Today, we woke up early and went on a two hour bus ride in the morning to a dairy shop that made the famous AOP Epoiss cheese. The air around the factory surrounded with the scent of cheese and we then got a tour of the factory. This was much different than the other places we saw cheese production because the factory produced over 1 million cheeses a year, including its aging process. We saw the process of the cheesemaking starting from the curdling, to the shape formation. No Whey! We even found out that one of the cheeses they created was available in Whole Foods markets in the US.
After this, we went on a picnic in a near by park and shared cheeses, bread, and wine with various spreads and pates. We enjoyed the beautiful weather after several days of rain, and were even accompanied buy a local dog. After lunch, we drove to another vineyard.
This vineyard was established by the Cistercian order at Citeaux in 1098 called Clos de Vougeot. This vineyard was small and enclosed and produced fine wines. in the 16th century, a house was built as a vacation place for monks, nuns, and abbots. Today, it is used as a wine museum and also the congregating place of the official Wine Fraternity of France.
It is divided amongst ~80 landowners for a very small plot of land. The class seemed to really enjoy this cheese, and we bought some for our picnic. The store inside the dairy that sold the cheese also provided recipes, which I am looking forward to making at home! It was here that the first records of wine making were ever recorded. Then we met the original owner of the Celliuer de la Abbey who sold his buisness and began working in the vineyards with horses. He plowed the field with the horse along with the help of his intern. It was really fascinating to see a person doing to manual labor with the help of a horse. He took a break from work to pose for a picture with us. After this, we headed back to Cluny and ate dinner together. In order to keep off the wine and cheese, I decided to take a short run around Cluny. Cheese and wine are delicious, but they sure are fattening!