Dijon, capital of the Côte d’Or département in France, is the perfect base from which to explore Burgundy’s prestigious Côte de Nuits.
Explore renowned Burgundian vineyards on Dijon winery tours
Dijon, famed around the world for its mustard, is also the gateway to the French wine region of Burgundy. Located just to the north of the Côte de Nuits stretch of Burgundy’s historic Côte d’Or, it makes a wonderful base from which to explore world-famous appellations such as Vosne-Romanée and Gevrey-Chambertin.
Stroll the charming streets of France’s mustard capital
Listed as a UNESCO world heritage site since 2015, Dijon’s charming historic centre is a beautiful mix of Gothic and Renaissance buildings jostling for space with well-preserved half-timbered houses some of which date back the 12th century. Make sure you look up as you wander, to take in the city’s colourful polychrome roofs, tiled in geometric patterns of green, yellow and black glazed terracotta. Dip into its many museums, tour the Ducal Palace and Cathedral or wander its colourful market hall, where stalls are loaded with artisan cheese, charcuterie, freshly baked bread and fresh, local, seasonal produce. If you come in autumn, you can treat yourself to some truffles and enjoy their heavenly scent. You can also be assured on a delicious meal if you eat at one of the numerous restaurants lining the nearby streets.
Enjoy Dijon’s specialities
Make sure you also pop into one of the speciality mustard shops where you can sample mustards flavoured with a myriad of different ingredients, such as tarragon, truffle and, of course, Burgundy wine. But why is Dijon mustard so special? It originated in the mid-19th century when a local producer replaced the traditional vinegar with verjuice, the acidic juice of underripe grapes. Nowadays, the mustard is produced with white wine and not necessarily in Dijon, but its fame endures.
Dijon is also the home to crème de cassis, the blackcurrant liqueur traditionally mixed with Burgundy Aligoté to make Kir or with sparkling crémant to make its more luxurious sibling Kir Royal – the perfect aperitif.
Travel down the ‘Route des Grands Crus’ on Dijon winery tours
Prestigious Burgundy appellations lie just half an hour’s drive of Dijon city centre. A short drive along the road to Satenay - the ‘Route des Grands Crus’, so named thanks to the number of Grands Crus vineyards which line its flanks - brings you to Vosne Romanée and Gevrey Chambertin. The 60km route leads through the entire Côte d’Or, through Burgundy’s most historic appellations and some of its most picturesque villages and towns, such as Beaune, centre of the Côte de Beaune vineyards.
Discover some of the world’s most expensive vineyards
Some of the world’s most costly wines are produced in these historic vineyards, subdivided and subdivided over centuries into sometimes tiny vineyard plots, producing some of the world’s most sought-after red wines. For example, the Romanée-Conti vineyard, which dominates the village of Vosne-Romanée, only produces about 600 cases of some of the most expensive wine in the world on its 1.8 hectares of vineyards. The village boasts six Grand Cru vineyards in total, whereas Gevrey-Chambertin is home to 9 out of 33 of Burgundy’s Grands Crus, which occupy a total of 87 hectares of Gevrey-Chambertin’s 400 hectares under vine. Nestled between Gevrey-Chambertin and Vosne-Romanée is the commune of Vougeot, where its historic, walled vineyard Grand Cru Clos Vougeot occupies the majority of its vineyard area. Unlike its neighbours, Vougeot produces white wines from Chardonnay as well as reds from Pinot Noir.
If you’d like to discover Dijon as well as the vineyards and wineries producing some of the most prestigious and costly wines in the world, let our local experts at Wine Paths introduce you to the Côte de Nuits on exclusive Dijon winery tours.
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