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28 of our Paris students enjoyed a trip to Bourgogne this past weekend, the 30-31 of January. Bourgogne is a region of France that is known mostly for its mustard, its pain d’epices, its crème de cassis, and of course, its wine.
The weekend started off in Dijon where we went on a guided walking tour of the city, from the Notre Dame de Dijon to the Palais des Ducs to the covered market that was formerly a convent. Everyone was also sure to, with the left hand, give a little rub to the owl carved into the side of Notre Dame de Dijon as it, so it is said, brings good luck.
Next we were off to Pommard via la route des grands crus, complete with an unexpected yet thorough narration of some of the region’s history by our bus driver and where had the pleasure of visiting the Château de Pommard. At the Château, we had the opportunity to go down into the cellars of the winery where we saw barrels upon barrels and bottles upon bottles of wine! We learned about and saw the five different types of soil that are found in the vineyards of the Château and what different elements in the soil bring to a wine. The tour ended on a sweet note, or rather many different notes, as we were lucky enough to do a wine tasting of 4 different wines produced at the Château de Pommard.
Next stop: Beaune. When we got to Beaune, the first stop was at the hotel to drop off our bags and enjoy a litte down time before dinner at the Conty restaurant. For many of our students, it was their first experience eating terrine and duck! During dinner, we did our traditional quiz, asking the students questions about what we saw and what we learned that day, complete with a prize for the winner. After dinner, it’s hop, au lit! to be ready for the next day.
Day two started with a guided walking tour of Beaune, starring l’Hôtel Dieu de Beaune. This beautiful building dates to 1443 when, after the 100 Years War, Chancellor Nicolas Rolin wanted to create something to help the most needy in the aftermath of war and plague. We also visited the Basilique of Beaune and the home a well-known alchemist.
After the morning visit and lunch, it was time for the last stop on our trip: la moutarderie! The moutarderie Fallot gave us a wonderful tour of their moutarderie (where mustard is made), explaining the history and fabrication methods of this delicious Bourgogne specialty. The students got to taste mustard seeds as well as try their hands at making mustard, ending the tour with a dégustation of a few different mustards paired with varied foods.
All in all, it was a great weekend of learning and discovery, of trying new things, and of getting to know France (and each other) a bit better!
For more pictures of our weekend, head to our Facebook page: Middlebury College en France
This February, one of the most important books in the history of English literature is coming to Middlebury. This year marks the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, and to honor the centuries of the bard’s influence, the Folger Shakespeare Library is sponsoring a national tour of their collection of First Folios.
Considered one of the most influential books in the world, the First Folio includes 36 Shakespeare plays, 18 of which had never been printed before the First Folio in 1623. Without the First Folio, all of those plays – including Macbeth, Julius Caesar, Twelfth Night, The Tempest, As You Like It, and more – might have been lost forever.
From February 2-28, Middlebury College will serve as the Vermont site of the national tour, displaying the First Folio at the Middlebury Museum of Art.
To kick off this month of celebration, James Shapiro, Columbia University professor and renowned Shakespeare scholar, will give a lecture on Shakespeare’s role in American history on Wednesday February 3rd at 7:00pm in the Concert Hall.
Visit go/shakespeare for more information about events throughout the month of February, including a First Folio Festival on Thursday February 18th at 4:30pm in the Center for the Arts Lobby.
Erin Jones-Poppe is our new Bookstore Manager at the College Store. She started this past summer.
Erin is from a small suburb of Pittsburgh, but has spent the last 18 years in Columbus, Ohio going to school at The Ohio State University and working for the Visual Merchandising department of a well-known retail clothing company.
Erin moved here with her husband, Prof. Nicolas Poppe, who teaches in the Spanish department.
They are delighted to have 1 son and twin boys on the way!
Erin tells us that their welcome into the Middlebury College community has been wonderful so far and they cannot wait to see what the future holds.