Paris is certainly on mind in light of recent events, which reminds us of a peculiar place just two hours south of the city. Mere kilometers from Beaune (which is the heart of the Burgundy wine country) in a little two-road town sits a strangely fascinating winery called Chateau de Savigney-lès-Beaune.
At first glance it’s your typical 14th century French masterpiece complete with a vineyard, moat and a whole lot of history. Then as you wander the grounds, you notice…is that an F16?!?
As you meander deeper through the grounds, you realize that this place is an eerily, if almost haunted graveyard of some 75-plus fighter planes including everything from Migs to Mirages, as well as a rare collection of cars, motorcycles, tractors, fire engines and over 2,000 model planes.
The fighters sit in a huge field behind the Chateau, just rotting away neatly organized by time period and country of service. Their ghostly carcasses bask in the vineyards as their history almost speaks to you. It’s kinda creepy.
As you wander deeper, barn doors open, where inside are old farm tractors dating back over a hundred years. In the tent in back of the image below are some old fire engines.
But it gets better. Chateau de Savigney-lès-Beaune is home to a massive Abarth racing car and prototype collection which is one of the rarest in the world. The rides just sit in an ancient building where I actually had to turn the lights on myself. There are over 30 models and apparently the owner of the Chateau used to race many of them.
Inside the main building is one of the fascinating parts. As you walk up a few flights of majestic stairs, you end in rooms and rooms of what, in essence, is one of the largest motorcycle museums in the world. Over 250 bikes dating all the way back to 1902, and just about everything is represented and organized perfectly. Nortons, Vincents, Velocette, MV and more — it’s absolutely mind-boggling. This room is just filled with old bikes. Lots of them.
Strange? Yes. Awesome? Also yes. Think about it, someone owns a French winery and just collects massive amounts of rare jets, cars and motorcycles. I have a new hero.
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