkling and Gourmet Breakaway in
Champagne) takes place every year in Epernay on the 4th Sunday of June. You will be able to compare wines from famous producers with those of local and family producers who sometimes have some surprises in store.
The world of wine is an endless story in France and new events keep on arousing our interest. The Gourmet Walks offer a great combination of different enjoyments drawing many kinds of persons to have good time.