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Burgundy or Bourgogne in French is one of the world’s most famous wine areas and one of the most complicated to understand.
Burgundy is the most terroir-oriented region in France and rather than being divided mainly between a few large vineyards, the region is divided between several thousand smaller vineyards and growers.
With 80,000 acres under vine it represents just 3% of the French vineyard surface area and is divided into 5 appellations. Chablis, known for its dry white Chardonnay wines. The Côte de Nuits, predominantly red with the world-famous Grands Crus such as La Tache, Romanée Conti, Clos de Vougeot, etc. The Côte de Beaune, although they make some delicious reds they are renowned for rich Chardonnay, including Grand Cru Montrachet as well as the famous Grand Cru Charlemagne. although they make some delicious reds that are meant to be aged. Côte de Nuits and Côte de Beaune also make up the celebrated ‘Côte d’Or’. The Côte Chalonnaise, although there are no Grand Cru vineyards here, it’s still known for producing some great wines and finally the Mâconnais, where you’ll find some great value wines.
Similar to Bordeaux, Burgundy has its own ranking system as well. General wines, Bourgogne blanc or rouge which don’t necessarily mean the wine isn’t high quality, just that the grapes can come from anywhere in Burgundy. Regional Wines, such as Chablis, Côtes de Nuits, Côtes de Beaune, Côtes Chalonnaise, Mâconnais. Village Wines, named after the nearby villages such as Pommard, Puligny- or Chassagne Montrachet, Chambolle-Musigny, etc. Premier Cru wines come next, also named after nearby villages but with officially recognized status such as Puligny Montrachet Referts, Meursault les Genevrieres, Beaune Clos des Mouches, etc. Finally, Grand Cru which is the highest classification of Burgundy wines. The names of these crus come from the vineyard itself and make up less than 2% of Burgundy wines such as Montrachet, Romanee-Conti, Musigny, Corton, etc..