Bourgogne Before Lockdown

Nathalie Fevre of Domaine Nathalie et Gilles Fevre and her daughter, Julie. Photo by L.M. Archer

My latest in Oregon Wine Press:

“Bourgogne Before Lockdown”

‘One virus, four journalists, five regions, seven days’

Nathalie Fevre of Domaine Nathalie et Gilles Fevre and her daughter, Julie. Photo by L.M. Archer
Nathalie Fevre and her daughter, Julie, present wines at their Chablis winery, Domaine Nathalie et Gilles Fevre.
Photo by L.M. Archer


by L.M. Archer


In March, the COVID-19 pandemic interrupted wine trade shows worldwide, including Grands Jours de Bourgogne. Luckily, the media tour for this particular event did go on — just in another format. Instead of large public tastings, a few international journalists attended intimate, bespoke events designed to showcase the region.

Unfortunately, what started as a simple media tour morphed into a global odyssey fueled by a frenzy of COVID-19 travel restrictions rapidly unfolding in real-time. Along with fellow journalists Karyne Duplessis-Piché of Canada, Wilson Kwok of Hong Kong and Jill Barth of the U.S., our hosts scrambled to get us out of the country in time. Miraculously, we all made it back to tell the tale.


It appears simple: Four journalists taste and tour the five regions of Bourgogne in seven days as guests of the Bourgogne Wine Board (BIVB). Dubbed #BacktoBourgogne, our trip starts in Chablis, meanders south to the Mâconnais, back up to the Côte-d’Or and finishes in the Côte Chalonnaise. Our arrival also coincides with French government restrictions banning gatherings of 50 people or more and no physical contact.

Bourgogne vignerons, négociants and wine industry members react to the latest rules with regional good humor. As host Cécile Mathiaud, BIVB press relations director, tells us with a wink countless times during our visit, “Bourgogne isn’t complicated; it’s complex.” But also pragmatic. Elbow bumping and toe-tapping replace “la bise,” the traditional French double-cheek kiss. Jokes abound about washing one’s hands to “Le Ban Bourguignon.”

Over time, a false sense of security envelops us who are warmed by the ample sun, wine and local conviviality. Little do we realize how quickly things will change from Day 1 to Day 7 for all of us… READ MORE HERE.



More in Oregon Wine Press by L.M. Archer here.




Copyrighted L.M. Archer. All Rights Reserved.



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