We woke up to a pretty steady rain in our Aire in Cluny. Ton pointed out that I had been throwing the term Aire around in the blog when there is nothing like it in the US. An Aire is a very basic place for RV’s to park up for the night. There are thousands of them in France and they range from designated areas in parking lots with no services, to parking areas with electric, water, and dump stations. Most of them do not provide electric, but do provide a place to get rid of the waste water. A surprising amount of them are free, and the rest charge a nominal amount. The towns put them in figuring if you park up for the night you will end up dropping a few Euro somewhere in town.
After a quick check of the weather and seeing that it was supposed to clear up shortly, we hit the road. The intent was to follow the route of one of the scenic drives in Ton’s DK Backroads France book. The drive was called the heart of France and was about 60km’s. We managed to keep on it for most of the trip though there were a couple of unexpected detours caused by missed turns.
Around lunch we came to Chateau de la Greffirere that advertised tasting and a museum. When we arrived we were met by a lady who asked if we spoke any French at all, when we said no, she looked a little flustered but began pouring us wine. A couple of minutes later we were greeted by another lady who completed the tasting and gave us a tour of the facilities. At the end she opened up the real prize for us and as it was lunch time handed us an English book and went off to lunch. The museum was fantastic as it was full of antique wine production equipment. We spent about an hour wandering around and really enjoyed ourselves.
Leaving we continued following the Heart of France drive, but went amiss somewhere and ended up in the town of Macon. It felt more urban than anything else we have encountered so we punched in the place we planned to stop for the night and let Garmin guide us from there.
For the night we are staying at a France Passion site on a winery called Domaine Mortet. We were greeted by Jean Pierre Mortet after we parked up for the night. He was just in from the fields, but took us down into his cellar for a personal tasting. It was fun and very interesting speaking to Jean as he is a literally a one man show. He is the owner, winemaker, vineyard manager, and sales manager. He took over the winery from his father, who dropped in while we were tasting. We want to thank Jean Pierre for his hospitality.