07 April 2018

A day outdoors in the Beaujolais vineyards

One of the points of going on the trip to the Bourbonnais, with a day trip to Beaujolais, was to get Tasha the Sheltie puppy used to traveling around in the car and spending nights in new, unfamiliar surroundings. Another was just for us: it was a break from the low-grade cabin fever we'd been suffering from. We'd had a very rainy and dismal winter, I then had to make a emergency trip to the U.S. because my mother was dying. Also, Walt and I both had very bad colds that lasted for more than a month.

Going to see the Beaujolais region, which we'd somehow never visited before, turned out to be a great way to spend one of the very few sunny and mild days of this hiver horrible. I was glad to be outside all day. I wanted to see new sights and enjoy driving around in the Citroën. I wanted the feeling of freedom that had been missing from life for a few months, and I needed to breathe fresh air.

Beaujolais was not at all what I personally expected it to be. I imagined it green and hilly; it turned out to be more brown and almost mountainous. It wasn't better or worse, but just different from what I had imagined. The vineyards cover fairly steep east-facing hillsides running down to the Saône River, and off in the distance you can see the snow-covered Alps. That surprised me.

Régnié-Durette, where we picnicked at noon and I took these photos, is at about 300 meters of elevation — a thousand feet — if I'm reading the map correctly. There was a festive atmosphere in the middle of the village (pop. 1,000), which was neat and clean. A little carnival with bumper cars and other attractions was set up on the square in front of the church.

People working the carnival were preparing their mid-day meal and getting ready to sit out on the little front porches of their trailers to eat and drink. There was a clothesline behind the church, just a few meters from our picnic table, and people were drying their laundry. A young woman came to take some dry clothes in and wished us a cheerful Bon appétit ! as we ate our sandwiches and enjoyed a glass of the Régnié red wine.


  1. How nice to see the Alps in the distance! What lovely countryside. The bumper cars are a hoot - I haven't those in years and years.

    Sorry you two were sick for so long this winter. The cold/flu going around here in Socal was also quite bad this year.

    1. I brought a bad cold back from N.C. and passed it on to Walt. He was sick for three or four weeks, and my cold lingered for about a month and a half. A friend who lives in Normandy told me she had a cold and cough for most of January and well into February. Her doctor told her that this year's cold virus was one that caused symptoms lasting a month or more in most cases.

  2. The flu is supposedly still going on in the US. What a year for it! I'm glad you had sunshine for this trip.

    1. We were really lucky. Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday were sunny, dry days, and Wednesday we had only a few light showers. The weather in N.C. when I was there in February was pretty nice, as usual, but the rest of the winter was miserably dreary and damp.


What's on your mind? Qu'avez-vous à me dire ?