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Wine Region: Burgundy
11 May, 2015

wineburgundy

Burgundy is one of the most mysterious wine regions in France.

 

Aside from Bordeaux, many of the expensive and prestigious wines in France also come from Burgundy.

As with Bordeaux, a good range of winemakers exist in Burgundy, starting from entry-level producers, to some of the most famous like Domaine de la Romanee Conti and Domaine de Montille.

Burgundy’s wine producing areas are separated into 5 sub-regions: Cote de Nuits, Cote de Beaune, Cote Chalonnaise, Maconnais, and Chablis.

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One thing that’s peculiar about Burgundy, is that although there’s a wide range of winemakers, they create wines from a narrow range of grapes. More specifically, most of the wines are made from single varietals, such as 100% Pinot Noir for red wines, and 100% Chardonnay for white wines.

Another thing that’s peculiar in Burgundy is that a winemaker in Burgundy may own small parcels of vines spread out in different parts of the region. This is made possible because a specific vineyard can have multiple winemakers owning different plots. This fragmentation means that a winemaker can choose his plot according to whether it has promising characteristics.

With this in mind, you can contrast Burgundy’s vineyard layout against Bordeaux, where a winemaker generally has a main building (a chateau) and his whole vineyard is contained within a square area connected to that building.

Burgundian wines are expected to reflect the ‘terroir’ (climate and soil) in which the grapes were grown. This can mean very earthy red wines and zesty white wines. The microclimate can change within meters. And these ‘terroir’ changes can be so dramatic that a wine made from 2 different vineyards just a few meters apart can have a difference of 3x in price.

Similar to Bordeaux, Burgundy has its own ranking system as well. Grand Cru (Great Growth) is the highest ranking that is given to any wine. Then comes Premier Cru (First Growth), Village wines (from one of 42 villages) and regional wines.

 

Burgundy is a big subject with many different dimensions. We take a more detailed look at these elements in our future articles.


Wine novice or interested in discovering wines you do not have access to?  Every month receive two bottles of exclusive French wines at home with our sommelier’s tasting guide. Find out more

 

 

3 take away messages:

– Burgundy red wines are made of Pinot Noir

– Burgundy white wines are made of Chardonnay

– Burgundy is divided to 5 sub-regions from north to south: Chablis, Cote de Nuits, Cote de Beaune, Cote Chalonnaise, Maconnais

 

Wine novice or interested in discovering wines you do not have access to?  Every month receive two bottles of exclusive French wines at home with our sommelier’s tasting guide. Find out more