The region of Burgundy is located in Central Eastern part of France. Burgundy is the second wine production era of France.
From all the wine regions of France, Burgundy is the one that has the most numerous Appellations of Origin Controlled (AOC).
The North of Burgundy wine appellation starts with Chablis, located near by the city of Auxerre. Further South, you can discover the lovely city of Dijon home town of the famous Ducs of Burgundy.
Between Dijon and Santenay you are in the heart of Burgundy vineyards. The most popular wine appellations are located in this part of Burgundy.
This region is called the Cote D’or (standing for Cote d’Orient).
The Cote d’Or is made of two wine regions, Cote de Nuits in the North of Beaune and the Cote de Beaune in the South part.
The Cote de Nuits includes wine appellations like Hautes Cotes de Nuits, Gevrey Chambertin, Nuits Saint Georges, Morey Saint Denis, Chambolle Musigny, Vougeot and Vosne Romanée.
The world famous Grand Crus reds of Burgundy are located in this region.
The Côte de Beaune includes wine appellations like, Hautes Cotes de Beaune, Beaune, Aloxe Corton, Pommard, Volnay, Meursault, Puligny Montrachet and Chassagne Montrachet. The World famous Grands Crus white are from this part of Burgundy.
After the region of the Cote de Beaune you enter the area of the Cotes Chalonnaises with the appellations of Rully, Mercurey, Givry and Montagny.
Continuing further South you arrive in the Maconnais with the wines of Macon, Saint veran, Pouilly Fuissé and Puilly Loché.
Finally you reach the region of the Beaujolais with the Crus of Saint Amour, Chenas, Moulin à Vent, Chiroubles, Fleurie, Morgon, Brouilly and Cote de Brouilly.
The elaboration of wine in Burgundy dates back to the Gaelic time. We know that the Romains use to trade wine with the locals, 4th century.
The main development is wine is the Christianization of France. The monks were the ones that had the knowledge and education to make the wine.
The most obvious example is the Cistercians monks of the Abbey of Citeau that developed the famous Chateau du Clos Vougeot in the 12th century.
Clos Vougeot is nowadays one of the most popular wines in the world. The terroir is ideal and the wine is classified as a Grand Cru. At that time, the monks already developed and expertise to choose the best terroir (subsoil).
The rich Ducs of Burgundy could afford to buy and develop the vineyards. The sharp taste of Philippe le Hardi in 1395 made him take the decision to remove many vines of Gamay. The Gamay was already produced in the region of Beaujolais but considered by Le Hardi as a secondary wine.
Today, Beaujolais wines are lovely, round, fruity and delicate. I highly recommend you to taste some the Cru (Saint Amour, Chenas, Moulin à Vent, Chiroubles,Fleurie, Morgon Brouilly and Cote de Brouilly).
Burgundy wines were very much appreciated at the table of the Kings of France from the 15th century to the Revolution.
Appellations and qualification of the wines.
Bourgogne is a Regional appellation and it can be a wine made in any parts of Burgundy.
They can be blends of juice coming from all the different areas from Chablis all the way to Macon.
It can be white or red most of the time made with Chardonnay (for the white) or Pinot Noir (for the red).
Hautes Cotes de Nuits:
This is a wine that comes from the delimited area of the Cotes de Nuits and made of Pinot Noir or Chardonnay.
Hautes Cotes de Beaune:
This is a wine that comes from the delimited area of the Cotes de Beaune and made of Pinot Noir or Chardonnay.
Within the regions of Cote de Nuits and Cote de Beaune, some wines take the name of the villages where they are produced.
In Cote de Nuits you find the famous appellations of Gevrey Chambertin, Nuits Saint Georges, Morey Saint Denis, Chambolle Musigny, Vougeot and Vosne Romanée.
They are mainly red wines.
In Cote de Beaune, you find the appellations of Beaune, Aloxe Corton, Pommard, Volnay, Meursault, Puligny Montrachet and Chassagne Montrachet.
These wines can be white or red according to the villages. Some do make both colors.
1er Crus wines:
A 1er Cru wine is part of the elite of Burgundy wines.
They are produced in both regions of Cote de Nuits and Cote de Beaune.
A 1er Cru comes from a specific village. In this village some plots have such a great Terroir that have been classified as 1er Cru.
1er Cru wines of Burgundy only represents 10% of the production.
Still, you can find up to 562 1er Crus in the all-region of Burgundy.
Grands Crus wines:
The Grands Crus are the (Crème de la Crème) wines. They only represent 2% of the wines produced in Burgundy.
There are only 9 villages that have plots classified as Grand Cru.
The most famous Grands Crus red come from the Cote de Nuits.
Gevrey Chambertin; Morey Saint Denis, Chambolle Musigny, Vougeot, Vosne Romanée.
The most famous Grands Crus white come from the Cotre de Beaune.
Aloxe Corton, Pernant Vergelesse, Puligny Montrachet, Chassagne Montrachet.
White grapes are; Chardonnay for 80%, Aligoté for 10% and Pinot Blanc, Melon, Sauvignon for the rest.
Those grapes are not blended together. Burundians winemakers do made mono-grape wines.
Aligoté tends to produce cheaper wines which are traditionally used for the Kir. It is a mixed with black currant liqueur from Dijon and Aligoté.
Red grapes are; Pinot Noir and Gamay.
Gamay beeing mainly used in Beaujolais area.
You can consider Burgundy as the Kingdom of Chadonnay and Pinot Noir.
During our Burgundy cycling tours or our private guided tours with a chauffeur wine expert, you have the opportunity to discover what Burgundy has the best to offer,
wines, culture, historical monuments, Chateaux, French Market and meet with the local during wine tasting lunch or a truffle hunt.
Do not hesitate to contact us for further detailed itineraries!