Burgundy vineyards: Tour France’s most prestigious winemaking region

The Burgundy vineyards stretch from north to south and are the birthplace of some of the world’s most prestigious, and expensive, wines – making the region a must-travel destination for any wine enthusiast.

Unlike other regions in France, Burgundy wines are not blends but made almost exclusively from two grapes that originate from the area: Pinot Noir for the red wines, and Chardonnay for the whites, although varietals such as Gamay and Aligoté are also grown on Burgundy vineyards.

Another regional difference is a classification system that is based on terroir as opposed to winemaker, which has created four classes: the elite Gran Cru vineyards, Premier Cru from superior vineyards, then Village Wines and the most generic Regional Wines.

The vineyards in Burgundy, France are separated into five distinct appellations (not including Beaujolais and Châtillonnais):

 

  • Chablis in the north is set apart from the rest of the region and specializes in dry white wines. Vineyards have been tended to here since the Cistercian monks started growing grapes in the 12th century.
  • The Côte de Nuits, which 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 while the remainder is either Chardonnay or rosé.
  • Chardonnay performs a more important role in 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 located themselves in Dijon – and preferred to keep their grape crops close to hand.
  • The largest and most southerly region is 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.
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Wine Paths offers a selection of Burgundy vineyard experiences, which can be customised to suit your specific requirements. Our local experts can arrange exclusive private tours to discover the region and sample the different standards in Burgundy’s wine classification.

At the height of our experiences is a six-day VIP tour of Burgundy, which allows visitors to meet the winemaker and taste the region’s finest wines, visit to a 15th century cellar, enjoy a gourmet meal with a Michelin starred chef and even take part in making Cremant de Bourgogne (Burgundy’s answer to champagne) and truffle hunting. If time is of the essence, we also offer a selection of single day tours of Burgundy vineyards, down the Route des Grands Crus. Here, an expert guide will take visitors around the Côte de Beaune and Côte de Nuits vineyards where you will sample six Gran Crus wines and three Crémants de Bourgogne in between eating traditional meals and meeting the winemakers.

For wine travellers seeking a more involved experience, there’s the chance of taking part in the Clos Marey-Monge’s Harvest – hand picking and sorting grapes from this renowned Burgundy vineyard and learning about the vinification before celebrating the annual event with tasting.

Whether you are a beginner or connoisseur, if visiting Burgundy vineyards is an wine tour experience you have been waiting for, learn more from our Burgundy destination guide before planning an exclusive tour.

 

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