Burgundy is probably the most iconic and complex wine region in the world today. The reds are Pinot Noir and the whites Chardonnay. They are just single varietals, and nothing is blended. That’s the simple part. After that, things get more complicated.
At 75,000 acres, it is a relatively small region, and only produces around 15.5 million cases of wine a year. Burgundy makes up for its small size with the quality of its wines: The region produces some of the most sought-after and expensive wines in the world, including iconic pinots like the Romanée-Conti, Richebourg, la Tâche, and the legendary chardonnay of Montrachet. In fact, although Burgundy wine makes up only 4.5 percent of France’s wine exports in volume, it accounts for a whopping 21 percent of its revenue!
Despite what you may think when you hear the word “Burgundy”, 60 percent of the wine produced in this region is actually white. Burgundy is famous for its single grape varietals, for the reds, delicate and aromatic Pinot Noirs. For the whites, the region is celebrated for its mineral, fleshy, and complex Chardonnays. Pinot Noir makes up 39.5 percent of wine produced in the region, while Chardonnay accounts for around 51 percent.
Burgundy has 5 wine districts spanning an area of 150 miles: The furthest north is Chablis, with its famous clean and crisp chardonnays. The furthest south near Macon, you’ll find the villages of Pouilly Fuissé and Saint Véran.
The Côte de Nuits & Côte de Beaune are considered the prime districts. Côte de Nuit is home to the most famous Pinot Noir villages, namely Vosne-Romanée, Gevrey Chambertin, Chambolle Musigny, and Nuits Saint Georges. The most famous Chardonnay villages can be found in the Côte de Beaune district, such as Meursault, Puligny-Montrachet and Chassagne-Montrachet.
Understanding Burgundy wines is not an easy task, but learning about the labels, classifications, and styles for each village will help you to enjoy these fabulous wines. And don’t forget, you just have to try the whites. After all, this is the home of the best Chardonnay in the world!
As for your itinerary, we can get you into the bigger wine houses, dating back to the 17th and 18th centuries, as well as the smaller, family-run wineries where tourists do not normally go. Let us know what you have in mind, and we will create your perfect itinerary.