Later that day we drove along the Route Des Grands Crus which is basically a drive through the vineyards of the best wines of the region. We stopped at a place that I wouldn't really call a vineyard and I wouldn't call a wine label either. It was a botteler. So basically, this place, Morin Pere Et Fils, doesn't own any vines of their own, so they buy grapes from other vines and then make and bottle the wine themselves. Sadly, in our visit we didn't get to see any of the process of wine-making, which I know fairly well from visits to Champagne and to Napa, but that other people would have found interesting. We did get to try some wine though. I was a little disappointed with the wine. I think it's just that I like heavier more robust wines and all they have in Bourgone is pinot noir which is a really light wine. Clearly I need to get myself to Bordeaux for denser darker wine! A trip for later in the fall perhaps?
On the last day, we visited Vezelay and the Basilique Sainte-Marie-Madeleine. Again, things had been so hectic that I hadn't really had time to do much research about the places we were visiting. My host family had lent me their Michelin green guide to Bourgone for the bus ride, but I hadn't looked much up. So, I was completely suprised to find out that Vezelay was a place, and the basilica specifically a building that we had studied freshman year at Hopkins in my first art history class ever!
We got a fabulous tour of the basilica by one of the monks who lives there, which was really interesting because he clearly had a very ecclesiastic approach to the church. A lot of focus was put on the pilgrimage aspect of the church's history. And in the tour we spent about 15 minutes talking about the tympanum over the main door of the atrium. And we studied that tympanum for three days!!! my freshman year. So it was really thrilling to see it in person. It's a very interesting piece, because it shows one of the first times that in bas-relief, there is a break with the face of the stone, as you can see in the picture, Christ's knees are pushing out forward toward the viewer.
It was a great weekend. Nice to get away one more time before the grind of classes began! Although the grind of classes isn't so bad considering I don't have class on Fridays... or before 2 pm on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday. My Mondays are pretty killer though. More on classes to come!