IN-DEPTH: Le Château de Savigny-lès-Beaune

Le Château de Savigny-lès-Beaune

Imagine if, as a young child, you were asked to come up with your dream museum. What would go in it? What fascinating things might you fill it with?

Famous artworks,

probably not.

Items of rich cultural significance,


But planes,



of course.

Fire trucks,

go on.

Even tractors,

why not.

If that sounds like the dream museum of the younger you then Le Château de Savigny-lès-Beaune is an absolute must do on your Burgundy to do list.

The Pinot Front Row was lucky enough to discover and visit this amazing place back in 2021. And indeed, it was about as close to the museum he would’ve dreamt up as a child as well.

Savigny-lès-Beaune is, as the name suggests, quite near Beaune. About 10 minutes’ drive away. It’s a quaint and tidy village that’s probably worth a visit in it’s own right, although The Pinot Front Row was distracted by the shiny things he could (just) see in the chateau grounds. The place is large and well kept, with plenty of parking.

Through the ticket office and onto the grounds themselves, you can just about see the planes up the hill and around a corner. But the map suggests starting at an adjacent building Following it, making your way anti-clockwise around the various buildings and exhibitions the chateau houses, none of which look like they conceal much other than some antique furniture and paintings, but that really couldn’t be further from the truth.

Starting with the first building, the Abarth racing car museum, headquarters of the Abarth club, and home to thirty different Abarth models including some very rare and unique prototypes.

Collection of Abarths at Le Château de Savigny-lès-Beaune

Emerging from the Abarth museum and onto the aerospace museum. This is a slightly peculiar one, essentially a greenhouse containing two 7mr model rockets, two communication satellites and a cool looking space plane. But while the display is pretty cool, it’s housing isn’t, more of a greenhouse, and on a hot day it can be pretty stifling in there. Best to move on to the…

Tractor and viticulture museum. Not quite Abarth racing cars but interesting nonetheless.

Collection of tractors at Le Château de Savigny-lès-Beaune

From there it’s a short walk to the main attraction, the open-air aircraft museum, the largest collection of fighter planes in the world. It really is a seriously impressive spectacle. There are planes from all over the world including America and Britain. And each plane has a description next to it so you can take your time strolling around and looking over each one.

Collection of aircraft at Le Château de Savigny-lès-Beaune

Collection of aircraft at Le Château de Savigny-lès-Beaune

Next up the fire truck museum. The Pinot Front Row has always thought fire trucks to be pretty cool (what kid doesn’t), and this collection of around twenty or so dating from 1905 fit the bill.

Heading back up to the chateau and there’s a motorcycle museum to be had as well. Now The Pinot Front Row is a recent convert to motorcycling, fluking his way to a motorcycle license in Australia in 2020. But nothing quite prepares you for just how many bikes they’ve managed to stuff away in this chateau (250+). There will no doubt be readers more serious about bikes than The Pinot Front Row who will get a decent kick out of this one.

Collection of motorcycles at Le Château de Savigny-lès-Beaune

And interspersed throughout the various collections there are nearly 8,000 models of motorcycles, cars and aircraft. And as a further and very unexpected added bonus, it was American car day on the day that The Pinot Front Row visited too!

And to finish it all off, as if the younger you had the older you in mind when they designed their museum, the wines of the chateau are available for sale directly on site. And there’s some decent wines going as well given their 11 hectares of vineyards includes the names Auxey-Duresses, Meursault, Pommard and Volnay, just to name a few.

So all things considered, The Pinot Front Row highly recommends you indulge the younger you with a visit to the Le Château de Savigny-lès-Beaune on your Burgundy Rugby World Cup trip.

Yours in rugby,

The Pinot Front Row

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