But what exactly is a Greeter?
A Greeter is a volunteer living in Beaune, someone who loves their town, and who wants to talk about and share their vision of Beaune. This is not a historical tour of the town like a professional guide would offer, but rather a form of discovery through various themes specific to each Greeter according to their tastes, desires and favourite subjects.
Anxious to combine my discovery to the historic centre of Beaune with its surrounding vineyards, I made an appointment with Philippe, a Greeter from Beaune who’s down-to-earth yet vintage wine in equal measure.
The tour starts at 9.30 am
The tour starts at 9.30 am, in front of Parc de la Bouzaise. And we’re off for 2 hours touring Beaune on foot. Immediately we find ourselves in the vineyards, where Philippe tells me of his childhood memories when he would go on holiday from Beaune to Montagne de Beaune through the vineyards whose every place and every plot he knew so well. The scenery is beautiful once we reach the top.
It's time for a little landscape reading.
It's time for a little landscape reading. What does "terroir" mean in Burgundy, what is it we call a "climat" … so many questions requiring so many answers. But time goes so fast, and we need to head back down. Following a different route, always skirting the vines, we arrive back in the historic centre of Beaune.
The historical center in Beaune
Using humour and anecdotes, unusual places and dates, Philippe has fun with the street names as we pass from Hell to Heaven. He shares with me his passion for his town, and tells me his own story of Beaune. I discover, through his eyes: the Hospices de Beaune, Notre Dame, the former Palace of the Dukes and beautiful courtyards dating back to the 13th century, whose doors we dare to open.
I could tell you about my walk for hours, it was so interesting, captivating and rewarding: in short, it was great! But if I have just one piece of advice to give you, it’s this: try the Beaune experience with a Greeter, and you’re guaranteed a unique and original tour with a very friendly atmosphere.