Smith: On the train to the Paris Auto Show

Paul W. Smith

On the way to the 2016 Paris Auto Show, we took the train to Burgundy, and surprisingly to moi (a little French), it’s more than a wine or a town where the wine comes from — it’s actually an entire region.

And a beautiful one.

Reliving my days as the host of a nationally syndicated radio travel show, it struck me that we had stumbled upon a gem you might not be aware of, but should be. Besides, I was looking for any opportunity to talk about anything but the presidential race.

We had our sights set on Beaune, the wine capital of Burgundy in eastern France, located between Paris and Geneva.

We had no idea what to expect in our adventure about an hour and a half by high-speed train out of Paris.

What we found was a magical fairy-tale-like setting that we didn’t know could possibly still exist, inhabited by a lovely, friendly and welcoming people.

From our incredibly comfortable and delightful base, Hotel Le Cep, (you’ll love it) we walked easily to many wonderful historic landmarks in this cobblestone, medieval-walled city including Hotel-Dieu de Beaune, a hospital known as a “palace for the poor,” established by a very wealthy couple in 1443, and an active hospital until the mid-1950s.

The city is bursting with vineyards (I always say vin-yerds, they always say vin-yards) and, though close to Dijon, France, this is where you will actually find the last family-owned producer of the world’s finest mustards, “Edmond Fallot.” Nathalie and Marc Désarménien produce over 35 different flavors.

Go to and live this experience from home — and hopefully in person one day.

“The Paul W. Smith Show” is on WJR-AM (760) from 5:30-9 a.m. Monday-Friday.