Possibly the happiest nurses in the world were
those in the picturesque habits at Hospice de
Beaune, supported by local, Premier Cru vineyards
The Rest of the Story
Let's see how this came about.
l440—Philippe the Good, Duke of Burgundy,
appointed Nicolas Rollin as his tax collector.
By fair means or foul, he accumulated considerable
wealth in that position.
Now the village of Beaune was in big economic
trouble. Only two dozen families could support
themselves. Consequently, Nicolas and his wife,
Guigone, founded a hospital for the needy in
1443. Beds were arranged so each patient had a
view of the altar at the end of the large room.
The continuing gifts of vineyards fueled the
growth of the Hospice to its lofty position
today...owner of about 150 acres producing
over 35 different wines.
What grape was used to make their red wine?
Philippe had banned the Gamay, so their wines
came from the Pinot Noir. Hence, next Saturday
our toast to nurses will be made with a Pinot,
produced by a vintner with a medical connection,
Dr. David Bruce, (pictured).
The Prince of Pinot
The former dermatologist (Stanford Med School)
has outdistanced all his California Pinot
competition in our tastings over the past
half dozen years. Furthermore, critic James
Laube says that today he's making the best Pinots
of his nearly-40-year career. When you can
find one for $16, grab it.
Wine of the Day
David Bruce Central Coast Pinot Noir, 1997
Impressions: Deep cherry, restrained oak, good value
Food Affinities—Dr. Bruce recommends a broad
spectrum with salmon on one end and lamb on the
other. We enjoyed it at 60 degrees with mildly
spicy Thai dishes.
Grape Sources—We have a 1997 note from Dr. David
indicating his excitement at acquiring a new
source of Central Coast Pinot Noir...from the
Scheid River View Ranch. Usually the winery
purchases a trial 12 tons the first year to
make sure the grapes are as good as they seem.
However, River View Ranch looked so good, they
purchased fifty tons, and they're in today's
Contact—(408) 354-4214, FX (408) 395-5478.
I mounted a pony, put a peasant on another, and
rambled through Burgundy's most celebrated
vineyards, including Beaune, Who was it? The
future president of the United States, Thomas
Jefferson, March, 1787.
Research Credit—Diane Bulzomi, who I know in
the hospital where she's a surgery assistant, has
been nominated at least twice for Nurse of the Year.
Fred McMillin, a veteran wine writer, has taught wine history
for 30 years on three continents. He currently teaches wine
courses at San Francisco State and San Francisco City College.
In 1995, the Academy of Wine Communications honored Fred
with one of only 22 Certificates of Commendation awarded
to American wine writers.