Hello! I’ve made it to France and am now happily settled in Cluny. After spending a day in Paris and exploring in the rain, I managed to meet up with my class and journey down to Cluny on the high speed train. We’re staying at Cluny Sejour, a small but comfortable hostel, throughout our study for these two weeks. We spent our first day learning about the historical significance of Cluny, as well as its connection to the topic of our course, wine and cheese. Cluny is a charming old town, small and quiet, but centered around what used to be the largest church in Christian history. Originally a Benedictine monastery, it served as the center of all monastic life in Europe for most of the middle ages. Most of the buildings were torn down after the French Revolution, but the parts that are still standing are a magnificent testament to the majestic size of the church.
With this history in mind, we can understand how important wine and cheese are to the culture. Vineyards were often offered to the abbey in Cluny for religious purposes, and over time the church’s land continued to grow, increasing their wealth and notoriety. Located in one of the most famous wine regions of France, Burgundy, there was more and more of a drive for the abbey to make fine wines. As for the cheese, this area of France specializes in goat cheese, because most of the cattle raised here are beef cattle, not dairy cows. Needless to say, the cheese here is quite delicious. So excited to discover and learn more about the cheese and wine here!