Burgundy has the highest number of wine appellations in France. Together with Bordeaux and Champagne, this is one of the main wine-producing regions in the country and is an exciting destination for anyone who appreciates the art of French gastronomy.
From its UNESCO-listed climates to its Michelin-starred restaurants, few places in the world compare to this culinary hotspot, thriving with fantastic food tours and enotourism. But there’s more to Burgundy than the things that tantalize your taste buds. Home to rich history, stunning architecture and rolling countryside, this French region is one of our favourite places to recommend for a luxury break with loved ones. As a destination, it’s romantic, chic, and has something for everyone. Feast your eyes on the most beautiful countryside, hike through its verdant national parks, explore its tranquil waterways on a luxury river cruise, or cycle Burgundy’s châteaux trail.
There’s so much to see and do for the luxury seeker, and the authenticity of the food and magnificence of the wine will go hand-in-hand with your Burgundy experience.
There are so many places to go in Burgundy, but for famous towns and villages, the Côte de Beaune district is a must. Popular towns like Chablis and Nuits-St-Georges are also at the top of many people’s lists.
The area of Chablis is, of course, renowned for its wine, but the town itself is lovely to walk through. Located 15 kilometres south of Pontigny, Chablis is a pretty place with medieval architecture, many with ornate doors and window openings. Don’t miss the churches of Saint-Pierre and Saint-Martin, and be sure to stop at one of its many quaint cafés.
In Nuits-St-Georges, you’ll find some Renaissance-style castles set amongst vineyards and top wineries for tasting experiences. Or book a private cellar visit and tour in one of the finest wine cellars in Beaune, known as Burgundy’s wine capital.
Beaune is also home striking medieval architecture and unmissable attractions such as Hospice de Beaune and its famous wine auction. Located just south of Beaune, and along the popular Route des Grands Crus, is the little commune of Pommard. This area is famous for its Côte de Beaune wine production and offers a historic setting that will journey you back in time.
For markets and signature dishes like Burgundy beef or traditional snails, let us organize a walking tour with lunch in the foodie city of Dijon.
France has a temperate climate that is largely influenced by the Atlantic weather systems. In the south, the climate is more Mediterranean while the north is affected by continental air mass. Burgundy sits at the junction in east-central France and so the weather can be varied at times.
The western hills of Burgundy tend to get more rainfall, while the eastern valleys are drier. Generally, across the region summers are hot and winters are cold and dark. The summer months promise long sunny days and is the peak time to travel for many holidaymakers. Though many travellers enjoy the shoulder season due to the milder climate. September to November is ideal for hiking, cycling and vineyard visits as it’s still pleasant and warm, and the vineyards will feature spectacular autumn colours. Spring is another great time to visit and is just before the summer rush begins.
With the most appellations in France and amazing food and drink on offer, Burgundy is perfect for a gourmet wine holiday. Some of the nation’s finest and most expensive wines are produced here. The terroir comprised of clay, limestone and stone soil – combined with a semi-continental oceanic climate – create noble grape varieties. More than any other region in France, the wine here is completely influenced by a sense of place, and that means that it is one of the most recognized wine regions anywhere in the world.
Pinot Noir and Chardonnay are the region’s most well-known varieties, and these are often made with the traditional wine-making process that has been around for centuries. Some of the classifications to know are Grand Cru (reserved for the best vineyards), Premier Cru, Village Wines and Regional Wines. But it’s important to remember that even wines at the lowest regional level are still excellent, and both red and white Burgundies are worth trying.
Across the region, you will find world-famous domains (wineries) and 100 AOCS or Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée (Controlled Designation of Origin). Burgundy Pinot Noir and Chardonnay are particularly good in the hillsides of Chablis, Côte de Nuits and Côte de Beaune. In Beaune, known as the region’s capital before Dijon, you will get to experience the grands crus of Puligny-Montrachet and Chassagne-Montrachet. Or head south to Pommard to try "The Flower of the wines of Beaune", some of the region’s best signature reds.
Finding luxury accommodation in the region of Burgundy is easy. As one of the most well-known wine regions and famous foodie destinations in Europe, there are stylish, classy hotels that cater to international visitors from all over the globe. From 5 star accommodation with fine dining and luxury spas to private mansions, family-run manors, and renovated historic homes, there are so many different styles of accommodation to choose from. There’s something to suit every taste and preference.
In a place where Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are kings, and Beef Bourguignon and Dijon mustard are favourites, you’re sure to enjoy some hearty and filling meals. Food and wine pairing is key in most fine dining restaurants in Burgundy, as is using red wine in rich and meaty recipes. The cuisine here is truly unique, and there many great places to try the local menu.
You can enjoy gourmet experiences and workshops with dinner at Le Relais Bernard Loiseau in Saulieu – it’s one of the finest wine cellars in France with a Michelin starred restaurant seating 70 people. Or for a restaurant that uses the Enomatic® system where you can order rare wines by the glass, let us book you a table at Loiseau des Vignes.
At Wine Paths, we customize luxury food and wine holidays to Burgundy and other top regions. Find out more from our local expert Philip.