Abbaye de Flavigny
Tel: 33 3 80 96 20 88
At the Abbaye de Flavigny, candy-maker Catherine Troubat and her staff of specialists carry on the centuries-old tradition of making aniseed bonbons. As the aniseeds, sourced from Spain, Turkey, and Syria, are tumbled in copper basins, they slowly pick up a sugary coating—the process takes 15 days. The smooth spherical candies come in anise, black currant, lemon, orange-flower, ginger, mandarin, mint, licorice, rose, and violet flavors and are sold in attractive little metal boxes that make great souvenirs. Free tours of the sugar-coating workshop take about ten minutes; call for a reservation.—David Downie
Boutique open Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays through Sundays 9:30 to noon and 2 to 6 pm, February 7 through March; Mondays through Fridays 9 am to 12:30 pm and 1:30 to 7 pm, Saturdays and Sundays 10 am to 12:30 pm and 1:30 to 7 pm, April through November 11.
Factory visits and abbey tours Mondays through Fridays 9 to 11 am, except holidays, the first three weeks in August, and Christmas through New Year's Day.
Tel: 33 3 85 49 23 88
Based in the village of Bissy-sur-Fley, in the scenic Côte Chalonnaise wine country of southern Burgundy, Catherine Vanier is a distinguished ceramist who often works with slipware to create a highly textured surface and a complex matte finish. Other pieces are glossy and bright, and bring to mind Asian fabrics. Although she makes plates, boxes, bowls, and objects that look a lot like salt shakers and ashtrays, Vanier's artwork is intended to be decorative. Her larger sculptures are typically undulating forms in the rich colors of pastureland or forest, evoking the rolling, patchwork Burgundian countryside.—David Downie
Open by appointment only.
Insiders with a sweet tooth know to seek out Bernard Dufoux, considered one of France's top ten chocolatiers, in far-flung La Clayette in southwest Burgundy. Dufoux, now over 70 years old, still toasts his own cocoa beans and makes everything from scratch. Don't miss his "apéritif" chocolates: Barely sweet, they're designed to complement Burgundy wines. Dufoux also teaches the secrets of his craft in full-immersion courses (held the first Wednesday of each month, by reservation only). If you can't make it to La Clayette, there are plenty of other places to indulge throughout Burgundy:
Dijon: Fabrice Gillotte's Au Parrain Généreux is a pilgrimage site for French chocolate lovers. Among the best of these astonishingly complex sweets are the Terroirs de Bourgogne series: dark chocolate filled with fresh raspberry, black currant, blackberry, or heirloom vineyard peach ganache.
Beaune: At Dix Carnot, a chocolate and pastry shop on Beaune's main square, Fabien Rouaud creates edible artworks: filled chocolates, macarons, and a crème brûlée–chocolate biscuit called Adélaïde. Practically next door, at Palais des Gourmets, pastry chef Jacky Tavenet creates liqueur-filled Roulés au Cointreau, chocolate snails, meringue-and-black-currant Nuages de Bourgogne, butter cookies, ice creams, and crêpes.
Tournus: Tournusien—a luscious pastry with almonds, vanilla-flavored butter, and hazelnut nougatine—is a specialty of the Gilles Lathuilière boutique near St. Philibert Abbey. Lathuilière's must-try chocolates include Greuze Émotion (candied hazelnut praline coated with chocolate) and Les Délices de Tournus (Cointreau-flavored chocolate nuggets).
Cluny: It's easy to mistake the exquisite chocolates and pastries at Germain–Au Pêché Mignon for gems; specialties include Truffes du Moine (chocolate-hazelnut truffles) and Les Blancs Cassis (white chocolate with creamy black currant). Germain's café and tea room is next door.—David Downie
Bernard Dufoux open daily 9 am to 8 pm.
Fabrice Gillotte–Au Parrain Généreux open Tuesdays through Saturdays 9:15 am to noon and 2 to 7 pm, Mondays 2 to 7 pm, mid-August through July.
Dix Carnot open daily 8 am to 7 pm.
Palais des Gourmets open daily 7 am to 7:30 pm, May through September; Wednesdays through Mondays 7 am to 7:30 pm, October through April.
Gilles Lathuilière open Tuesdays through Saturdays 9 am to 12:30 pm and 2:30 to 7 pm, Sundays 9 am to 1 pm. Closed for two weeks in February and from end August to early September.
Germain–Au Pêché Mignon open daily 7 am to 8 pm.
Tel: 33 3 85 40 16 08
In the 1990s, this medieval village 10 miles east of Tournus in southern Burgundy was semi-abandoned and filled with empty storefronts. To revitalize their town, Cuisery locals (with the help of the regional government) transformed the town into Burgundy's book capital. Dozens of bookstores and stalls line the pedestrian-only main street: Some volumes are extremely valuable; most are not—but look carefully, and you might find an unnoticed first edition. (Note that most of the books are in French, but there are some in English and other languages.) Visit on the first Sunday of the month, when the streets fill with even more stands than usual.—David Downie
Gingerbread (pain d'épice) is a specialty of Dijon, and connoisseurs agree that family-run Mulot & Petitjean, founded in 1796, bakes some of the tastiest examples of the spicy, honey-sweet treat. The original boutique in downtown Dijon—still with its 19th-century decor—sells everything from individually wrapped gingerbread bites to giant loaves. Near Dijon's Notre-Dame church, rival bakery La Rose de Vergy serves excellent coffee and tea along with gingerbread sweetened only with artisanal honey. But the most flavorful, wholesome, fluffy gingerbread of all—with a whopping 70 percent honey—isn't from Dijon. It's baked by organic honey-makers Dominique and Jean-Jacques Coppin and sold at their shop, Les Ruchers du Morvan, located on an isolated hillside in the Morvan regional park, near Château-Chinon. The Coppins' honeys, particularly the Fleurs Sauvages (guaranteed wildflower honey), are some of France's best.—David Downie
Mulot & Petitjean open daily 9:30 am to 7 pm, summer; Mondays through Fridays 9:30 am to 7 pm, the rest of the year. Additional shops are located at 1 Place Notre-Dame, 16 Rue de la Liberté, and 1 Place Carnot, Beaune.
La Rose de Vergy open Tuesdays through Saturdays, 9:30 am to 7 pm.
Les Ruchers du Morvan open daily 9 am to 7 pm (or by appointment) spring through fall; Mondays through Saturdays 9 am to 7 pm, winter.
Tel: 33 3 85 59 64 25
Since 1999, English glass artists Annette Meech and Christopher Williams have been working out of a farmstead in Sivignon, an isolated hillside village about ten miles east of Cluny in southern Burgundy. You may recognize their work—it's in galleries worldwide and the permanent collections of museums such as London's Victoria and Albert and Paris's Musée des Arts Décoratifs. Practical limited-edition objects for the home include Pebble vases (about four inches tall, they're perfect for displaying a single flower) and Baas carafes, which are designed to fit into a refrigerator door.—David Downie
Workshop open Mondays through Fridays 9:30 am to 2 pm; gallery open Mondays through Fridays 9:30 am to 5 pm and by appointment. Best to call ahead.
5 Rue de l'Hôtel-Dieu
Tel: 33 3 80 25 08 30
This vast, multilevel bookstore near the Hospices de Beaune stocks thousands of volumes on wine, Burgundian food, history, entertaining, and more. You'll also find wine accessories and hundreds of bottlings of Burgundy's top wines to taste or buy.—David Downie
Open daily 10 am to 7 pm. Closed Christmas and January 1.
31 Rue du Faubourg-Bretonnière
Tel: 33 3 80 22 10 02
In operation since 1840, the family-operated Fallot factory is the only mustard mill that still uses Burgundian mustard seed (most producers source their seeds from Canada). Now run by Marc Désarménien, the grandson of founder Edmond Fallot, the modern production facility at the edge of Beaune is open for hour-long tours in which you can watch mustard being milled, mixed, and packaged. Next door, in a reconstruction of the original mill, a museum traces the history of mustard from antiquity to the present, and you can sample Fallot's half-dozen types of mustard—including one that's gingerbread-flavored—in the boutique. The only problem is that after tasting them, you'll have a hard time going back to industrial varieties.—David Downie
Tours by appointment only through the Office de Tourisme de Beaune (33-3-80-26-21-30; firstname.lastname@example.org).
Détain et Bruant
Tel: 33 3 80 61 42 50
Potters Florence Gonin and Wulf Rohland—she Parisian, he German—are bona fide artists who appreciate the beauty of kitchenware and enjoy knowing that their pots, cookie jars, bowls, and plates will be used. Even though their objects are thoroughly practical, they're also exceptionally beautiful—often hand-painted with intricate patterns in celadon green, ferrous blue, copper red, black, ocher, and terra-cotta. You'll find their charming workshop a few miles due west of Nuits-Saint-Georges amid Hautes-Côtes-de-Nuits vineyards and black currant plantations.—David Downie
Open by appointment only.
Caves des Cordeliers, located beneath a 13th-century convent, is extravagantly touristy, but it's worth a visit for the slightly kitsch but entertaining experience. It's like a theme park of wine, complete with racks of dusty bottles and old winemaking equipment. Buy an etched wine glass here and you get to taste five wines free of charge. Next door, in the same underground labyrinth of cellars, Marché aux Vins leads guided tastings of 15 Burgundy Crus. Denis Perret, a compact wine shop on the main square, is best for serious connoisseurs—there are hundreds of top Burgundy wines in stock, and the staff specializes in rare wines.—David Downie
Caves des Cordeliers open Fridays through Tuesdays 9:30 am to 7 pm, May through September; 10 to 11:30 am and 2 to 5:30 pm, October through April 1. Closed Christmas Day and three weeks in January.
Marché aux Vins open daily 9 am to 5:30 pm, July and August; 9 to 11:30 am and 2 to 5:30 pm, September through June.
Denis Perret open Mondays through Fridays 9 am to noon and 2 to 7 pm, Saturdays 10 am to 7 pm. Also open Sundays 10 am to noon, Easter through late November
Set amid the vineyards of the Serein River valley, prosperous Chablis is surrounded by seven Grand Cru vineyards. On Sunday mornings, vendors sell wine and local produce at Le Marché Bourguignon, an outdoor market on the main street, Rue Auxerroise. Premium winemaker Michel Laroche's cellars are located in a 1,100-year-old monastery complex near Chablis's main church (22 Rue Louis Bro; 33-3-86-42-89-00). The cellars are open by appointment only, but you can taste and purchase the wines at the Domaine Laroche shop or sample them by the glass at the Laroche Wine Bar. Founded in 1923, the La Chablisienne co-op winery is one of Burgundy's biggest and best, producing everything from Petit Chablis to Château Grenouille Grand Cru. It's easy to visit the tasting and exhibition rooms without an appointment (vineyard and winery visits are by appointment only). From picture windows in the tasting room, you can see the thousands of oak barrels stacked in the cellar.—David Downie
Domaine Laroche open daily 9 am to 7 pm or by appointment.
La Chablisienne open daily 9 am to 12:30 pm and 2 to 6 pm, January and February; 9 am to 12:30 pm and 2 to 7 pm March through June and September through December; 9 am to 7 pm, July and August.
Friendly owners Jean-Luc Roblin and Adrien Tirelli carry about 450 French wines at La Carte des Vins—about a third are Burgundies, and all come from excellent estates, including Alain Michelet of Nuits-Saint-Georges and Rapet Père et Fils of Pernand-Vergelesses. Aux Grands Crus, an independent wine boutique, has an impressive 15th-century cellar, where wine master Philippe Perrin keeps his premium Grand Cru vintages and rare wines. Call ahead and Perrin can organize a tasting.—David Downie
La Carte des Vins open Mondays through Saturdays 10 am to 8 pm.
Aux Grands Crus open Tuesdays through Saturdays 10 am to 8 pm and by appointment.