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Storming the Castle


We took advantage of the quiet to have a bit of a sleep-in, but not so long as to miss the provided breakfast. The ominous clouds disallowed us to do this out by the creek, but we were optimistic that the weather would improve later. Our host gave us a quick tour of the chateau’s wine-making rooms and cellars. She told us all about the chateau’s business and the regulations on the industry in the area. She said, for instance, you can never mix grapes here: “If you did, you would probably go to jail!” Aurore also showed us the gym they have made out of the old horse stable (corrals and hay holders still in place), and took us out to the massive pool, which made us really want the weather to improve!

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There were a few fancy cars among the wine works too.

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In the meantime, we headed out to see the surrounding area. We drove the 5km to the closest village: Ozenay. It’s the sort of place with about a dozen buildings including the church. We wandered the entire town, visited the church, and jumped back in Colin.

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On the other side of our Chateau, about 7 km away, there’s a medieval hilltop village complete with ruined castle, named Brancion. It was filled with school groups about to go up to the castle, so we wandered the village first. And had ice cream. Parts of the village are quite original, but other parts have been turned into rental accommodations, and there’s all kinds of interesting art installations everywhere. There’s an interesting church up on the hill too, dating back to 7th century, with a very wobbly floor and more odd modern art installations. The church’s hill offers expansive vistas of the Burgundy valley, dotted with vineyards, sheep, and cows (most of them creamy white). The view was even more impressive up on the lookout tower of the castle.

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On the way back, we stopped in the next closest village, Martailly les Brancion. For some inexplicable reason, it has a traffic light in the middle of town … a town where we have yet to see a car … and it stays red so long there is really no choice but to just drive through! This town does have an actual wine distributor (rather than just a chateau selling their own product). There were 3 huge vats selling very local product for as little as 1.60 euro per litre, and two huge rooms of bottled Burgundy too. We sampled a couple, bought a couple bottles, and smuggled them back to Chateau Messey. On the property, we ran into the owner’s wife, and she guided us to a cute little picnic table by the creek where we could eat our lunch. We had to eat fast though; the thunder, lightening, and eventual downpour started just as we unpacked!

After an hour or so, though, the sun came out strong enough for us to have a lovely swim … and as we were finishing that, more thunder etc!

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Our host made another reservation for us for dinner, this time in Ozenay. She claimed they had excellent food and had just earned a Michelin star. They were not pleased to meet vegetarians, though, and were even less pleased when we told them we didn’t want the full three course veggie menu they had planned for us. The food was excellent, but the snooty service and aged clientele left a sour taste in our mouth. I guess we aren’t the Michelin type. We walked the property of the Chateau after dinner and retired for the night.

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