Wine tasting in Burgundy is on every wine lovers bucket list

Although the French region of Burgundy is relatively small, its contribution to the world of wine has been immense, and wine tasting in Burgundy competes among the most desired tours for wine lovers around the world.

Although the French region of Burgundy is relatively small, its contribution to the world of wine has been immense, and wine tasting in Burgundy competes among the most desired tours for wine lovers around the world.

Winemaking in Burgundy dates back to the Roman empire, although it was the Catholic monks that properly established the vineyards in the Middle Ages – and the locals have been taking great pride in their wine production ever since.

While other regions in France focus their attention on the ‘vigneron’ or winemaker, Burgundy concentrates exclusively on the soil or ‘terroir’. These soils, which carry high levels of limestone, are the secret behind the elegant, aromatic and complex character of Burgundy wines – which include some of the most expensive bottles in the world!

The region, ‘Bourgogne’ in French, is considered to be the birthplace of two of the world’s most renowned grapes: Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, which can be found nestling on the sloping hillsides inviting enthusiasts to visit and sample Burgundy wine tasting at the heart of the vineyards.

Burgundy’s most famous vineyards are settled along the Côte d’Or: a 50km stretch of limestone hills with the ideal exposure and meso-climate to set the perfect stage for wine making (and wine tasting) in Burgundy.

 

There are five distinct regions (not including Beaujolais and Châtillonnais):

  • Chablis in the north is set apart from the rest of the region and features a moderate climate courtesy of the river Serene. Vineyards have been tended to here since the Cistercian monks started growing grapes in the 12th century.
  • The Côte de Nuits, which was named after walnut trees, boasts some of the world’s most expensive wine real estate with 24 Grand Cru vineyards. Eighty per cent of the wines produced here are Pinot Noir with the remainder being either Chardonnay or rosé.
  • Chardonnay performs a more important role in the Côte de Beaune where seven of the eight Grand Cru vineyards produce white wine on the open valleys featuring a south-western exposure.
  • Côte Chalonnaise nestles between the towns of Chagny and Saint-Vallerin and was formerly considered a peasants’ region in medieval times since the Dukes of Burgundy lived in Dijon – and preferred to keep their grape crops close to hand.
  • The largest and most southerly region is the Mâconnais, which suffered during hard times in history including the Great Depression and both World Wars. However, in an effort to compete with the rest of the region, younger inherited growers have raised the standards of quality.

 

Wine Paths offers a selection of Burgundy wine tasting experiences, which can be customised to suit your specific requirements. Our local experts can arrange private tours of vineyards to discover the different varieties in Burgundy’s wines’ classification.

Or, if you really want to immerse yourself in wine tasting in Burgundy, there is an exclusive six-day VIP tour that includes visiting a 15th century wine cellar, a gourmet meal with a Michelin starred chef and truffle hunting.

Of course, there is more to the region than just Burgundy wine tasting – with the Côte d’Or alone claiming 27 per cent of the country’s historic sites and the region’s vineyards recently being recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Beaune, the wine capital of Burgundy, is swathed with a heritage of hidden tunnels, cobbled streets, striking gothic facades and fine dining restaurants serving the region’s heartfelt yet sophisticated cuisine, which pairs quality ingredients with rich wine or cream sauces.

Whether you are a beginner or connoisseur, if wine tasting in Burgundy is on your wine experiences bucket list, learn more from our destination guide before planning a visit to the region.

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