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Wines of Burgundy

‘Haunting bottles, memories of which last a lifetime’

Vineyard Cote dOr BurgundySome of the wines from Burgundy are considered to be the best in the world. The vineyards of Chablis, Meursault or Montrachet may be a veritable patchwork worked by small scale growers but they produce memorable white Burgundy wines. La Romanée, Chambertin and Musigny, renowned for red Burgundy wines, are coveted by connoisseurs, collectors and investors alike. Our map of the Burgundy wine regions shows the principal wine growing areas - Chablis in the north, and moving southwards, the Côtes de Nuits, Côtes de Beaune, Côtes Chalonnaise and  Mâconnais.

With wine appreciation growing as a pastime across the globe, there is a thirst to know more, and, as you discover this intricate world of wine, the better it becomes. But getting to grips with the wines of Burgundy is not an easy matter. One vineyard may be divided up and owned by various growers so here you have a lot of  producers, dedicated to their craft, but how do you know good from not so good?
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Unravelling the Puzzle

You don’t have to be an expert to appreciate these wines but you do need a bit of insight. Without good advice you can spend a considerable amount of money with disappointing results. One way to appreciate the wines is to visit one of the tasting cellars in Beaune, Chablis or Mâcon and get an overview for around 10 euros a head. For a more in-depth look, there are some excellent half day or one day wine tours with expert guides to give you a good overview. More recently, there are trips too, starting from Dijon. If you are visiting with only a short amount of time in one place, these tours are fun and informative. In the luxury bracket, a vacation on one of the hotel barges will give you the best of all worlds, delicious food with well chosen local wines, and visits to the famous cellars. The internet is a good way to read what the experts say in articles, blogs and forums or to study the wine competition results such as the Decanter Wine Awards.

Chassagne MontrachetAs the vineyards are confined to relatively small areas, it is easy to tour the region by car. In the Côte d’Or you can follow the Route des Grands Crus which is well signed and tourist offices supply maps and useful publications. Stop off at some of the châteaux such as Pommard where you can have a tasting lunch and each season, an art exhibition is on view. Immerse yourself by staying at a wine château such as André Ziltener, or Maison Olivier Leflaive. The small villages are dressed for visitors, and brimming with geraniums in summer, ideal for a leisurely wander followed by lunch.

In Burgundy, red wine is principally from the Pinot Noir grape variety, and white wine from the Chardonnay grape. Pinot Noir is described as a ‘fickle’ grape – it is thin skinned and difficult to grow.  However, the soil and climate in the Burgundy region – described by that word encompassing all the necessary ingredients, ‘terroir’, suit the variety well and other places in the world have not had the same success in producing such great wines from the Pinot Noir grape. See Vintage Burgundy Explained.

So what is it that keeps drawing people to the region, rather than say Bordeaux, that other great wine growing area of France? Chris Kissack, The Wine Doctor comparing the style of Bordeaux and Burgundy wines says:… ‘from Bordeaux, which can sometimes be as much about texture and power as anything else, we move to Burgundy where there might be more elegance, more perfume, more intrigue’. And intriguing the whole subject certainly is – enormous tomes are written about the intricacies of the wine growing areas from aspect to soil composition, climate to method.  Kissack continues, ‘Bordeaux might please the palate and the mind, but some wine drinkers will maintain that only Burgundy provides the most haunting bottles, memories of which may last a lifetime’.

In our wine pages, we bring you an introduction to the wines of Bourgogne, to some of the growers, the festivals and the news from the region that catches our eye. Jancis Robinson describes why she loves the region (it’s the dirt!) and has tips on visiting the cellars. It is the wine, the wine makers and the wine villages that give the Burgundy region its eternal charm, and romance, and, there’s no getting away from it, make it the place you will want to return to time and again.   


Burgundy Festivities   21st Century Vintages

Two events stand out in the Burgundy calendar: the Festival of St Vincent and the Beaune Wine Auction. Lynne Hammond joins the party, Bourgogne en Fête.


What to buy, what to lay down and what to drink now.

Crémant de Bourgogne   Decanter World Wine Awards

Over 1.6 million bottles of sparkling Crémant de Bourgogne are exported each year. Produced to high standards using the traditional Champagne method, can it rival its prestigious cousins up the road?


The 2017 overview for Burgundy at the Decanter World Wine Awards.

Matching Wine and Food   Vintage Burgundy Explained

Which wine with which food? Know your complimentary flavours.


To understand the complexities of the Burgundy wine region takes some explaining. Lynne Hammond takes about the ‘terroir’, the regions and the labelling.

Visiting Burgundy Wineries   What are Biodynamic Wines?

Jancis Robinson talks about the ins and (mainly) outs of visiting the wine producers without a guide.


Closely aligned to the organic approach to viticulture, the movements of the moon and planets are taken into consideration too.

Why I Love Burgundy   Burgundy Wine Growers

Jancis Robinson explains just what it is that she loves so much about Burgundy. The answer might surprise you.


We talk to the people behind the great wines of the Burgundy region.

Burgundy Wine News   Burgundy Wine Regions

Wine Tasting, Courses, TV, Websites to look out for …


Jancis Robinson gives a rundown of the wine regions in a nutshell, with Chablis, the Côte d'Or and now the Côte Chalonnaise.

How to Become a Wine Professional   How Burgundy Wine is Made

Where do you gain those prestigious diplomas and coveted qualifications necessary for success in the business world of wine?


Step-by step guide to making red and white wine in Burgundy.

Jura Wines    

Small production, good quality wines with a distinctive style famous for Vin Jaune and Vin de Paille