Quick and Easy Guide to the wines of Burgundy
Bamboozle wine bores with a profound understanding of Burgundy
The historic vineyards of Burgundy lie in a 230km arc from Auxerre to Lyon, with the heartland of the Côte d'Or situated to the north and south of Beaune. From Chablis in the north, through the Côte D'Or, Côte Chalonnaise, Maçonnais and finally Beaujolais, this region is the spiritual home of the Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grape varieties. Extreme fragmentation of vineyards due to the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Law of Succession means that (particularly in the Côte d'Or) relatively small vineyards have multiple owners (of varying ability) and quantities of the best wines are miniscule. The region enjoys a gastronomic and viticultural heritage that is unsurpassed.
Area Under Vine:
Burgundy has over 600 AOCs (compared to 57 in Bordeaux), 27,000 hectares under vine, although half the region's entire output is Beaujolais.
Chablis, Vosne-Romanée, Clos de Vougeot, Nuits-Saints-Georges, Corton-Charlemagne, Meursault, Puligny-Montrachet, Pouilly-Fuissé, Macon & Beaujolais.
Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Aligoté & Gamay.
Mortet, Dujac, DRC, Roumier, Cathiard, Anne Gros, Henri Jayer, Bonneau du Martray, Raveneau, Coche-Dury, Leflaive, Lapierre, Guffens-Heynen, plus important negociant houses Latour, Bouchard, Jadot, Duboeuf.
Beef bourguignon, coq au vin, oeufs en meurette (eggs poached in wine), escargots in parsley and garlic, époisses (cheese) Dijon mustard, crème de cassis liqueur.
Restaurants we like:
Le Chambolle (Chambole-Musigny), Relais Bacchus (Lancié), Le Gourmandin (Beaune), Le Montrachet (Puligny-Montrachet) & Au P'tit Kir (Saint Léger sur Dheune).
Famous people from the region:
Pierre Paul Prud'hon (Romantic painter), Gustave Eiffel (engineer), Gaspard Monge (mathematician), Pierre Larousse (lexicographer), Bernard Thevenet (two- time Tour de France winner).
Things to do:
Hire bikes and cycle the Route des Grand Crus, take a boat ride on the Canal du Centre; see washed-rind cheeses being made at the Gaugry fromagerie, attend the Hospices de Beaune wine auction, view Impressionist paintings in the Musée des Beaux-Arts housed in the Palais des Ducs (Dijon) or check out the covered food market Les Halles.
Gevrey-Chambertin: Domaine Henri Richard.
Beaujolais blanc: Arnaud Aucoeur.