Although vines existed in Burgundy in ancient times, Burgundy wines gained their reputation in the Middle Ages, helped by the Church and the dukes of Burgundy. In 1760, the Prince of Conti bought the vineyard of La Romanée, giving it his name to become the famous La Romanée Conti. During the French Revolution, the properties of the Church and the aristocracy were confiscated and auctioned; the bourgeoisie of Burgundy took advantage of this redistribution and acquired the best vineyards. The reputation of Burgundy wines then grew from the 19th century onwards, especially with the first wine auction of the Hospices de Beaune.
Burgundy is a huge mosaic of thousands of small vineyards within the five wine regions: Chablis, Côte de Nuits, Côte de Beaune, Côte Chalonnaise and Mâconnais. Among these there are 23 regional appellations, 44 “Villages” and over 600 “Premier Cru”. Finally, the “Grand Cru” appellation is given to 33 specific vineyards called "Climats" which have a particularly exceptional terroir.
Red Burgundy Wines are mostly 100% Pinot Noir and Whites are 100% Chardonnay, except for Bourgognes Aligoté (Aligoté grape) and Saint-Bris (Sauvignon Blanc).
Appellations & Classifications
There are four level of appellations in Burgundy - Regional (R), Village and Premier Cru (V), Grand Cru (GC) - always given to the terroir, not the Domaine.
Petit Chablis (V), Chablis (V), Chablis 1er Cru (V), Chablis Grand Cru (GC)
Côte de Nuits
Chambertin (GC), Chambolle-Musigny (V), Charmes-Chambertin (GC), Clos de Vougeot (GC), Echezeaux (GC), Gevrey-Chambertin (V), Hautes-Côtes-de-Nuits (R), Grands Echezeaux (GC), Marsannay (V), Morey-Saint-Denis (V), Nuits-Saint-Georges (V), Romanée-Conti (GC), Vosne-Romanée (V) ... etc
Mâcon (R), Mâcon-Villages (R) Pouilly-Fuissé (V), Pouilly-Loché (V) Pouilly-Vinzelles (V), Saint-Véran (V) Viré-Clessé (V)
Bouzeron (V), Givry (V), Mercurey (V), Montagny (V), Rully (V)
Côte de Beaune
Aloxe-Corton (V), Auxey-Duresses (V), Bâtard-Montrachet (GC), Beaune (V), Chassagne-Montrachet (V), Corton (GC), Corton-Charlemagne (GC), Hautes-Côtes de Beaune (R), Meursault (V), Montrachet (GC), Pommard (V), Pernand-Vergelesses (V), Puligny-Montrachet (V), Saint-Aubin (V), Saint-Romain (V), Santenay (V), Savigny-Lès-Beaune (V), Volnay (V) ... etc
The Pinot Noir grape has gained its reputation solely from Burgundy red wines. It produces compact purplish-black clusters with small tight grains containing a rich, clear and sweet juice. Pinot noir wines from Burgundy are generally medium bodied and have intense and very subtle flavour of red fruit. They can often age very well.
Chardonnay has also been a Burgundian grape for centuries. This grape produces the great white wines of Burgundy in the Beaune area. It produces beautiful golden clusters with small grains which are rich of a sweet white juice. Chardonnay produces the best white wines in different areas of the world.
This vigorous white grape gives larger grains than Chardonnay. It is widely spread on soils that are not suitable for Pinot and Chardonnay, while remaining excellent vineyard soil. The dry white wine it produces is called Bourgogne Aligoté and it can also enter into blends to make Crémant de Bourgogne.
Surface: 28,320 ha
Production: 200m bottles