Dijon, Burgundy capital and gem for art, history and food!

Dijon is considered to be one of the most beautiful historical towns in France, with its remarkable architectural heritage shaped by history. It is definitely a great cultural destination for its status a city of art and history and for being on the UNESCO World Heritage list with the Climates of Burgundy’s vineyard.

It is known for its beautiful well-preserved historical centre with picturesque streets and typical features from the colourful period of the Grand Duchy of Burgundy, and has been nicknamed the “town of a hundred bell towers.“ because of its so many belfries.

Dijon has evolved into a pedestrian friendly city, with friendly tramway lines and bicycle system, and a largely pedestrian centre.

It is also a huge reference for gastronomy, it is the home of mustard, pain d’epice (gingerbread), cassis (blackcurrant liquor),

Here are a few special gems of the city of Dijon.

The Palace of the Dukes of Burgundy and Tower of Philip the Good

In the heart of the historical town centre, “Le Palais des Ducs” (Palace of the Dukes and Estates of Burgundy) remains the most iconic of Dijon’s monuments, now hosting the City council at its central part. It also hosts the Fine Arts Museum, which has been fully restored with its museography also completely redesigned. Its 50 rooms display a collection of 1500 works of art. This museum boasts one of the richest collections to be found in France.

The Palace is strikingly dominated by the Tower of Philip the Good, a 15th-century look-out post. Climb the 316 steps to the top of it and it offers a panoramic view from a height of 46 metres above the city.

DIJON PALAIS DES DUCS ET DES ETATS DE BOURGOGNE from Ville de Dijon on Vimeo (in French)

The lucky Owl

This is the lucky charm of the people of Dijon, but not just!. It is a stone statuette of a small owl perched on the buttress of Notre-Dame church. Legend has it that, if you stroke it with your left hand, the owl will make your wishes come true!

The Gastronomy of Dijon

As a food and wine capital, Dijon is famous for its culinary specialities which include mustard, snails, crème de cassis, epoisse cheese, chocolate, and gingerbread… and with five Michelin-starred restaurants, a lively indoor market in the city centre and an international food fair, Dijon really is a gourmet city.

In 2021, the ” Cité internationale de la gastronomie et du vin” (international Gastronomy and Wine Centre) opened its doors to reveal an authentic new district in the centre of Dijon (see our special feature on this). It offers an exhibition area of 1700 m² devoted to French gastronomy and wines from the world over.

Dijon also features vibrant local gastronomical recurring venues that contribute to its reputation for the love of the culinary arts. You can enjoy Brunch at the Dijon market halls, unusual tasting venues like the “Wine Thursdays” or the “tower aperitifs” at the foot fo the Philipp the Good Tower.

Dijon will also join Tours, Lyon and Paris-Rungis to promote “Le repas gastronomique des Français®” (the French gourmet meal) and, more importantly, the Climates of the Burgundy vineyard.

A bit of shopping too

The historical centre is a classified “international tourism zone” where the core of 1200 boutiques stays open seven days a week, which is uncommon in France where stores are often closed on Sundays!.

FrancoProvençal, a dialect group spoken in east-central France, northern Italy and Switzerland.

FrancoProvençal (also FrancoprovençalPatoisGagaSavoyardArpitan or 
Romand) is a dialect group within Gallo-Romance originally spoken in east-central France, western Switzerland and northwestern Italy.

Franco-Provençal has several distinct dialects and is separate from but closely related to neighbouring Romance dialects (the langues d’oïl and the langues d’oc, in France, and Rhaeto-Romance in Switzerland and Italy).

Even with all its distinct dialects counted together, the number of Franco-Provençal speakers has been declining significantly and steadily. According to UNESCO, Franco-Provençal was already in 1995 a “potentially endangered language” in Italy and an “endangered language” in Switzerland and France. Ethnologue classifies it as “nearly extinct”.

The designation Franco-Provençal dates to the 19th century.
In the late 20th century, it was proposed that the language be referred to under the neologism Arpitan (Franco-Provençal: arpetan; Italian: arpitano), and its area as Arpitania; the use of both neologisms remains very limited, with most academics using the traditional form (often written without the dash: Francoprovençal), while its speakers actually refer to it almost exclusively as patois or under the names of its distinct dialects (SavoyardLyonnaisGaga in Saint-Étienne, etc.).

Formerly spoken throughout the Duchy of Savoy, Franco-Provençal is nowadays spoken mainly in the Aosta Valley, in Italy. It is also spoken in the alpine valleys around Turin and in two isolated towns (Faeto and Celle di San Vito) in Puglia.

Franco-Provençal is also spoken in rural areas of French-speaking Switzerland.

In France, it is one of the three Gallo-Romance language families of the country (alongside the langues d’oïl and the langues d’oc). Though it is a regional language of France, its use in the country is marginal. Still, organizations are attempting to preserve it through cultural events, education, scholarly research, and publishing.

Song in Arpitan from Billy Fumey

Géochanvre, an industrial startup that places sustainable development at the heart of its business model

A business model based on Sustainable Development

Géochanvre F, an industrial startup that places sustainable development at the heart of its business model
Géochanvre F was born from the desire of its leader, Frédéric Roure, agronomist, ecological engineer, to provide an ecological, ethical and economical alternative to plastic products and imported fibers in the fields of geotextiles and textiles.

The company relies on an innovative technology that it has patented internationally, which consists of binding plant fibers by spraying water under high pressure without requiring the addition of adjuvant: this is the process of hydrolysis. It allows the industrial production of 100% biodegradable non-woven fabrics.

Thanks to this process, Géochanvre F manufactures products in Burgundy that enhance locally grown plant fibers such as hemp or flax.

NATURAL RAW MATERIALS FROM FRENCH AGRICULTURE

Hemp field


Géochanvre F mainly uses Hemp from Burgundy and also works to integrate Linen from Burgundy. Hemp is a rustic plant cultivated for a long time in France. It is grown without pesticides and allows agriculture, thanks to its roots, to naturally aerate their soils. Because it does not need inputs to grow, it is recommended in areas where drinking water is collected.

By providing an economic outlet for Hemp, Géochanvre F encourages its cultivation.

LOCAL TRANSFORMATION = LOCAL JOBS

Géochanvre F is developing on a former industrial site undergoing conversion, in Lézinnes in Yonne, in a rural area. To date, it has created 9 jobs.
In addition, for tailoring and packaging services, it calls on local service providers or those from the social and solidarity economy.

Hemp bag

La Saint-Vincent Tournante

A celebration rooted in the traditions of Burgundy

Who says that winter does not have interesting festivals and tourism? This is a truly local flavour if you like wine, and want to see burgundy and in a different eye, La “Saint-Vincent Tournante” (the rotating Saint-Vincent) is a wine festival that takes place the last weekend of January. It changes Burgundy wine village every year.

What’s in a name?

Saint-Vincent is one of the patron saints of winegrowers. And it is “Tournante”, because it involves a village on rotation, being decorated for the occasion, with stands offering wine tasting.

The Saint-Vincent Tournante as we know it today was revived in 1938 from an old tradition dating from the middles ages that had declined over the centuries. The “Confrérie des Chevaliers du Tastevin” (Brotherhood of the Knights of Tastevin) re-imagined it as an major rotating event that would take place each year in a different village  in wine-growing Burgundy, hence its name of Saint-Vincent Tournante.

The choice of Saint-Vincent as patron saint of winegrowers is still quite a mystery today. According to legend, Saint-Vincent would have stopped at the edge of a vineyard to exchange a few words with the winegrowers and during this time his donkey would have grazed around. In the next harvest, the vine grazed by the donkey would have produced more than the others, so Saint-Vincent was adopted as protector! Another saying is simply that Vincent sounds like “Vin Sang”, the blood of the vine….

This interesting festival perpetuates the Burgundian values ​​of quality, hospitality and mutual aid and is the opportunity to discover the great wines of Burgundy in a warm and friendly atmosphere.

The weekend of Saint-Vincent Tournante

Each edition of Saint-Vincent is an opportunity to showcase a wine-growing village which hosts the statue of the patron saint of winegrowers for one year. The selected village prepares this festival throughout the year, creating a decor and specific activities.

The Saint-Vincent starts early in the morning and with a formal parade through the vines of the different brotherhoods each carrying their statues and banners bearing the effigy of Saint-Vincent, and continues with the ceremony, a religious service in the parish church, and finally enthronements by the brotherhoods

The second part, more convivial, is the occasion for traditional banquets and festive events. The tasting of the Saint-Vincent tournante cuvée (s) take place in different parts of the village of the year. The highlight of the show is of course the opening of the cellars for tastings of local wines * (* always in moderation).

A long standing evolving tradition

The Saint-Vincent evolved over the years. In the 1990’s -2000 it grew to quite large over 100,000 to 200,000 people over two days, but has returned to its cosy 20-40,000 people in recent years.

Each year has a name, and a poster (since 1971), and if you’d like a peek at them, they are on display at the Château du Clos de Vougeot. It has its engraved glass

The 2021 edition was postponed due to Covid, a first time since 1947, but it’s a fun and very local thing to try and it is still foreseen for 29 to 30 January 2022 in Puligny-Montrachet, Corpeau, Blagny

Want to know more?

https://www.tastevin-bourgogne.com/

Official site:

saint-vincent-tournante-2021.com

The Burgundians who made Brussels and Europe

Recording: https://vimeo.com/674381324/dddaddc08d

Dear colleagues,

You are kindly invited to join the presentation on “The Burgundians who made Brussels and Europe” given by Yves Caelen on 25 January 2022 – 12:45-14:00.

Burgundy, a province between the Empire and the Kingdom of France, had a turbulent history in the Middle Ages. At the end of the 14th century, the duchy reverted to a younger son of the King of France. Under his authority and of his descendants, he will experience a century of unparalleled power and glory, even competing with the greatest kingdoms in Europe.

Yves Caelen, trainer at the European School of Administration, invites you to share his perspective on the European and Brussels history of Burgundy.

Nicéphore Niépce, first Photographer 

Joseph Nicéphore Niépce (7 March 1765 – 5 July 1833), is a French inventor, usually credited as the inventor of photography and a pioneer in that field. Niépce developed heliography, a technique he used to create the world’s oldest surviving product of a photographic process: a print made from a photoengraved printing plate in 1825. In 1826 or 1827, he used a primitive camera to produce the oldest surviving photograph of a real-world scene. Among Niépce’s other inventions was the Pyréolophore, the world’s first internal combustion engine, which he conceived, created, and developed with his older brother Claude Niépce.
Niépce is born in Chalon-sur-Saône (Saône-et-Loire, Burgundy-Franche Comté region)

Ceci n’est qu’un essai bien imparfait, mais avec beaucoup de patience et de  travail on peut faire de grandes choses.”

Nicéphore Niépce

1816-1818 — Niépce’s first Experiments

Towards the Invention of Photography

In 1816, a year before the pyreolophore patent runs out, Claude goes to Paris, then to England in 1817, trying to make work the engine invention .
Nicephore starts by himself new research on an idea that has obsessed him for many years : making permanent on a support through a compound the images seen at the back of camerae obscurae .
Until then , these boxes with a lens adapted on a hole , projecting on the back an inverted image of the outside view , had only been used as a drawing aid.

The first world negative (non fixed)

For his first experiments , Nicéphore Niépce positioned at the back of a camera obscura sheets of silver salts coated paper, known to blacken with daylight . In may 1816 he produced the first image of nature : a view from a window . It was a negative and the image vanished because in broad daylight the coated paper becomes completely black . He calls these images “retinas”.

Principle of the invention of photography

In March 1817, Niépce decidedly took up his research on making images again. While reading chemistry treatises, he focused his attention on the resin of Gaïacum extracted from a coniferous tree. This yellow resin becomes green when exposed to day-light. What made it particularly interesting is that it loses its solubility in alcohol. Niépce understood that thanks to this property it was easy to see the difference between the modified and the intact resin, thus fix the image.
At first he got rather good results experimenting directly with sun-light, but failed when using a camera obscura. He did not know that only U-V rays were active on this resin and that they were filtered by his camera obscura lens. In 1818, next to fixing images, he also developed a keen interest for the dandy horse (ancestor of the bicycle without pedals) and got a lot of attention riding the roads of Saint-Loup-de-Varennes on his “velocipede”.

1825-1829 — Invention of Photography

In 1824, he put lithographic stones, coated with bitumen, at the back of a camera obscura and obtained for the first time ever a fixed image of a landscape. This required an extremely long exposure time, in broad daylight, for a few days. Starting in 1825, he regularly used copper as a base, then tin in 1826, while also realising etched images.

In 1827, Niépce went to England, where he found his brother dying, without any improvements to the engine at hand. He realised then that they would never get any profit from this invention into which they had invested so much hope. After having vainly tried to get the attention of the Royal Society as to his reproduction process of images, called heliography, Niépce returned to France and relentlessly worked on improving his invention. In 1828, he found a new method that led to superior quality images with half-tones. Using polished silver as a base and letting iodine vapours interact with the bitumen image, he obtained genuine photographs in black and white on a metal plate. The preciseness of these images was amazing for the time. The exposure time was still many days in broad sunlight.

Principle and Technique of Heliography with the Camera Obscura

The photosensitive agent is bitumen of Judea, which is a sort of natural tar known from ancient times. People in antiquity used to collect it from the Dead Sea surface (in the Greek Asphaltite lake), where it kept surfacing continually from the bottom of the sea. It was used by the Egyptians to embalm mummies, to caulk ships or even to make terrace works in Babylon. In the 19th century, people already knew how to extract this tar from bituminous rocks, and as a matter of fact the bitumen used by Niépce did not come from Judea anymore.

More info at https://photo-museum.org/

Burgundy Winegrowing region

Between Auxerre and the Mâcon region, and covering just 28,715 hectares, the Bourgogne winegrowing region produces exactly 84 Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée wines. Among the most prestigious wines in the world, they are created by winegrowers and négociants from six different wine-producing areas, each with highly distinctive characters.
Come and discover these exceptional terroirs between beautiful valleys, monumental cliffs and hilltops bathed in sunshine.

Pinot Noir and Chardonnay: the Bourgogne region’s two noble grape varietals

The vineyards of the Bourgogne region are home to some celebrated varietals. With more than 80% planted with Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, the Bourgogne winegrowing region is also a showcase for Gamay and Aligoté. Find out about the varietals grown in the Bourgogne winegrowing region before savoring your favorite wines.

The Bourgogne winegrowing region is home to some very old varietals. The region provides ideal weather conditions and a terroir that is perfectly suited to bring out their very best.

Bourgogne’s winegrowers favor four varietals:

• Chardonnay (white), accounting for 51% of land under vine
• Pinot Noir (red), with 39,5 %
• Gamay (red) and Aligoté (white) which account for 2,5% and 6% respectively
• Sauvignon, César, Pinot Beurot, Sacy, Melon, and a few other minor varietals make up the remaining 1%

An ideal climate for producing great wines

The Bourgogne region’s geographical position is fundamental to the identity of its wines. The region is at the confluence of three major influences: southerly, oceanic and continental. These unique conditions have, over time, dictated the choice of varietal. The climate of the Bourgogne winegrowing region is mainly temperate, and has a positive influence on vine growing:

• Morning sunshine, helped by the aspect of the vines, which in winter helps limit the risk of frost damage, and in summer helps ripen the grapes (the vines receive around 1,300 hours of sunshine between April and September)
• Summer temperatures around 20°C in July and August (average from 1981/2010)
• Ideal precipitation for encouraging vine growth, with an average of 700mm annually, mainly during the months of May and June
• A northerly wind that limits the humidity in certain plots

Planting the vines on slopes also ensures good ripening. Located at between 200-500 meters above sea level, the plots enjoy the best hours of sunshine. This aspect also protects the vines from westerly winds which can bring humidity. Another advantage of hillside planting is that the water drains away more easily. These good conditions, combined with unique geology give rise to some inimitable wines.

Beyond the general growing conditions, there are two zones on the edges of the Bourgogne winegrowing region which present some characteristic nuances:
• The southeast part of the region, in the Mâconnais, on the western edge of the Saône plain, enjoys a hotter and dryer climate coming from the South of France
• To the northwest, the winegrowing regions of Chablis and Le Grand Auxerrois enjoy a more semi-continental climate that is wetter, and are often susceptible to springtime frosts

Passport to Bourgogne wines

Jura Wine

Jura is a small wine region in eastern France which is responsible for some traditional and highly idiosyncratic wine styles. It is close to, but quite distinct from the Swiss Jura.

The region is sandwiched between Burgundy in the west and Switzerland in the east. It is characterized by a landscape of wooded hillsides and the twisting topography of the Jura Mountains.

Jura’s vineyards cover just over 1,850 hectares, forming a narrow strip of land measuring nearly 80 kilometers from north to south. The total acreage is steadily increasing, but still represents less than one tenth of the area under vine here two centuries ago, before phylloxera decimated the region’s vineyards.

Jura’s wines are sold under five core appellations . The most quantitatively important of these are Arbois, Etoile and Côtes du Jura.

Key Jura grape varieties and wine styles

Five main grape varieties used in the region’s wines – three traditional and two more-modern imports. The first of the local varieties is Poulsard (or Ploussard as it is known in the communes of Arbois and Pupillin), a red grape which accounts for about one-fifth of the region’s plantings. Poulsard is used mostly in dry reds, but also in sparkling rose wines.

Trousseau, the other local red variety, requires high sunshine levels to mature properly and covers only the warmest five percent of Jura’s vineyards. It is grown mostly around Arbois, where it produces a small quantity of varietal wines.

White Savagnin (known locally as Nature) is used in all of the region’s appellations. It is responsible for the idiosyncratic vins jaunes (‘yellow wines’). These are long-lived, bone dry wines aged in barrels under a layer of flor/yeast known as le voile.

Vins jaunes may be made under the Arbois (including Arbois-Pupillin), L’Étoile and Côtes du Jura titles appellations. However they are at their best under the more exclusive Château Chalon title.

Along with its unique vin jaune, Jura has been known traditionally for its sweet vin de paille made from dried grapes. They are produced under the same appellations, Château Chalon excepted. 

However, despite the relative isolation of the Jura region, Chardonnay has made inroads here, as it has elsewhere in France, and now accounts for nearly half of Jura’s total vineyard. Known locally as Melon d’Arbois and Gamay Blanc, it is most often used to make wines in a fresher, fruitier, modern style.

Sparkling wines have been made here since the 18th century. They are now produced from around 210 hectares (520 acres) of vineyards, under Crémant du Jura, appellation introduced in 1995.

Jura vineyard conditions

The Jurassic period was named after Jura because the region’s limestone mountains are representative of the geological developments which occurred between 145 million and 200 million years ago. Ergo the key soil types here are Jurassic periof limestone and marl.

The name of L’Etoile, the village which is home to one of Jura’s most distinctive appellations, is said to be derived from the star-shaped marine fossils which characterize its limestone-rich soils (etoile is French for ‘star’). Chablis and the upper Loire Valley are built on a similar geological structure.

Jura’s climate is not dissimilar to that of the Côte d’Or, or even southern Alsace, with warm, relatively dry summers and cold winters. The variation between valley and hillside locations is quite pronounced.

While the eastern, more mountainous areas of Jura reach heights above 1,350m, the main wine-growing belt is restricted to the slightly lower-lying land in the west, averaging 300m. The majority of Jura’s vines are planted on south-facing slopes, to make the most of the sunshine in this cool climate.

Jura wine map

Discovering wine from France’s Jura vineyards on Vimeo.

Gustave Eiffel : a passionate engineer

An engineer by training, Eiffel founded and developed a company specializing in metal structural work, whose crowning achievement was the Eiffel Tower. He devoted the last thirty years of his life to his experimental research.

Born in Dijon in 1832, he graduated from the Ecole Centrale des Arts et Manufactures in 1855, the same year that Paris hosted the first World’s Fair.

He spent several years in the South West of France, where he supervised work on the great railway bridge in Bordeaux, and afterwards he set up in his own right in 1864 as a “constructor”, that is, as a business specializing in metal structural work.

His outstanding career as a constructor was marked by work on the Porto viaduct over the river Douro in 1876, the Garabit viaduct in 1884, Pest railway station in Hungary, the dome of the Nice observatory, and the ingenious structure of the Statue of Liberty. It culminated in 1889 with the Eiffel Tower. This date marks the end of his career as an entrepreneur.

The Garabit Viaduct (Viaduc de Garabit in French) is a railway arch bridge spanning the Truyère, near Ruynes-en-Margeride, Cantal, France, in the mountainous Massif Central region

An International heritage

Eiffel built hundreds of metal structures of all kinds all around the world.

Bridges, and in particular railway bridges, were his favourite field of work, but he also won renown for his metal structural work and industrial installations. His career was marked by a large number of fine buildings, among which two of the most outstanding are the twin edifices of the Porto viaduct and the Garabit viaduct in the Cantal region of France. Equally outstanding are certain other structures in which the pure inventiveness of Eiffel’s company was allowed free rein, such as the “portable” bridges sold around the world in “kits”, the ingenious structure of the Statue of Liberty in New York, and of course the Eiffel Tower itself.

The Maria Pia Bridge (in Portuguese Ponte de D. Maria Pia, commonly known as Ponte de Dona Maria Pia) is a railway bridge built in 1877 by Gustave Eiffel

Panama: A colossal… and disastrous project

In 1887 Eiffel agreed to build the locks of the Panama canal, an immense undertaking badly managed by Ferdinand De Lesseps, which ended in the biggest financial scandal of the century.

This was the biggest contract in his entire career in business, and also the one with the greatest risk. Given the risk he faced, he was granted major financial advantages and solid guarantees, which allowed him to collect his profit as soon as the work was begun.

Despite the care which Eiffel took in the project, the liquidation of the canal construction company, Compagnie du Canal, on February 4 1889, led to his own indictment for fraud alongside De Lesseps and his son, and to a sentence of two years in prison and a fine of 2000 francs, even though nothing could really be blamed on him personally.

With his honour and dignity severely compromised, he withdrew from business. The ruling was later to be annulled by the highest appeal court, the Cour de Cassation, liberating him of all obligations concerning the accusations, which put an end to any further court action against him.

Returning to his roots: scientific research

In retirement following the Panama scandal, Eiffel devoted the final thirty years of his life to a fruitful career as a scientist.

First of all he set himself to finding a practical application for the Tower, which had only been built to stand for twenty years. He employed it in wind resistance experiments, as a meteorological observation post, and above all as a giant aerial mast for the new science of radio broadcasting.

He collected meteorological data at posts installed in his various properties, and at the same time pursued his research into aerodynamics, building a wind tunnel right at the foot of the Tower, and then a second and much larger one on Rue Boileau in Paris, in 1909. This latter wind tunnel is still in service. He died on December 27, 1923 at the age of 91.

Loire Valley Wines

Loire Valley wines flourish in a unique cultural landscape, classed as a UNESCO World Heritage site from Chalonnes-sur-Loire (Maine et Loire) to Sully-sur-Loire (Loiret).

With over two thousand years of history, the Loire Valley vineyard area is made up of a mosaic of different climates, soils, geographical features and locations – all of which contribute to the diversity of the Valley’s wines.

THE LOIRE VALLEY – A MAJOR WINEGROWING REGION

The Loire Valley is France’s 3rd largest winegrowing region. Stretching from Atlantic coast to Auvergne, it is a point of equilibrium, where north meets south, sophistication meets freshness, art meets literature, and tradition meets modernity. These contrasts – plus the generally temperate climate and extraordinarily varied terroirs – have created the most diverse winegrowing region in the world.

THE LONGEST WINE ROUTE IN FRANCE

The Loire Valley Wine Route is the longest in France – 800 km winding through the Loire Valley vineyards – making this a prime wine-tourism destination. There are plenty of well-placed signposts to guide visitors on their way, and the route includes some unique cultural heritage sites along the Royal River, including the famous Chateaux and a vast range of diverse landscapes.

MICROCLIMATES

The Loire and its many tributaries have a significant moderating effect on the vineyards. By creating a large range of microclimates all of which promote vine growth, they contribute to the wide diversity of the region’s wines. They also have a buffer effect, which is crucial notably for the production of rich, sweet wines.

  • In the Nantes vineyards, oceanic influences temper seasonal variations. Autumns and winters are mild, while summers are hot and often very humid.
  • The Anjou vineyards enjoy an oceanic climate with mild winters, hot summers, plenty of sunshine and small variations in temperature. Some of the very dry microclimates promote the growth of Mediterranean plant life.
  • In the Saumur vineyards, the hills provide a barrier to winds blowing from the west; the climate becomes semi-oceanic and seasonal variations are more pronounced.
  • The vineyards of Touraine are at the crossroads of oceanic and continental influences.  

Interactive map

VARIETALS

The rapport between varietal and terroir, where diversity goes hand in hand with unity, is all the more unusual when one considers that some of the region’s great varietals are native to the Loire Valley –  while others come from the east or south west of France.

Loire Valley wines are unusual in that they are, for the most part, produced from a single varietal: Melon de Bourgogne for Nantes area; Chenin, Cabernet and Gamay in Anjou, Saumur and Touraine; Sauvignon in Touraine and the Centre; and also Grolleau, Pinot Meunier, Pineau d’Aunis, Romorantin etc. 

This breadth of variety is completely unique, and gives a very diverse, highly expressive range of wines.

Museo Parc Alesia

The MuséoParc Alésia (Parc Museum Alesia) is an history museum and archaeological site located in the Côte-d’Or, Burgundy, France. Opened in 2012, the center is situated in the place where, in 55 BC, Julius Caesar defeated the Gallic tribes led by Vercingetorix in the famous Battle of Alesia, therefore opening the conquest of Gaul by the Roman legions.


MuséoParc Alésia lets you explore three sites : the Interprétation Centre, the Gallo-Roman ruins and the statue of Vercingétorix

The Interpretation Centre

Built on the plain of Alésia, this building with symbolic architecture was designed by famous architect Bernard Tschumi. Its circular form evokes the siege of Alésia, the netting that clads the building provides a nod to the wooden fortifications used by the Romans, whilst the oblique columns of its atrium recall the chaos of the battle itself.

Inside, an educational trail built around archaeological discoveries and hypotheses that have been confirmed by scientists places Alésia firmly within the context of the War of the Gauls (from 58 to 51 B.C).

The Gallo-Roman ruins

The Gallo-Roman ruins, situated just 3km from the Interpretation Centre, allow visitors to imagine what daily life was like for the people that settled here following the battle between Vercingétorix and Caesar. Strolling through the ancient streets thanks to a trail with commentary (in French, English, German and Dutch), you can explore the monumental centre made up of a sanctuary, a theatre and a forum enclosed by a basilica, a building known as the Ucuetis monument, an area of residential dwellings…

The statue of Vercingétorix

A hundred metres of so from the Gallo-Roman ruins, accessible on foot or by car, you can admire the monumental statue of Vercingétorix dating from 1865. 6.60 metres tall, this work in copper was commissioned by Napoleon III to mark the successful conclusion of the archaeological excavations undertaken at Alésia.

Contemporary analysis of this statue has revealed numerous anachronistic elements and a representation of the Gauls that has now been debunked by recent archaeological discoveries and a rereading of texts from Antiquity

The history of the site

The exact location of the Battle of Alésia was debated for many years. In the XIX century, under the orders of Napoleon III, colossal excavations were carried out at Alise-Sainte-Reine from 1861 until late 1865. These brought to light a huge quantity of weapons, coins belonging to the Gauls and Romans and military items. What is more, the methodology employed (cross referring the discoveries with texts written by Caesar, which was truly experimental archaeology at the time) allowed for a life-sized reconstitution of sections of the battle lines and of Roman war machines.

Despite the significance of these findings, the debate raged on and the scientific community remained divided.

In the 1990s, a Franco-German team of archaeologists unearthed new evidence. They were able to confirm that the « oppidum of Mont-Auxois in Alise-Sainte-Reine and the military siege of the first century B.C that was uncovered by archaeological digs corresponded with the Battle of Alésia ».

Today, the French and international scientific community considers Alise-Sainte-Reine as the historic site of the battle.

Quite naturally, it is on this site that the MuséoParc Alésia now stands.

Revisiting the events of 52 B.C

For 6 years, Caesar had been a redoubtable war general whose power was growing and was now ready to lead the War of the Gauls. In order to check his progress, the chieftains of Gaul formed an alliance in 52 B.C under the leadership of Vercingétorix, a young king of the Arverne people. In Gergovie they defeated Caesar, who decided to withdraw to the Roman province to the south of Gaul. On the journey there, his army was attacked in northern Burgundy by the armies of Vercingétorix who relied on the customary superiority of its cavalry. The Romans however, thanks to the assistance of the German cavalry, routed them.

Vercingétorix therefore decided to station his troops (80,000 men, according to Caesar) at the oppidum of Alésia. Facing them was between ten and twelve Roman legions (around 40 to 45,000 men) and several thousand auxiliaries and German cavalrymen.

Caesar took the opportunity to encircle the chieftains of Gaul and lay siege to the oppidum. He ordered the construction of a double line of fortifications and a whole ensemble of very elaborate traps in front of each line.

Of course the Gauls did not just simply watch the Romans; they set out to attack them. The first sortie made by Vercingétorix’s cavalry resulted in defeat and he decided to send them out to bring reinforcements from all across Gaul.

But as the days passed the Roman fortifications were visibly growing stronger and reinforcement did not arrive. The besieged Gauls were ravaged by hunger. What could they do? Surrender? Attempt another sortie? «Following discussions, it was decided that those who were too sick or elderly to be of use would leave the town» De Bello Gallico, VII, 77-78. These exiles, wandering in between the two fortified lines, died of starvation or were massacred.

Help finally arrived: 240,000 infantry and 8,000 cavalry, according to Caesar. Twice more the Gauls attempted to escape and were pushed back on both occasions. When they tried for a third time, for many hours the outcome of the battle was uncertain. However, once again fortune smiled on Caesar. Under pressure from the Romans, who were supported by the Germans, the Gauls from the relief army fled.

Vercingétorix retreated back inside the oppidum and elected to surrender in order to save his men.

Although referred to as a “battle”, the siege of Alésia probably lasted between a month and a half and two months. The experience, discipline, resilience and organisation of the Roman troops, allied with an exceptional knowledge of the art of siege warfare, guaranteed that Caesar enjoyed a definitive advantage.

THE HOSPICES DE BEAUNE – Hotel Dieu

A hospital foundation from the Middle Ages, the Hospices de Beaune is one of France’s most prestigious historic monuments.

A hospital foundation from the Middle Ages, the Hospices de Beaune is one of France’s most prestigious historic monuments. Its flamboyant Gothic architecture, its polychrome roofs and a renowned vineyard make this museum one of Burgundy’s gems. The Hospices de Beaune is also famous for its 60 hectares wine estate, producing prestigious wines, sold at auction on the third Sunday in November.

A Palace for the Poor

When in 1443, Chancellor Nicolas Rolin founded the Hôtel Dieu (Hospices de Beaune), Beaune was coming out of the 100 years war, a period of unrest and plague that decimated the countryside. It was for the poor and the most disadvantaged that this masterpiece inspired by the most outstanding hôtels-Dieu of Flanders and Paris was built. Behind the austere slate roofs of the facade are the stunning courtyard, beautiful varnished tile roofs and overhead skylights. All around the courtyard, the harmonious organisation of buildings rule the life of this charitable institution: under the hull-shaped arches of the poor room, the sick were welcomed in, and in the kitchen with its huge Gothic chimneys, meals were prepared, while the apothecary with its mortar and earthenware pots, was the preserve of the sister pharmacist.

Hospices de Beaune: a foundation for all eternity

Nicolas Rolin used his vast knowledge of hospital institutions to make his hôtel Dieu (Hospices de Beaune) an establishment capable of surviving the centuries. As a good trader, he placed it under the spiritual authority of the Holy See, free from any charge and under good management, endowing it with vineyards, farms and woods. But the search for architectural perfection, the beauty of objects and the polyptych of the Last Judgement ordered from Rogier Van der Weyden, one of the great masters of Flemish painting, it’s the Christian and philanthropist to whom we’re indebted. Nicolas Rolin made his hôtel dieu a work and an act of faith for all eternity.

Hospices de Beaune: the wine-makers’ hospital

In 1457, Guillemette Levernier made the first gift of vineyards to the Hospices de Beaune, and this tradition was to continue for five centuries. Today, the wine estate is around 60 hectares, of which 50 are devoted to Pinot Noir and the rest to Chardonnay. Entrusted to 22 winemakers handpicked by its manager, this exceptional vineyard accounts for 85% of premiers crus and grands crus sold at auction on the third Sunday in November. The sale, today organised by Christie’s auction house, is the most famous wine charity auction in the world. The proceeds of the sale are used to improve the hospital’s equipment and in the conservation of the Hôtel Dieu.

Some Cycling routes of Burgundy-Franche-Comté

La Voie Bleue – Moselle-Saône valley by bike

La Voie Bleue – Moselle-Saône à Vélo is a national cycle route stretching from Apach, on France’s border with Luxembourg, to Lyon. Crossing France from north to south, this route forms a major cycling link between Northern Europe and the Mediterranean. The way first meanders gently beside the Moselle River, then follows the Canal des Vosges before running by the Saône River to Lyon, the great city at the confluence of Sâone and Rhône.

Le Tour de Bourgogne by bike

The Tour de Bourgogne allows you to travel all over Burgundy thanks to its network of itineraries. A real playground for family cycling holidays.

It consists of the various routes detailed below, which are linked together to form a magnificent network of cycle routes and greenways:

  • The Burgundy Canal which leads you from the gates of Auxerre to those of Dijon, 45% of greenways and 55% of towpaths,
  • The Vine Route which undulates from Dijon to Santenay and even Chalon, where you can reach the Canal du Centre (EuroVelo 6), on quiet small roads,
  • The Canal latéral à la Loire, Ariane’s line to the pretty historic towns of Digoin, Bourbon-Lancy, Decize or Nevers, more than 40% of which are greenways,
  • The Canal du Centre de Chalon in Digoin, from the Saône to the Loire, this section of EuroVelo 6 in France uses the Canal du Centre which bypasses southern Burgundy, with nearly 40% of greenways,
  • The Canal du Nivernais, its greenway, part of the Tour de Bourgogne by bike, leads us to discover this little jewel from Auxerre to Decize, nearly 90% of which are greenways, South Burgundy, a superb cycling loop from Chalon to Mâcon, via the green lane of the Chalon coast and back by the blue lane near the Saône, from Mâcon to Chalon. More than 90% of greenways for the Côte chalonnaise.

EuroVelo 6 – Cycle Route of the rivers

Between Basel-Mulhouse on France’s eastern border and Nevers on the Loire, follow one of the country’s most interesting unbroken cycle routes, part of the EuroVelo 6 route linking the Black Sea to the Atlantic. Cyclists love crossing Southern Alsace via the peaceful Canal du Rhône au Rhin. An unforgettable section takes you along the Doubs Valley and through the Jura Region’s hills. Lastly, you cross Southern Burgundy, passing by famous vineyards, medieval villages and historic industrial sites beside the Canal du Centre. Make the most of the many railway services allowing you to carry bikes to different sections of the route.

Grande Traversée du Jura by bike

A cycling adventure to explore the Jura Range. Wend your way across its vast open spaces, its charming villages and its mountains, enjoying splendid views. La Grande Traversée du Jura à Vélo (or GTJ à Vélo) starts from Montbéliard and ends in Culoz, taking you riding along over 370km on minor roads. It links the Doubs and Rhône Rivers. The way is accessible to all types of cyclist, running through the heart of verdant, mid-altitude mountains. As well as all the discoveries to make along this route, alternative offshoots allow you to tackle mythic ascents, notably of the Col de la Faucille and Le Grand Colombier.

More info

VÉZELAY, the Eternal Hill

This little village became a star in Burgundy, just by the number of illustrious people who made it famous! But it’s best known for its basilica which overlooks the surrounding countryside.  This impressive religious building, saved from ruin by Viollet-le-Duc, a jewell of romanesque architecture, has been part of the UNESCO world heritage list for the past fourty years.  Thousands of people flock to discover or rediscover this monument on the road to Compostela.

Famously used as a backdrop in the cult french film “La Grande Vadrouille”, the village, surrounded by vineyards, will impress you by its diversity; art, literature, gastronomy, religion, plus its surrounding countryside…  Vezelay’s soul is as authentic as it is inspiring.

The town of Vézelay is a departure point for the major medieval pilgrimage to the tomb of St. James in Santiago de Compostela, Spain, as well as a pilgrimage destination in its own right, as the possessor of the relics of Mary Magdalene.

Saint Mary-Magdalene Basilica –  A masterpiece of Romanesque Architecture

You will be dazzled by the overwhelming beauty of the roman basilica, where light is in perpetual motion and breathes life into the stone itself.

You just have to let the contradictions wash over you: the beauty of the building and the modesty of its layout;  the complexity of the sculptures and the simplicity of the architecture.  The height of the archways and the strength of the pillars.

Be entranced by the chants of the benedictine monks and nuns which resound three times a day from the abbey-church.
Meditate in the crypt where, for hundreds of years, pilgrims in their thousands have travelled to worship the relics of Saint Mary-Magdalene

Summer and winter solstice in the Basilica –  the magic of light

The basilica is impressive by its overwhelming proportions.  When you enter,  the light gives the building an incredible dimension

When the sun reaches its highest point on the summer solstice,  on 21st June at solar noon, the light coming through the southern clerestory windows casts a series of nine circles of light perfectly aligned along the center of the nave floor, connecting the narthex to the quire

On winter solstice, the 21st december at solar noon, the sun hits the capitals of the higher part of the nave facing southward with perfect symmetry.

Vézelay is also OPERATION GRAND SITE (OGS)

Vézelay and  surrounding villages make up a remarkable territory, thanks to the beauty of its landscapes and architecture.  Vézelay and its surrounding area committed to obtaining the GRAND SITE DE FRANCE label back in 2010, with the support of different government departments and locally elected officials, but the procedure is long winded.   Ministerial approval was granted end 2011 and the county council has taken charge since 2017 with the help of central government.
Grand Site de France status has been granted by the Environment Ministry to a dozen tourist sites which respect sustainable development such as Mont Saint-Michel, le Pont du Gard, Bibracte…
It not only means restoring heritage sites and landscapes which make up the reputation of Vézelay and its surrounding area, but also laying down the cornerstone to preserve them and ensure that they continue to thrive.

The Loire Valley chateaux in Touraine

To say that the castles in Touraine are part of the landscape would be an understatement! Whether they are illustrious french chateaux or less well-known manor houses, their silhouettes are always omnipresent. Why are so many of them concentrated in this part of France, around the city of Tours?

Those heritage sites are the legacy of the French kings who adored the Loire Valley.

Alongside the medieval fortresses (Chinon, Loches) then the royal estates (the royal chateau of Amboise, right above the Loire river), a large number of castles were built by leading figures of the realm and court nobility (Azay-le-Rideau, Chenonceau, Villandry). A beautiful travel through history.

Initially built for defensive purposes in the troubled times of the Middle Ages (Langeais, Le Rivau, Ussé), the Loire Valley chateaux gradually opened outwards during the French Renaissance (15th century), abandoning their austere ramparts and drawbridges to make way for a style particularly inspired by Italian culture. It was at this time that the tradition of gardens, considered as ‘outdoor salons’, came into being in the Loire Valley.

Map of the Loire Valley Chateaux

The myriad personalities of the Loire Valley Chateaux

Today, each one tells its own unique story, which is part of the French history: the sumptuous feasts of the royal court at the royal chateau of Amboise, the legendary meeting between Joan of Arc and the French Dauphin in the town of Chinon, the multi-talented genius Leonardo da Vinci at the chateau of Clos Lucé, the epic marriage of a Windsor at the Domaine de Candé, the work of the great gardener Dom Pacello at the Royal estate of Château Gaillard, Rodin and Camille Claudel’s love affair at the chateau de l’Islette… You’ll be spoilt for choice!

The Renaissance monuments

Château Gaillard. Louis XII entrusted it to Dom Pacello, one of the first landscape designers of the Italian Renaissance.

Royal Castle of Amboise. Associated kings: Charles VIII and Francis I. Shelters the tomb of Leonardo da Vinci in the Saint-Hubert chapel.

Château du Clos Lucé. Visit to the last residence of Leonardo da Vinci. To see: a large collection of models of his inventions.

Clos Lucé Castle

Château de Chenonceau: Visit the property of Diane de Poitiers and then Catherine de Médici, its arches elegantly spanning the Cher river.

Castle of Chenonceau

Castle of Azay-le-Rideau. Visit of a masterpiece of the first French Renaissance, reflected in a water mirror fed by the Indre river.

Castle of Villandry. Property of Jérôme Bonaparte, the castle of Villandry is mostly surrounded, known for its splendid gardens.

Castle of Villandry

Castle of Ussé. Charles Perrault was inspired by it to write Sleeping Beauty ( La Belle au Bois Dormant)!

Castle of Montrésor. A large collection of objects is to be discovered in this historical monument marked by the presence of Xavier Branicki, a very rich Polish count in exile during the nineteenth century.

Castle of Islette. The favourite meeting place of Camille Claudel and Auguste Rodin.

Montpoupon Castle. A fortified castle dating back to the Middle Ages, built under Charlemagne, Montpoupon was transformed in the 16th century to become a Renaissance château by Aymar de Prie, a great crossbowman under the reign of Francis I of France.

Château de Gizeux. Numerous activities are offered to families. To be seen on a visit: the great gallery of castles.

Champchevrier castle. Particularly well furnished, King Louis XIII nevertheless slept there on straw!

Castle of Candé. Here, we plunge into the history of England, with the marriage of the Duke of Windsor and Wallis Simpson.

Chateau de Candé

BRGM, the French geological survey, head office in Orleans

BRGM, the French geological survey, is France’s leading public institution for Earth Science applications for the management of surface and sub-surface resources with a view to sustainable development.

Under partnerships with numerous public and private stakeholders, it focuses on scientific research, providing scientifically-validated information to support public policy development and international cooperation.

Its activity meets 4 objectives:

  • understanding geological phenomena and related risks,
  • developing new techniques and methodologies,
  • producing and distributing data for surface, subsurface and resource management,
  • providing the tools required to manage the surface, subsurface and resources, prevent risks and pollution, and manage policies in response to climate change.

It is in line with 6 major scientific and societal challenges: geology and knowledge of the subsurface, groundwater management, risks and spatial planning, mineral resources and the circular economy, energy transition, data and digital infrastructures.

The School of Nature and Landscape (ENP)- INSA Centre Val de Loire

The National School of Nature and Landscape, located in Blois, was created in 1993

The National School of Nature and Landscape delivered the diploma of landscape engineer, since 2018 it has issued the State diploma in landscaping, like three other French schools. The school recruits post-bac and the training lasts five years.

This training, at the crossroads of scientific and creative practices, includes scientific lessons focused on understanding life sciences, human and social sciences lessons, visual arts and representation lessons, technical project engineering lessons. of landscape; all the lessons converge on the practice of the landscape project. Students complete internships in France and abroad at the rate of one internship per year, i.e. 5 during their training, over a period of 12 months in total. The training concludes with an individual end of study assignment on a site and a problem of their choice (TFE) throughout the fifth year

The School of Nature and Landscape trains landscapers who are alert to the changes in the world to come, inventive and committed, with a solid scientific and technical background, a general culture and a unique personality.
The teaching team is attentive to the evolution of teaching and educational exercises in order to respond to the new challenges to be taken up for future designers, and to the evolution of a profession of transformation and the imagination of cities and towns. territories of tomorrow.
As part of an original organization between teachers, researchers, students and administrative staff, future landscapers develop a unique posture of research and doubt, acquire knowledge that is both precise and generalist, open up ever greater fields of curiosity and define a personal writing of their commitment to the world, around the central tool of our training: the landscape project.

The School of Nature and Landscape is member of the ECLAS (European Council of Landscape Architecture Schools) network and participates in workshops and activities organized by the LE:NOTRE (Landscape Education : New Opportunities for Teaching and Research in Europe) network.

BECOME A LANDSCAPING DESIGNER

Landscape design exercises are at the heart of the landscape designer learning process. This learning is acquired through the synthesis of technical, scientific and plastic lessons. This approach is nourished and enriched throughout the five years of training by confronting increasingly complex issues, but also by the personal movement of the student.

The landscape project

Inhabited, represented, cultivated and developed territory, the landscape is in motion, in the making and in project. From good intuitions and a detailed analysis of a site, the student acquires method in the diagnosis, up to ” the definition of issues and objectives that lead to the design of space projects thought out over time.
Projects often start with a site and real or realistic questioning. The student sketches a solution, the spatial writing of which he develops and the implementation of which he details. It accompanies its reception to the public.
Certain subjects are carried out within the framework of partnerships with local authorities or companies.

Many famous people were born or lived in the region

Bourgogne-Franche-Comté is a region with a strong scientific and industrial culture. Many famous people were born or lived in the region, often the origin of a powerful industry.

Some examples:

  • Adolphe and Eugène Schneider, appointed head of the company “Schneider frères et Cie métallurgiste du Creusot” in 1936
  • Armand Peugeot, born in Valentigney in 1849, industrial
  • Auguste and Louis Lumière, born in 1862 and 1864 in Besançon, inventors in the fields of photography and cinema
  • Colette, born in 1873 in Saint-Sauveur-en-Puisaye, writer
  • Claude Lorius, born in 1932 in Besançon, glaciologist
  • Claudie Haigneré, born in 1953 in Creusot, doctor, biologist and astronaut
  • Eugène Péclet, born in 1793 in Besançon, physicist
  • Frédéric Japy, born in 1749 near Montbéliard, in Beaucourt, clockmaker
  • Gustave Eiffel, born in Dijon in 1832, engineer-builder
  • Hilaire de Chardonnet, born in Besançon in 1839, scientific and industrial engineer, inventor of artificial silk
  • Jean Baptiste Joseph Fourier, born in 1768 in Auxerre, mathematician and physicist
  • Lazare Carno, born in Nolay in 1753, mathematician, physicist, general and French politician
  • Louis Vuiton, born in 1821 in Chabouilla in the Jura, engineer designer
  • Nicéphore Niepce, born in 1765 in Chalon-sur-Saône, inventor of photography
  • Louis Pasteur, born in Dole in 1822, biologist
  • Pierre Vernier, born in 1580 in Ornans, mathematician
  • Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, born in 1809 in Besançon, sociologist and philosopher
  • Paul Bert, born in 1833 in Auxerre, doctor, physiologist and politician
  • Paul-Emile Victor, born in the Jura in 1907, polar explorer
  • Sébastien Vauban, born in 1633 in Saint-Léger-de-Foucheret, architect and engineer
  • Victor Hugo, born in Besançon in 1802, novelist
  • and many others …..

The Science Pavilion, Center for Scientific, Technical and Industrial Culture of Bourgogne-Franche-Comté

Since January 1, 2018, the Science Pavilion of Montbéliard and the Center for Scientific, Technical and Industrial Culture of Burgundy have come together to create the Pavillon des Sciences Center for Scientific, Technical and Industrial Culture of Bourgogne-Franche-Comté.
The Science Pavilion aims to gain a better understanding of the world around us by understanding the major scientific and industrial challenges of the 21st century.
It is supported by many communities including the Bourgogne-Franche-Comté region, the Pays de Montbéliard Agglomeration, the City of Montbéliard, the City of Belfort, the Department of Doubs, and the City of Dijon.
It supports regional players in scientific culture (universities, private and public research laboratories, schools, industries, associations, museums, etc.).
Resource and dissemination center, creation and training center, the Science Pavilion, through its actions, has acquired expertise in mediation with in particular the development of Science Colporteurs , the production of exhibitions, mobile objects discovery and the provision of a FabLab.

The Science colporteurs (hawkers) equipped with utility vehicles, crisscross the roads of Burgundy-Franche-Comté to disseminate scientific culture. In their luggage: experiments, models, scientific objects and other tools travelling with them and are at the heart of their activities and workshops. They travel throughout the territory to primary schools, colleges, libraries, leisure centers and all other structures wishing to take advantage of their activities.


He leads the network of C.S.T.I(Center for Scientific, Technical and Industrial Culture) through a platform called “Échosciences Bourgogne-Franche-Comté“. This platform makes it possible to discover the territory of the region from the angle of scientific and technical culture. It offers its members to network them with enthusiasts, to follow actions, events and projects close to home.


He became the regional operator to whom COMUE U.B.F.C (University Bourgogne-Franche Comté) and its 7 member universities delegate the implementation of actions related to the Science Festival that it coordinates throughout the region. It organizes meetings and debates on social issues and various activities. It offers training (“microfusée” accreditation in partnership with the National Center for Space Studies(CNES) and “Planète Sciences”).

THE SCHOOL OF WINE & SPIRITS BUSINESS

Founded in 2013, the School of Wine & Spirits Business of Dijon is a structure dedicated to education and research in the wine and spirits industries. With 4 dedicated programs, the oldest of which was created in 1988, a unique dedicated building on campus including a business laboratory, a wine and spirits store and a tasting room, benefit from infrastructure dedicated to excellence !

Composed of 2,000 alumni from around the world in leadership positions in the sector, the Alumni network is synonymous with unprecedented opportunities and professional potential for its graduates.

Burgundy School of Business (BSB) is ranked among the top 1% of business schools in the world.
The Specialised Master in International Wine & Spirits Business (MS CIVS), the longest-standing international programme, is ranked n° 1 in France and n° 3 in the world (Eduniversal 2020)

The MBA Wine & Spirits Business is ranked second best internationally focused MBA taught in France (Le Moci 2020).

The first of its kind in the world entirely dedicated to the teaching of and research into wine and spirits management

UNRIVALLED FACILITIES

The Wine & Spirits Business Lab, a behavioural research laboratory dedicated to the world of wine and spirits
The Tasting Room, a state-of-the-art room comprising 32 fully equiped places for tasting classes and research activities
The Cellar, a 12-degree storage cellar, a showcase situated at the building’s entrance and housing the institution’s collection of bottles; a prime resource for more informal tasting sessions
The Spirits World, an area  specially dedicated  to spirits
The Business Lounge, a sophisticated and elegant reception area 

THE 4 PROGRAMMES

MSc WINE MANAGEMENT
(1 academic year, 100% English taught, bachelor’s in any subject)
The MSc Wine Management is an original programme created by BSB in 2012. This holistic programme allows students to not only obtain a global vision in the wine industry, but also gain management and financial skills in spirits and beer industries, having an in-depth theoretical and practical knowledge of the international business environment, as well as advanced international management practice. The degree aims to produce corporate specialists, allowing graduates to apply with confidence for all managerial openings in wine, spirits and beer industries

MBA WINE & SPIRITS BUSINESS (1 academic year, Bachelor’s in any subject and more than 3 years work experience, 100% English taught)
BSB’s MBA Wine & Spirits Business is a high-level training course, ranked second best international MBA taught in France (Le Moci 2021).
With a strong strategic, commercial and management focus, this intense programme gives you a sound grasp of the requirements of the global market by offering a range of cultural experiences and developing your understanding of the intricacies of the global business of wine and spirits.
It is ideal for those looking to reach middle to upper managerial positions in the industry or create their own business


MASTER of SCIENCE SUSTAINABLE WINE TOURISM & GASTRONOMY

(1 academic year, 100% English taught, bachelor’s in any subject)
The MSc Sustainable Wine Tourism & Gastronomy is designed to meet the growing recruitment needs of many wineries and spirits brands that are developing their tourism activities around their region, history and products. Moreover, the pressure on today’s climate creates an urgent need for companies involved in agritourism to recruit employees and managers to lead an effective transition towards a more balanced approach to food production and travel.

MS CIVS -INTERNATIONAL TRADE IN WINES & SPIRITS SPECIALISED MASTER – (20% English taught)

The Specialized Master in International Trade in Wines & Spirits (MS CIVS) welcomes students, young professionals, management professionals, wine and spirits enthusiasts, wishing to occupy managerial positions requiring expertise in the wine world and advanced managerial skills.

Based on a very powerful network of graduates and as a pioneer of education in these industries, this program is a leader in the French-speaking market

UNESCO CHAIR «Culture and Traditions of Wine» at University of Burgundy

Founded in 2006 at the University of Burgundy

A UNESCO Chair is constituted of an international partners’ network (higher education and research establishments, private and public institutions) offering a common project around a topic able to support the priority programs of the UNESCO, such as the dissemination of education and research, culture, equal opportunity, environment and long lasting development, also peace and governmental leadership as well as the preservation of homeland heritage.

A strong anchorage on terroirs and culture

CHAIR -Culture and Traditions of Wine– unique in the world, is established in Burgundy, land where the diversity of the “terroirs” and the richness of the patrimonial heritage are uni­versally recognized.

The integration of the CHAIR into the University of Burgundy is totally justified. In fact it is one of the few universities in the world to have its own AOC vineyard operated in the Côte de Nuits district.
Very early it developed its own enology department and through the years strongly diversified and enriched its structures of education and research on vine, wine and their cultural heritage.
It offers nowadays a large scale of multi disciplinary diplomas related to vine and wine topics.
More than 12 years ago, the university has gathered its various disciplines of edu­cation and several of its research groups in vine and wine research under the “Institut Universitaire de la Vigne et du Vin (IUVV) , Institut «Jules Guyot» and under the Insitute of Human Science of Dijon.

The IUVV also harbors, the coordination and research on the Chardonnay and Pinot: (CRECEP) which assembles the regional partners (higher education and research establishments, inter-professional structures of viticulture industry as well as the Chambers of Agriculture) working together on the research and development programs regarding vineyards especially those of northern countries.

Some of the targeted objectives

  • To investigate the part of cultural inheritance in the geography, the cultural and oenological practices, the organisation, the development and the production of the old world vineyards.
  • To analyse the development motivations of the new world vineyards and also those of the emerging “extreme limit” world vineyards in regions where a priori the natural environment does not appeal to wine culture.
  • To understand the evolution of the consumption of wine in the world.
  • To decypher the mutations in the cultural behaviors and the production techniques in view of the global economical stakes and the new climatic deal situation.
  • To propose ways for a viticulture and a wine culture integrated in a (long-lasting) development of the planet.

Such a Chair would allow the public to better apprehend the wine as cultural product, vector of civilisation, whose enlightened consumption is reminiscent of a real “Art de Vivre” connected to conviviality, sharing and human values if ever.

An opening towards the world in the spirit of a long lasting development.

The CHAIR is backed up by international partners of the academic world, the professional world of viticulture and wine, the cultural and institutional world.

The international network encloses several dozens of countries, of old or new vineyards from all continents.

The partners offer the structuring of shared Diplomas either in attendance or in e-learning mode, both as initial or continuing education.

They develop multidisciplinary and comparative research on vine, wine and their culture.

The partners encourage PhD thesis in partnership development, the mobility of students and research lecturers, stimulate the North South exchange (between the northem and southem hemispheres).

They organize and sponsor international conferences, publica­ tions and seminars around the CHAIR federating topics.

They offer transfer and expertise activities.

They secure the cultural heritage values towards the professional world and the widespread audience by means of conferences, cultural manifestations, large diffusion publishing’s especially on the site of the UNESCO CHAIR «Culture and Traditions ofWine».

Mont d’Or Cheese

There’s no other word for it, Mont d’or cheese is unctuous, so much so, and here is a weird cheese fact – it’s one of only  a few French cheeses you have to eat with a spoon!

Gooey, runny, sticky and liquescent (and that’s not a word you’ll often see applied to cheese) Mont d’Or or Vacherin Mont d’Or or Vacherin du Haut-Daubs is so French it should be wearing a beret and carrying a baguette. It’s named after Mont d’Or (Golden Mountain) in the Jura region, Franche Comté, department of Doubs.

In France it is revered as the best of the raw milk cheeses and when you taste it for the first time – you’ll understand why.

It was a favourite fromage of King Louis XV and is the only French cheese to be eaten with a spoon. It is only made between August 15 and March 15, and derives its unique nutty taste from the spruce bark in which it is wrapped and only eleven factories in the French Jura region are licensed to produce it. It’s a protected cheese and there’s nothing else quite like it.

If you get a really ripe Mont d’Or you can eat it straight out of the pot – dip in a hunk of fresh baguette and scoop it up, or slather it on with a spoon! Its’ got a delicious nutty, earthy taste.

Or bake it – a really popular way to eat it in France as it brings out even more flavour

How to bake Mont d’Or Cheese

Preheat the oven to 200C

Remove the lid and pop the box on a baking tray.

There are different ways to cook it, plain, with a dash of pepper and/or some sea salt, a drizzle of olive oil, some garlic, truffle shavings, herbs or wine. You can dip bread, croutons, sausage, whatever you like as with a fondue. But, here is one of the most loved recipes for mont d’or chaud, baked Mont d’Or:

Take a knife and poke a few slits in the cheese and pop some thinly sliced garlic in to the holes.

Grind some black pepper over the top, pour over a splash of white wine

Pop in the oven for about 8 minutes until completely soft

Remove and eat with crusty baguette, or new potatoes and wash down with the rest of the white wine!

Extra tips: 
Cut a cross in the top, spread, and pour in some Kirsch, Armagnac, or liqueur of your choice, warm through, and serve with bread sticks

Mont d'Or, Fromagerie Michelin from Pourchet Jules on Vimeo.

Saucisse de Morteau / Jésus de Morteau

DESCRIPTION

The Saucisse de Morteau and Jésus de Morteau PGI are pork meat sausages in natural casings.

PRODUCTION AREA

The production area of Saucisse de Morteau or Jésus de Morteau PGI covers the departments of Doubs, Jura, Haute-Saône and Territoire de Belfort, in Franche Comté region.

PRODUCTION METHOD

The mix is obtained starting from ham, shoulder, breast, lard, loin and trims. From 65 to 85% of meats used for the mix have to be lean, whilst the remaining percentage can consists of pig lard. The cuts are crushed together roughly and then salted, and some spices may be added (pepper, garlic, cumin etc.). The mix obtained is put in pig natural casing (chaudin, suivant or intestine) and then dried in suitable rooms. The fundamental phase is surely smoking: indeed, the sausages have to be smoked slowly using conifer wood, with a constant and careful check of fume.

APPEARANCE AND FLAVOUR

Saucisse de Morteau and Jésus de Morteau PGI have both a cylindrical shape, but the second is a particular representation of the first, as it is more uneven and with a minimum diameter which is higher (respectively 40 and 60 mm). The ends of these sausages are generally sealed, one side with cord and the other with a wood stick, even if the wood stick can be absent in the case of Jésus de Morteau PGI. The colour is amber, but not uniform. The dough has a rough grain, and the taste, after cooking, is smoked but rather well-balanced.

HISTORY

The agricultural farming tradition of Franche Comté region is ancient and closely linked to the region. The practice of cattle breeding for the dairy production found here a very good development area putting the basis for a later spread of pig farming. Indeed, in this region the milk whey produced by many dairy factories was, and still is, used as a basic food for pigs, as it is rich in useful element for the growth of these animals. The region, in addition to meat production, has specialised in drying and smoking products, a practice of which the highest expression is Tuyés, which are rooms thought for the double function to smoke the meats and to heat the houses or farms where they were produced.

Tuyé inside the farm

GASTRONOMY

Saucisse de Morteau o Jésus de Morteau PGI has to be stored in a fresh and dry room, protected from direct light, even better in refrigerator. It is eaten after cooking: boiled, pan-fried, roasted in oven or barbecued. This versatile product can be used as an ingredient for many recipes, from aperitifs to first and second courses or side dishes. A traditional dish is the potato gratin which includes cheese, onion and Saucisse de Morteau PGI. It has to be served accompanied by a glass of white wine.

MARKETING

The product is sold as Saucisse de Morteau or Jésus de Morteau PGI. It is packed in suitable bags and can be sold also precooked.

DISTINCTIVE FEATURES

Saucisse de Morteau or Jésus de Morteau PGI owe their characteristic amber colour and peculiar taste to the smoking with conifer wood, which is a local practise of Franche Comté region which, thanks to a big forest, has good amounts of this species of trees.

Beef Bourguignon Recipe

Ingredients for 6 servings

1.5  kg stewing beef (chuck or shin),
200 g lean salt pork or thick cut bacon,
40 g butter,
350 g pearl onions,
350 g small button mushrooms,
1 onion,
1 carrot,
3 garlic cloves,
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour,
750 ml red wine, preferably Burgundy,
1 1/2 tablespoon tomato paste,
bouquet garni: 1 bay leaf, 2 sprigs fresh thyme, 1 sprig rosemary, 6 sprigs parsley,
750 ml beef broth,
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley,
Salt and pepper.

Preparation Steps:

1- Bring a pan of water to a boil, and drop in the pearl onions. Let them boil rapidly for 2-3 minutes, then plunge them into cold water, and peel them. Cut the mushrooms in half if needed, they should match the size of the onions. Tie together the herbs for the bouquet garni.

2. Cut the beef into 2 inch pieces and dice the salt pork or cut the bacon crosswise into thin strips.

3. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large skillet and fry the onions over a high heat, stirring frequently and shaking the pan, until they are golden-brown. Remove onto a plate. Add another tablespoon butter to the same skillet and sauté the mushrooms for 5 minutes until golden, then set aside with the pearl onions.

4. In a Dutch oven or a large heavy pot, cook the pork or bacon over medium heat until golden brown, then remove with a slotted spoon and drain. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the fat. Increase the heat to medium-high. Add enough meat to the pan to fit easily in one layer and sear on all sides until well browned. Transfer the beef to a plate and continue browning the meat in batches.

5. When all the beef has been browned, pour off any fat from the pot and add the remaining butter. When the butter has melted, add the chopped onion, carrot and garlic and cook over medium heat for 3-4 minutes until just softened, stirring frequently. Sprinkle over the flour and cook for 2 minutes, then add the wine, tomato paste and bouquet garni. Bring to a boil, scraping the bottom of the pan.

6. Return the beef and bacon to the pan and pour on the broth, adding more if needed to cover the meat and vegetables when pressed down. Cover the pan and simmer very gently over low heat, stirring occasionally, for about 3 hours or until the meat is very tender.

7. Add the sautéed mushrooms and pearl onions. Season to taste and cook, covered, for 30 minutes more. Discard the bouquet garni. Stir in the parsley before serving with steamed potatoes or mashed potatoes. 

Wine paring tips

People often wonder what type of wine to use in the preparation of Boeuf Bourguignon. The dish originating from Burgundy, the obvious choice is a generic red Bourgogne AOC, nothing too fancy as the prices can quickly escalate. Save your budget for the wine in the glass, in which case, a more complex red from the Côte de Nuits is the appropriate choice, whether it is one of the regional appellations or a specific village such as Vosne-Romané or Morey-Saint-Denis for special occasions! If regionality is not a priority for your wine selection, some prefer to serve heftier wines, such as a Cabernet Sauvignon, a Syrah, or a slightly riper “new world” Pinot Noir.

Louis Pasteur, a French chemist and microbiologist whose work changed medicine

Louis Pasteur is born on 27 December 1822, in Dole, Jura (Franche Comté)

Louis Pasteur, a qualified chemist, is behind the most important scientific revolutions of the 19th century in the fields of biology, agriculture, medicine and hygiene. Beginning his research on crystallography, he soon embarked on a journey filled with discoveries which led him to develop the rabies vaccine.

Louis Pasteur’s life was filled with revolutionary discoveries and also marked by a number of events that likely fueled his desire to understand the diseases of his time. A tireless and dedicated scientist, he traveled extensively throughout France to prove his theories and solve agricultural and industrial problems caused by infectious diseases.

EVERY DISCOVERY OPENED A NEW FIELD OF INVESTIGATION LEADING TO FURTHER BREAKTHROUGHS.

“Chance favors invention only for minds prepared for discoveries by patient study and persevering efforts.”

Louis Pasteur

 

THE EARLY YEARS 1847- 1862 – RESEARCH ON MOLECULAR ASYMMETRY

In 1847 Louis Pasteur, a young chemist freshly graduated from the prestigious Ecole normale supérieure, set to work on the problem posed by German physicist Eilhard Mitscherlich, namely, why do sodium ammonium paratartrate and tartrate – two seemingly identical chemical substances – affect polarized light differently ?

THE MIDDLE YEARS 1862-1877 – DEPOSIT OF THE PASTEURIZATION PATENT

Louis Pasteur’s work raised a new set of research questions, such as ” Where do fermentation agents come from ? ” and ” Do they originate from germs similar to themselves or do they appear spontaneously as explained by the spontaneous generation theory ?

THE FINAL YEARS 1877-1887 – FIRST HUMAN RABIES VACCINATION

Between the age of 55 and 65 Louis Pasteur developed microbiology, applying it to medicine and surgery. Having established that diseases were caused by microorganisms, he then sought to identify and find a means of fighting them. His finest accomplishment was rabies.

1888 -CREATION OF THE INSTITUT PASTEUR

The Institut Pasteur is named after its illustrious founder and owes much to this scientific genius. Yet its story is also linked to the lives and discoveries of many other scientists, all inspired by the humanist ideals of Louis Pasteur, whose scientific breakthroughs have benefited people’s health worldwide.

The Institut Pasteur is a private, non-profit foundation officially recognized for charitable status, just as Louis Pasteur himself wanted.

Established by decree on June 4, 1887, the Institut Pasteur was opened on November 14, 1888 following Louis Pasteur’s successful international appeal for funds. He now had the facilities to extend vaccination against rabies, continue research on infectious diseases and share the resulting knowledge.

That’s a Fact – Louis Pasteur from Institute for Creation Research on Vimeo.

Burgundy snails

Burgundy snails, or “escargots de Bourgogne”, are usually seen on the table at festive family gatherings as a plate of twelve, or a plate of six in restaurants (or for those just looking for a taste). We’re going to tell you all about this rather unusual speciality, including its history and traditional recipe.

They’ve been on the menu for thousands of years!

The history of the snail

Eating snails is not a recent trend. In fact, the Romans and Gauls used to eat them grilled or fried, in preparation for periods of famine. What more proof of their nutritional goodness do you need?

The Burgundy snail is also called the “Roman snail” or “Vineyard snail” (a good reference to Burgundy), and the scientific name is Helix Pomatia. It is the most popular snail (mostly imported as French breeders prefer the Cornu Aspersum) It is a highly protected species in France, and it is forbidden to collect them during the reproduction period.

A product that was made famous after a political meal

1814: Napoleon was defeated by Emperor Alexander I of Russia. Louis XVIII then became King of France and the Emperor decided to come and visit this new king, who did not give him a warm welcome. To avoid any political conflict, the French Minister of Foreign Affairs, Talleyrand, who had helped Louis XVIII take over the throne, intervened and invited the Emperor to a dinner.
Talleyrand called upon his chef to find an original dish to impress the Emperor. The chef came up with the idea of preparing snails stuffed with butter, garlic and parsley. When the Emperor was presented with this dish, he was surprised but enjoyed these tasty “escargots à la bourguignonne”. The incident with the King was forgotten and this recipe became popular all over the world!

How should they be eaten?

Preparing and tasting them

For this dish, you’ll need to make a “beurre d’escargots” (butter, garlic, parsley), then put this, along with the snails, into the empty snail shell and then bake them in the oven.
Then you’ll need snail tongs to hold the shell, and a snail fork to remove them from the shell to eat.
And because a delicious speciality of Burgundy wouldn’t be complete without wine, this dish can be paired with a glass of white wine, such as Chablis for example!

Bocaux & co, a circular economy project

Bocaux & co is a circular economy project for the reuse of jars throughout the Dijon metropolitan area (Burgundy-Franche Comté region); Recycling is no longer enough, more must be done! This has a much heavier environmental impact than reuse.

Bocaux & co revolves around 3 activities:

  • Reuse – to set up a circuit for reuse of jars
  • Processing, to develop the practice of conservation in jars
  • Training, to train and raise awareness of jar conservation techniques

Based on such a common resource – the glass jar or screw cap jar – Bocaux&co aims to:

  • 1)support the food self-sufficiency of a territory, by promoting the development of the practice of canning and its various techniques
  • 2)participate in reducing waste and our environmental impact
  • 3)contribute to the social and solidarity economy, by initiating a circular, participatory, inclusive and united economy model

Compared to recycling, reusing the jars saves:

  • 79% greenhouse gas
  • 76% energy
  • 33% water

Recycling vs Reuse

The jars reuse circuit, offered by the Bocaux & Co Association

Comté cheese

What is Comté?

It seems only fitting that the beauty of the Massif du Jura would match that of its most treasured produce, Comté. Fruity and savoury notes take turns caressing your palate, with sweet and salty undertones bursting through in waves. Like the conversion of woods to countryside, the texture transforms from dense to open as it lingers, while aromas of roasted hazelnuts and caramelised butter spread like clouds on a clear sky.

The flavours are clean and greatly influenced by their surroundings. Dotted with charming villages and luscious pastures, the mountains of Jura in eastern France provide fresh grass for the Montbéliarde and French Simmental cows during the summer. From their milk, the local creameries produce the iconic flavours and aromas that characterise Comté.

Inspiring awe wherever it finds itself, Comté is an outstanding product of the highest level.

How Comté is made?

Renowned for its complex flavours, the production of Comté is not just down to workmanship and skill.

Raw milk is delivered straight from the farmhouse to one of the local creameries, the fruitiére. At this point, it is filtered and poured into large copper vats and rennet is added. This helps the milk coagulate and form a firm curd, which is then separated. Closely monitoring the consistency of the curd lets workers know exactly when to drain it. Large wheel-shaped moulds are lined with the broken curd and pressed for an entire day to squeeze out any excess whey. Coarse sea salt from Guérande, along with a yeast solution, is brushed onto the rind, making the wheels ready for aging.

Taking full advantage of the surroundings, the cheese is aged in the cool and humid caves of the Alps. Absorbing the naturally filtered moisture from cracks in the walls, the Comté achieves its unique taste and aromatic nature. Anywhere from 4 to 24 months can be spent maturing in the dark caves of the Massif du Jura mountainsides, finally creating a picture-perfect wheel of Comté cheese.

With the full benefit of wholesome milk, Comté is unpasteurised, unadulterated in flavour and entirely free of gluten. The addition of animal rennet, however, makes this cheese unsuitable for vegetarians.

Prestigious AOC status since 1958

Due to its distinctive nature, cultural value and economic importance for the region, Comté was deservedly granted Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée (AOC) status in 1958. This ensures that Comté follow a large set of stringent rules and requirements which guarantee the specificity of their unique cheese. The Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée also guarantees that the production of Comté remains based on traditional methods and stages which have been in place for over 1,000 years.

You could say that it acts as a contract between farmers, fruitières, affineurs and their customers to maintain the taste and natural character of Comté.

This prestigious status was further recognised in 1996 when Comté was awarded the exclusive Protected Origin Nomenclature (AOP) status which recognises and rewards Comté’s remarkable reputation throughout the whole of Europe, and not only in France.

The Grandes traversées du Jura (GTJ)

The Grandes Traversées du Jura offer 6 main routes across the mountains of Jura where you can practice 6 different ways of trekking.

Along these suggested routes are villages where you can always rest and enjoy good company.

Hikers will enjoy the GTJ hiking route which guides you along marked and maintained trails in a well-preserved and wild environment. Stop-overs every 20 kilometres are recommended to enjoy the Jura mountains peacefully.

For mountain bikers, there is the GTJ mountain biking route. This route is partly easy, partly demanding, but bikers of all levels can bike it: when the route becomes too difficult, “lighter” options are provided as alternatives.

The GTJ road biking route guides you along scenic countryside roads throughout the Jura mountains. Whether you plan to ride a hundred kilometres in a row or to take it easy, this route will let you discover the richness of Jura’s heritage.

On the GTJ horseback riding route, riders can enjoy the beautiful scenery from horse back. Riding 30 kilometres or so per day will give you enough time for a picnic or a dip in a lake. It is the only route of the Grandes Traversées that goes through the wine country. Specific lodging facilities for riders and their horses have been selected along this route.

Skiers can take the GTJ skiing route, which offers marked and maintained ski trails across the country. Cross-country skiing in the Jura’s rough winter climate for a whole day can be demanding, but dining on a fondue jurassienne or baked Mont d’Or cheese in a guest house is such a rewarding experience!

Snowshoe hikers will enjoy nature to the fullest on the GTJ snowshoeing route: no groomed trails, no hiking trails, just wild nature! If you happen to be the first one to leave your footprints on powdery snow after a snowfall, the only way to get around is to follow the posts that mark the way.

GTJ Hiking Route

The Grande Traversée du Jura hiking route takes long-distance hikers all along Jura’s crescent-shaped massif on the mythical GR®5 and GR®9 trails.

It begins in the north, in the country of Montbéliard: do not hesitate to stop for a while and visit the city of the Dukes of Württemberg. It quickly veers upward on the highest plateaux and then goes back down toward the beautiful Doubs river. It follows the river’s banks along the Swiss border all the way to Villers-le-Lac, and then goes through a picturesque scenery composed of pastures, where Montbéliard cows graze, and deciduous forests. This is the country of typical comtois farmhouses, with their imposing “tuyé” chimneys where the sausages and ham you will certainly eat at a guest house are smoked. After Pontarlier, it meets the Joux fortress, then the Saint-Point lake, two places in the foothills of Mont d’Or, the highest mount in the Doubs department (1463 m). The summit gives a beautiful and compelling view over the Alps… This is where the Haut-Jura regional nature park begins. The trail winds its way between spruce forests and lush narrow valleys, in a rich and preserved environment. You will then arrive at Mouthe, a village known for its harsh winters and the place where the river you have been following since the beginning of your trip starts its journey. As a side note, the Doubs department takes its name from this river. Further on, the trail will take you to Chapelle-des-Bois, with its narrow valley and two lakes nestled between the Mont-Noir forest and the Risoux cliffs. In Les Rousses, take some time to listen to the story of the Massacre forest before venturing into it. Try to imagine the bird who lives here, because it is unlikely you will get to see it even if you walk in its territory; the capercaillie (Tetrao urogallus, Grand Tetras in French) that still inhabits our forests is a very discreet animal. Its presence is the result of a well preserved natural environment, and the heritage of a natural and wild mountainous habitat. Only a short hike is required to walk through the beautiful Hautes-Combes, and you will be able to admire the Haute-Chaîne of the Jura.

Gustave Courbet and his paintings

An artist who was among the primar figures in the Realist movement, Gustave Courbet has proven himself as one of the most remarkable artists during his time.

Background

Gustave Courbet, born as Jean Désiré Gustave Courbet, was a renowned French artist during the 19th century Realist movement. He was dedicated to presenting his independent style in art as he steered clear of the traditional art techniques during his time. In fact, his unique styles became a source of inspiration among the cubists and impressionists.
It was his paintings during the 1840s that made him quite popular. His masterpieces attempted to challenge the conventions during that time. Most of his paintings also featured less political subjects such as nudes, still lifes, hunting scenes and landscapes.

Early Life

Gustave Courbet was born in Ornans, in 1819. His parents were Regis and Sylvie, and they had a thriving farming business. The young boy was drawn to art much to the inspiration of his sisters named Juliette, Zelie and Zoe.
In 1839, he decided to move to Paris to undergo training at the Steuben and Hesse studio. Even when he was in Paris, he would often go back to his hometown to find more inspiration for his artworks. Soon, he left the studio as he was more interested in perfect his individual style, and started haunting the Louvre copying old-master heroes such as Titian, Caravaggio and Diego Velazquez.

Initial Works

One of Courbet’s first masterpieces was an Odalisque, which was largely inspired by the works of a Lelia and Victor Hugo. However, he lost interest in artworks with subjects that featured literary influences. Instead, he became more inspired to create paintings based on realistic themes. Thus, most of his artworks during the early 1840s featured himself while performing various roles. He created a number of self portraits including the Desperate Man, The Sculptor, The Wounded Man, Self Portrait with Black Dog, The Cellist, and The Man with a Pipe, among a few others.

By 1846, he began touring Belgium and the Netherlands, and his adventures made him realize the value of portraying images that happen from day to day. He was specifically inspired by the works of Johannes Vermeer and Rembrandt, including a few other Dutch artists who presented their artworks with images of daily life activities. In the latter part of the 1840s, he began to inspire younger art critics and enthusiasts, particulary the Realists and Neo-Romantics.

Early Accomplishments

It was in 1849 when Courbet obtained his initial success at the Salon with his masterpiece entitled “After Dinner at Ornans”.

After Dinner at Ornans (1849), Courtesy of Gustave-Courbet.com

This painting earned him a gold medal, which meant he was exempted from jury approval until 1857.
Another great painting by Courbet was the Stone-Breakers, which he created in 1849. Art critics considered this fine piece of art as a model of peasant life. It depicted a scene that the artist observed during one of his travels on the roadside. In addition, his works were not specifically taken from the Neoclassical or Romantic schools of art. He claimed to have his own unique style, and these paintings sprung from his personal experiences.

The stone breakers (1849) – Courtesy of Gustave-courbet.com


Eventually, Courbet started introducing social issues and imageries in his artworks including peasants and rural bourgeoisie. Soon, his work was labeled as realism, along with the artwork themes of other artists including Jean-Francois Millet and Honore Daumier. For Courbet, he believed that realism is more focused on rough handling of pigments, and that it should present the reality and harshness occuring in day to day situations.

The Artist’s Studio

The Artist’s Studio, 1855 – Courtsey of gustave-courbet.com

One of Courbet’s most sensational works was The Artist’s Studio, and it was considered as a masterpiece by several artists including Baudelaire and Eugene Delacroix. According to the artist, this masterpiece presented his life and the world around him. He explained that there were various elements in the society where he lived including wealth, poverty, misery and sufferings. Thus, there were several figures included in the painting such as a grave digger, prostitute and priest among a few others.

Exile and Later Life

After serving a prison sentence in 1872, Courbet experienced additional problems despite the end of the Vendome Column. A year after his sentence was over, President Patrice Mac-Mahon decided to have the column rebuilt, and the cost of reconstruction was to be settled by Courbet. Unfortunately, the artist did not have enough means to pay for the expenses, which made him decide to go on a self-imposed exile. He settled in Switzerland, and he became active in national and regional exhibitions in this foreign land. Soon, he became the head of a Swiss realist school, which inspired a number of artists including Ferdinand Hodler and Auguste Baud-Bovy.

During his life in exile, he was able to create magnificent works of art such as various paintings of a trout, which he claimed to symbolize his own life. In addition to painting, he became fascinated with sculpting. In fact, one of his finest sculptures was called The Fisherman of Chavots, which he completed in the 1860s. He donated this sculpture to Ornans, yet it was later removed after the arrest of the artist.

In 1877, Courbet died in La Tour-de-Peilz, in Switzerland while on exile. He suffered from a liver disease, which was caused by the artist’s heavy drinking.

The Artist’s Legacy

During his lifetime, Courbet has influenced a number of artists in the younger generation. In fact, Claude Monet featured a portrait of the artist in a painting entitled Le Déjeuner sur l’herbe. Courbet implemented an independent style of realism, which inspired several artists such as the Liebl Circle of German artists. His unique style was also evident in the works of other artists such as Vincent van Gogh, Paul Cezanne, James McNeil Whistler and Henri Fantin-Latour.

Indeed, Courbet has managed to remain as an inspiration to many despite his personal trials and challenges during his time. His ingenuity and craftsmanship made him one of the most revered artists in history, and his legacies continue to live on years after his death

Arc-et-Senans Royal Saltworks

Unesco World Heritage Site

In 1982, the Arc-et-Senans Royal Saltworks was included on the UNESCO world heritage list. Designed by Claude-Nicolas Ledoux (1736-1806), a visionary architect in the Enlightenment period, the Royal Saltworks site is a rare and an exceptional example of industrial architecture history. The site was designed for the production of salt, commissioned by Louis XV, and built between 1775 and 1779.

Almost all of the employees at the Royal Saltworks lived on the premises near the production site. It was built in the form of a circular arc, and included both the dwellings and the production sites. In all, there were 11 buildings: the Director’s house, the Stables, the East and West Salt Buildings, the Eastern and Western Workers (Commis) buildings, the Eastern and Western Dormitories (Berniers) Buildings, the Cooperage, the Guards Building, and the Farrier/Blacksmith.

When new technologies emerged, the Royal Saltworks became obsolete, and closed down in 1895. The site was abandoned, plundered, and damaged by fire in 1918; but in 1927, the Doubs Department bought the premises and saved them from ruin. After three consecutive restoration cycles that were completed in 1996, the site was restored to its former glory.

Visitors from around the world acknowledge that by virtue of its exceptional architecture, its history and reconstruction, the Royal Saltworks site is a unique monument. It is now open for visits, and venue hosts exhibits are featured during each cultural season, a garden festival and concerts, hosts researchers and artists-in-residence, and organises activities for children, conferences, and innovating events.

The Ledoux Museum

The « Ledoux Museum », which presents the work of the Royal Saltworks creator, is the only European museum dedicated to an architect.
The life path of the architect is illustrated through about sixty models. Nowadays, few of his buildings remain, either because they were never built, or because they were destroyed by time or by man. Along the way, visitors can marvel at the variety of his works (theatres, private estates, and tax collection buildings), as well as at his “dreamed projects”, that sometimes had a utopian ring to them. Examples are the Ideal City in Chaux, a cemetery, a pleasure house, schools, prisons, and industrial buildings.

Video in French

Bourgogne Franche-Comté – Centre-Loire Valley

In January 2022, The French presidency committee decided to highlight two french regions: Bourgogne Franche-Comté and Centre-Val de Loire regions.
(the regions are highlighted in the map above).

Full of outstanding natural heritage, Bourgogne-Franche-Comté is a destination of choice for lovers of rural tourism and unspoilt landscapes.

Known all over the world for its prestigious vineyards and authentic cuisine, this lovely, rustic region will delight you with its peaceful hedged farmland, expansive vineyards, mysterious forests, mountainous massifs, rivers, big lakes and countless ponds. For those looking to rest and recuperate, nothing beats a hike in the Ballons des Vosges, Morvan or Haut-Jura Regional nature parks, a romantic stroll on the peaceful Mille Étangs Plateau or a cycle ride along the pleasant Saône-et-Loire Greenway. And if you want to unwind amid lush greenery while enjoying the water, head to Lake Les Settons in Nièvre, Lake Saint-Point in Doubs, or the lakes of Chalain and Vouglans in Jura!

As well as these natural treasures, the area has some very interesting architectural heritage. Cities of Art and History with remarkable buildings, like Dijon and its palace of the Dukes of Burgundy, Besançon and its Vauban citadel, Auxerre and its Gothic cathedral, Belfort and its majestic Lion, Dole and its old houses, La Charité-sur-Loire and its Clunisian priory, Nevers and its ducal palace, or Montbéliard and its castle of the Dukes of Württemberg, all testify to the region’s glorious past. Equally unmissable are the famous Beaune Hospices, the magnificent Vézelay Basilica, the incredible medieval construction site of Guédelon, the Royal Saltworks at Arc-et-Senans, Mont Beuvray with its marvellous panoramic views and its Bibracte Museum, the site of Alésia with its Gallo-Roman remains and MuséoParc, as well as the abbeys of Cluny, Fontenay and Pontigny, and the castles of Ancy-le-Franc, Bazoches, Berzé-le-Châtel, Cormatin and Tanlay.

As well as being popular with lovers of nature and old buildings, Burgundy-Franche-Comté also delights food and wine connoisseurs. Its authentic and flavoursome gastronomy is a treat for the taste buds, with famous specialities and dishes such as the famous wines of Burgundy and Jura, crème de cassis liqueur, Comté, Époisses and Cancoillotte cheese, Morteau sausage, eggs meurette, coq au vin jaune, potée comtoise stew and gingerbread.

Rock fans won’t want to miss the famous Eurockéennes de Belfort, festival that takes place in early July on the shores of Lake Malsaucy.


A territory steeped in history and heritage, once enjoyed by the Kings of France, today Centre-Loire Valley is highly prized by visitors who go there for its famous Renaissance castles, charming villages and gastronomic specialities.

It’s also a very green destination where nature and the forest have pride of place, making it ideal for walking holidays. Examples include the mysterious Sologne with its countless ponds, Berry with its pastoral landscapes, the immense Orleans forest and the banks of the famous wild River Loire, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The many splendid French and English-style gardens in the region are sure to delight lovers of extensive plant collections!

Famed all over the world, the Loire Valley castles have made their mark on the history of France. Chambord and its prestigious estate, Chenonceau and its magnificent arches over the Cher, Azay-le-Rideau and its romantic park, Amboise and its unforgettable views over the Loire, and Villandry with its remarkable gardens are all among the magical sites for visitors to enjoy on a weekend or longer trip… In Berry, heritage enthusiasts can enjoy the wonderful castles of Ainay-le-Vieil, Argy, Bouges, Meillant and Valençay, as well as charming villages like Apremont-sur-Allier, Gargilesse-Dampierre and Saint-Benoît-du-Sault. When it comes to outings in the Berry countryside, you’ll be spoilt for choice, with the Brenne Regional Nature Park and its thousands of ponds, Châteauroux forest, the Berry canal towpath and the vineyards of Sancerrois. Everything you need for a very pleasant country holiday!

Not to be outdone, the towns of Centre-Loire Valley are brimming with architectural treasures from the medieval era and the Renaissance. Lovers of culture and old buildings will be delighted by Blois and its royal castle, Bourges and its Jacques Cœur Palace, Tours and its museums, Chartres and its Gothic cathedral, Orleans and its Place du Martroi, to name but a few.

You can also take advantage of the region’s mild climate by treating yourself to a walk around the famous Loire Valley vineyard. It’s a great opportunity to stop by one of the many wine cellars and enjoy a little glass of wine from Anjou or Touraine!

French expressions – January 2022

FRENCH EXPRESSIONS INSPIRED BY ANIMALS YOU MAY HEAR TODAY

Ours mal léché (literally ‘badly licked bear’)

This expression describes somebody who is antisocial, irritable or ill-mannered.It was coined in the 17th century, when it was believed that bear mothers would lick their cubs for many hours in order to clean them, shape them and have them be accepted by other bears.
At the time, it was used to refer to somebody with physical deformities, as a bear that was ‘badly licked’ would have been thought to be not in the correct physical shape.
By extension, this meant that they were not ready to enter and settle into society, and the expression evolved in the 18th century to designate somebody who has poor social skills or is constantly grumpy – a social deformity of sorts.

 “Il avait vécu dans le monde; il avait des talents, quelque savoir, de la douceur, de la politesse; il savait la musique, et comme j’étais de chambrée avec lui, nous nous étions liés de préférence au milieu des ours mal léchés qui nous entouraient.”

Rousseau – Les confessions

Vendre la peau de l’ours avant de l’avoir tué (literally ‘to sell a bear’s skin before having killed it’):

This expression means to celebrate or take advantage of something which has not yet happened or which is not certain to take place. 
The English equivalent would be ‘don’t count your chickens before they hatch.’
In the middle ages, bear skin was a popular material to make blankets. The current expression was used in the form vendre la peau avant qu’on ait la bête (‘to sell the skin before one has the beast’).
It was popularised by writer Jean de La Fontaine in the 17th century in his fable L’ours et les deux compagnons (The Bear and the Two Companions), in which two friends sell the skin of a bear that they have not yet killed, but plan to. 
However, when they go to kill the bear, they are unable to and while one of them lays on the ground pretending to be dead, the bear whispers a moral in his ear: Il ne faut pas vendre la peau de l’ours avant qu’on ne l’ait mis à terre (‘one must never sell the skin of a bear they haven’t put down yet’).
The phrase has evolved slightly over.

“Il m’a dit qu’il ne faut jamais
Vendre la peau de l’ours qu’on ne l’ait mis par terre”

Jean de la fontaine – L’ours et les deux Compagnons

Être le dindon de la farce (literally ‘to be the turkey of the prank’):

This expression means to be the butt of the joke or subject of a prank.
It is said to have originated in the 18th century, with the ‘ballet des dindons’ – a form of fairground entertainment in Paris where turkeys were locked in a cage whose metal floor was gradually heated, causing them to ‘dance’ in pain, making the audience laugh.
The event was banned in 1844 but the expression remains commonly used to identify someone whose misfortunes, whether serious or not, others laugh at.

Quand les poules auront des dents (literally ‘when hens have teeth’):

This expression is used to refer to something that will never happen.
This phrase derives from another expression with the same meaning used in the 19th century – quand les poules pisseront (literally ‘when hens pee’). As hens don’t have a bladder, they don’t pass urine as we know it.
Equally, hens do not have teeth, so to do something ‘when hens have teeth’ means to never do it.
Various countries and languages have their own variations of this expression. For example, the English equivalent is ‘when pigs fly’.

« — Quand te marieras-tu, toi ?
— Quand les poules auront des dents.
— Y en a qui en ont. »

Raymond Queneau – Le dimanche de la vie

Être une poule mouillée (literally ‘ to be a wet hen’)

To call somebody a wet hen is to call them a coward.
According to Pierre-Marie Quitard’s 1842 Dictionnaire des proverbes (Dictionary of Proverbs), a chicken that gets wet from the rain ‘just stands in the background, without moving, as if ashamed or dejected’ – an image which inspired the phrase we hear today. The expression has been around since the 17th century.

Manger du lion (literally ‘to eat lion’)

When somebody has lots of energy, it is said that they have eaten lion.
The lion, with its reputation of strength and courage, represents by extension vitality and energy.
When someone is said to have eaten lion, it suggests therefore that they have consumed its qualities and exhibit an extraordinary amount of energy.

La part du lion (literally ‘the part of the lion’)

This expression refers to the biggest or best part of something.
It dates back to writer Jean de La Fontaine’s 1668 fable La Génisse, la Chèvre et la Brebis, en société avec le Lion (The Heifer, the Goat and the Sheep in Company with the Lion). In the fable, the animals plan to share a stag that had been snared but the lion claims the totality of the meal, considering himself the strongest and most deserving.
The expression was popularised, however, by writer Victor de Hugo in his 1831 novel Notre-Dame de Paris (The Hunchback of Notre-Dame). The expression has an English equivalent, ‘the lion’s share’. 

Coeur de lion (literally ‘the heart of a lion’)

Someone with a ‘lion’s heart’ is considered to be very brave. The lion, as the ‘King of the Jungle’, has long had the reputation of being daring and courageous.
It was also a title given to numerous medieval monarchs, including Louis VIII of France and Richard I of England.

Entre chien et loup (literally ‘between dog and wolf’)

This expression refers to the time of dusk, when it is “too dark to distinguish between a dog and a wolf”. 
It is attributed to the 13th century but is said to be much older, deriving from the Latin ‘inter canem et lupum’. Here, the dog, trustworthy and warm, represents the day. The wolf, menacing and unknown, represents the night.

Dormir en chien de fusil (literally ‘to sleep like the dog of a rifle’)

This expression means to look at each other with suspension or mistrust.
Faïence is a term for tin-glazed pottery, named after the city of Faenza, Italy, where the technique was popularised in the 16th century.
In France, these earthenware decorations, in particular in the form of dogs, were placed on either side of fireplaces. The ‘dogs’ would appear to be staring at each other, as if suspicious of one another, which inspired the expression.

“Il remarqua seulement qu’elle était couchée en chien de fusil, et se promit de lui dire dire que ce n’était pas bon pour la circulation”

Henry de Montherlant, le démon du Chien (1937)

Faire des yeux de merlan frit (literally ‘to make fried whiting eyes’)

This expression refers to a look exchanged between lovers – completely enamoured and, to onlookers, a bit ridiculous.
Initially, this expression was used in the 18th century in the form of faire des yeux de carpe frite, meaning ‘make fried carp eyes’. 
Presumably, it was inspired by the open-mouthed, wide-eyed expression we see on fried fish.
Silent cinema in the 20th century gave the expression much of its meaning, as actors would have to really exaggerate their facial expressions to convey emotions.

“Oh ! tu peux nier tant que tu voudras, j’ai assez l’expérience des femmes, alleï ! Toi et tes yeux de merlan frit, quand tu le regardes ! “

Robert Choquette – Les Velder – 1941

Engueuler quelqu’un comme du poisson pourri (literally ‘to shout at someone like a rotten fish’)

This expression means to shout at someone, usually hurling insults.
It is said to date to the 20th century and be inspired by fish merchants who had a reputation for being loud and aggressive.
It could also relate to the fact that rotten fish have no value for merchants and would be thrown away. Therefore, to ‘shout at someone like a rotten fish’ would mean to give them as little consideration as one would a rotten fish.

« Mais que cela ne vous empêche pas, si vos relations avec votre patron vous le permettent, de l‘engueuler comme du poisson pourri, et de lui dire qu’on lui revaudra ça. »

Jules Romains – Les hommes de bonne volonté – Tome X – 1935

Il y a anguille sous roche (literally ‘there is an eel under the rock’)

This expression means that something suspicious is going on. The English equivalent might be ‘I smell a rat’.
It is said to have been coined in the Middle Ages.
Eels, which avoid light and spend much of their time during the day in the shade of rocks, are assimilated to snakes. Both animals are associated with cunningness and deception.
Furthermore, the position of the eel in this expression – under the rock – indicates something hidden.
The ‘anguille’ also alludes to the verb ‘guiller’, which in Old French meant to deceive or trick.

« Mais n’y aurait-il pas encore ici anguille sous roche, c’est-à-dire quelque allégorie cachée, quelque allusion maligne à un tournoi de la cour de François Ier ou de Henri II ? »

François Rabelais – Pantagruel

Finir en queue de poisson (‘to end up in a fishtail’)

The French say something ‘ends up in a fishtail’ when it ends abruptly, without the desired or expected results.
Legend has it that a sailor spent months at sea searching for a woman he had seen. However, once he found her and dived into the water, he saw that she was not a woman but  a mermaid – with a literal fishtail.
Some sources date this story to the Roman poet Horace, as early as the first century BC. 
In France, it was popularised in part in the 19th century by the writer Balzac, who used the analogy to describe the streets of Paris.
The fishtail is now used commonly to symbolise any disappointing or unexpected result. 

Je commence à me demander si ce sujet était bon, je pense qu’il va finir en queue de poisson

Noyer le poisson (‘to drown the fish’)

This expression means to create confusion.
Some sources claim that it derived from the older saying, ‘la sauce fait passer le poisson’ (‘the sauce makes the fish pass’), which implies any bad taste from a fish is ‘drowned’ by the sauce. This mixture – or perhaps better said confusion – of flavours makes it easier to eat the fish.
Another theory is that the phrase relates to a 19th century fishing method, where in order to tire out a fish caught on a hook, fishermen would plunge it in and out of water. The constant change between water and air makes for the confusion alluded to in the expression.

Muet comme une carpe (‘mute like a carp’)

To be as mute as a carp means to say nothing.
This is likely a development of the older phrase ‘muet comme un poisson’ (‘mute like a fish’), which was coined in the early 17th century and popularised by the likes of writer Rabelais. 
The connection here is evident – fish cannot speak. Carp, however, have the habit of sticking their heads out of water and opening their mouths, as if they are trying to speak but are unable to.

The Climats of Burgundy

DID YOU SAY CLIMATS ?

In Burgundy, a Climat is the name for a specific vineyard site combining vine plots, grape variety and know-how.
The word « Climat » should not be misinterpreted. It is not related to meteorology but is a specific term, unique to Burgundy, designating a specific vineyard site.

Each Climat is a vine plot, with its own microclimate and specific geological conditions, which has been carefully marked out and named over the centuries. Each of them has its own story, produces wines with a distinct character and taste and keeps its own place in the hierarchy of crus (Regional Appellation, Village, Premier Cru, Grand Cru). Over one thousand named Climats extend along the 60 kilometres of the thin strip of vineyards running from Dijon to Santenay, just south of Beaune, and among them are some of the most famous names from the world of wine ; Chambertin, Romanée-Conti, Clos de Vougeot, Montrachet, Corton, Musigny…

In Burgundy, when we speak of a Climat, we do not look up to the sky, we keep our eyes to the ground.

Bernard Pivot

Climat : a term dating from the 16th century  

The word « Climat » first appeared in written texts in the 16th century. At that time it was synomynous with a place-name or locality. A century later, use of the term became widespread in the region as a new reference to place, highlighting the differences and the hierarchy among the wines of Burgundy’s Côte. However, it is thought that the notion of « Climats of Burgundy », was generally used to describe land suitable for winegrowing and dates back to the Early Middle Ages.

Climat, from the Greek term « klima-atos »

“Klima-atos” in Greek describes the angle between a place’s location on the earth’s surface and the sun. The word became “clima-atis” in Latin, with the same meaning. Over the centuries, the term has become more precise: during the Renaissance period, it came to mean a land, a region, then a collection of vineyard parcels and finally a specific, delimited plot of vines. It should be noted that during the Classical period the Greek term “klèma-atos” was used to describe a piece of supple wood, and more especially vine shoots and stocks. In contemporary Greek “ta klimata” specifically designates vines.

The Centre for Taste and Feeding Behaviour (CSGA)

The Centre for Taste and Feeding Behaviour (CSGA) has been created the first of January 2010, and renewed in 2017. It belongs to AgroSup Dijon, the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, the Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique and the University of Burgundy.

The CSGA is composed of 10 research groups made up with 133 members with a permanent position (researchers, professors and assistant/professors, MD, engineers and technicians), and around 70 non tenured agents (PhD, post-doc, engineers and technicians).

The general objective is to get a better understanding of the physicochemical, molecular, cellular, behavioural and psychological mechanisms underlying sensory perception of food, eating behaviour and health consequences. The studies range from the release of aromatic substances and sapid molecules from the food matrix to the psychology and behaviour of consumer, through the biological events of sensory perceptions. Changes in sensory perception in physiological (development, experience) or pathological conditions (nutrient excess, aging) are studied.

The unit possesses worldwide acknowledged and complementary competences in key-thematic fields:
– chemical analysis of complexity (pheromones, odorants, sapid and trigeminal molecules,…),
– release of compounds from food matrices (role of chewing and saliva composition),
– analysis of the sensory, cognitive and behavioural phenomena associated to the treatment of sensory informations,
– analysis of the mechanisms involved in chemical communication and feeding/eating behaviours,
– role of the internal and external environment (metabolism, sensory exposure, development, culture et and society, metabolic state, pathologies).

The archaeological site of Bibracte

It is commonly said that Bibracte is a Gallic town under the forest.

The archaeological site of Bibracte is located on Mount Beuvray, in a green setting where the forests are as imposing as the landscape

In the heart of a 1000-hectare forest nestles a town that was home to between 5 and 10,000 inhabitants during the pivotal period of the Roman conquest of Gaul. A short-lived town, capital of the powerful Aedui people, which was a major centre of trade, commerce and politics in the 2nd and 1st centuries BC.

The remains of the town are now surrounded by a green setting. The quality of the landscapes and the biological richness of the environment are such that the entire Mount Beuvray massif has been classified as a site of landscape and scientific interest and is listed as a ZNIEFF and Natura 2000 site, while the summit is classified as a historical monument

Excavations of the ancient town of Bibracte began in 1864. Stopped in 1914, they were resumed in 1984 and are still active today.

WHAT ABOUT TOMORROW?

Geophysical surveys are used to complete the excavations themselves. Lidar”, a laser remote sensing technique, is also used to establish a very precise survey of the topography of Mount Beuvray, even through the foliage. This allows archaeologists to identify earthworks and excavations caused by human activity, and to decide whether it is worthwhile to carry out test pits or even complete excavations.

At Bibracte there is still work to be done for generations of archaeologists, a long time needed to fully understand the mechanisms of development of the ancient town, to discern its organisation and to measure the rhythm and impact of the intensification of contacts with Rome and the Mediterranean. A long time which also allows students of protohistoric archaeology from all over Europe to train on the Bibracte sites and to build the archaeology of tomorrow.

The European Archeological centre

Located in Glux-en-Glenne, a few kilometres from Mount Beuvray, this unique centre in France brings together the skills of researchers and students to advance knowledge of the Bibracte site and Iron Age archaeological research.

It is a special feature of this centre that it does not have a permanent research team. Here, researchers and students from all over Europe work together to understand the mechanisms of the development of the Celtic town and to discern its organisation. However, an original work site is managed directly by Bibracte archaeologists: the school site, which every summer trains teenagers in the archaeological approach, in real conditions.

The research programme is divided into four-year cycles. The four-year projects are validated by Bibracte’s scientific council, made up of eight European experts, before being submitted to the State services for instruction.

Bibracte provides logistical support, stewardship and scientific coordination of research. The centre is equipped with high-performance facilities to support all stages of the research: site equipment, laboratories, documentation centre, conservation areas, publishing chain, etc.

The centre is also the seat of scientific meetings, an essential training centre for students and researchers, as well as a formidable laboratory for experimentation at the service of the archaeological community and heritage professionals. Since 2012, it has also housed the Conservation and Study Centre of the Burgundy-Franche-Comté Regional Archaeology Service, as well as the branches of several preventive archaeology operators.