Burgundy (Bourgogne in French) primarily hosts two varieties of wine: Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The region is the original home to these grape varieties and the winemakers of the region claim you will find them at their most complex and aromatic here.
To understand why Burgundy is held in such high esteem, you must know about the concept of terroir, the harmony of grapes, soil, climate, vineyard placement, and human touch. In other words, the Burgundy unique environmental factor and its experienced winemakers join together to make a product that is impossible to fabricate.
Along with its exclusive terroir, Burgundy is also highly sought after because it is actually a fairly small producer of wine. In two words: RARE WINES. There they only produced 3 percent of the French wine production.
The wines in Burgundy fall under four categorizations. Grand Cru, only 1 percent of wineries, is the highest classification with only 33 vineyards in this designation. Ten percent are designated as Premier Cru and 640 plots have reached this standard. Next, 37 percent are village wines, which are named after a specific village in Burgundy. Lastly, the remaining 52 percent are regional wines, which are wines that were made from Burgundy grapes. Even these wines are known to be absolutely delicious.
The secret to Burgundy’s unique flavors lies in its history; 200 million years ago Burgundy was a tropical reef environment, once the coral and sea creatures died, limestone soil was formed. The limestone creates Burgundy’s trademark minerality, so look out for limestone as you stroll inside the vineyards.
After the Romans planted the first grapes 2000 years ago, The monks first started producing wine in Burgundy all the way back over a thousand years ago, taking it to another level. They produced wine for the Catholic Church and the aristocrats. The French Revolution marked the return of Burgundy’s fertile land to the people, so the winemakers we see today began honing their craft.
——THE WINE VARIETIES——
Pinot Noir, known also as Burgundy Red, is typically light to medium-bodied, fruit-forward, and relatively low alcohol compared to other red wines. It is usually medium dry in terms of sweetness and its medium acidity makes it a very well-balanced wine. It is a hard grape to grow and despite being grown in multiple regions now, Burgundy is notorious for having the highest quality of Pinot Noir. The aromas that can be found include red fruits, earthy soil, spices, and oak.
Chardonnay, known also as Burgundy White and the red wine of the whites because it is fermented in a similar way to red wines. Depending on the maker it can be a unique white or sparkling wine. But typically, Chardonnay is a dry, medium- to full-bodied wine and has moderate acidity. Its flavors range from acidic and tropical fruits to vanilla to oaky. Unlike Pinot Noir, it is easy to grow and highly adaptable, in fact, 60 percent of Burgundy’s wine production is Chardonnay now. This also allows winemakers to leave their own special mark on its flavor.
Gamay is also known as Beaujolais in Burgundy and is a light-bodied wine that is similar to Pinot Noir in taste as it is Burgundy Red’s cousin. Gamay wines are loved for their delicate floral aromas, fruit flavors, and its subtle earthy notes. It is tart, very acidic and Burgundy Gamay is known for being earthier in flavor. It is renowned for its ability to pair with a variety of foods, including fish.
Aligoté is a cousin of Chardonnay wine and, similarly can be found as a white or sparkling wine, particularly Crémant De Bourgogne. Aligoté are generally dry with floral and herbal notes. They are naturally enhanced by the variety’s high levels of acidity. It is frost resistant so it can be grown in colder regions than Chardonnay.
Burgundy has five distinct areas where wine is produced, Chablis, Côte de Nuits, Côte de Beaune, Côte Chalonnaise, and Mâconnais.
Côte de Nuits is famed for its Pinot Noirs and it boasts 24 Grand Cru vineyards. This sector faces valley of the Saône River and stretches over Gevery Chambertin, Vougeot, and Vosne Romanée. The wine produced here often is aged for decades and can cost thousands of dollars. The aromas in their Pinot Noirs are red berry fruits, mushroom and tea spices, violet, licorice, and dark berries.
Côte de Beaune is also very known for Chardonnay that is produced in the southern part of Burgundy and is marked by its expansive valleys. It has several Grand Cru designated wineries, which are known for their aromas of apple, pear, grasses, honey, white flower, and hazelnut. This section also produces smaller, but just as delicious, varieties of red wines.
Together Côte de Nuits and Côte de Beaune make up the Côte d’Or Champs-Elysées of wine, Golden Slopes of vineyards and have been praised as the most important parts of Burgundy.
Chablis is renowned for Chardonnay, it is the furthest north of the sectors and the Seine River runs through it. Its white, chalky soil, “Kimmeridgian” limestone, retains and reflects heat, so the grapes can survive the cold winter and spring months. Grapes grown in Chablis are known to be crisp and fresh. In terms of aromas, Chablis‘ chardonnays have notes of white flower, acidic minerality and citrus.
Côte Chalonnaise is praised for their Pinot Noirs, Chardonnays and the other, less famous choices. It is located between the towns of Chagny and Saint-Vallerin. Aligoté is known as Burgundy’s other white grape and is often called a summer wine due to its floral, honey, and fruity notes. The famous Kir Royale cocktail was invented using this wine. Crémant de Bourgogne is another highlight of the region as it produces sparkling whites and rosés.
Lastly, Mâconnais is a bit less unique than the other regions and it is known for its affordable Chardonnays. It is located between the town of Tournus and St. Veran and is thought of as the crossroads between southern and northern France. Many of the wineries have been working to improve their quality and there is a spirit of youthful innovation here.
Burgundia Tours offers unique wine country tours to Burgundy, you can start booking your trips for summer 2021 right now! All of the packages depart from Paris and include comfortable transportation with a chauffeur and wine expert guide, tours of gorgeous villages and vineyards, meeting winemakers down in cellars, gastronomic meals, and of course rare wine tastings!
The Red Diamond Tour is Burgundia Tour’s most wanted, exclusive experience and is completely customizable and private. You will get your own private minibus and your tour can last from two to seven days based on your preference. With unique experiences such as hot air balloon or helicopter rides over the vineyards, a market tour followed by an authentic cooking class, an introduction to wine tasting class, Grands Crus tastings, old vintages tastings, and a visit to a relaxing spa. Of course, amazing wines will be central to your experience.
The Yellow Sapphire Tour gives guests an unforgettable two-day experience in Côte de Nuits and Côte Beaune. This tour has a pre-set schedule and gives guests the opportunity to experience Burgundy’s delectable gastronomy as well as its unparalleled vintages. You will get to enjoy four delicious meals and stay at a lavish four or five-star hotel. Of course, you will have the opportunity to learn from top sommeliers and explore wine country in style.
Burgundia Tour is so excited to begin kicking off tours in Summer 2021. Burgundy is such a beautiful and unique region that they cannot wait to share their expertise with you very soon. Our best advice, book as soon as you know you are coming to France, as those tours a highly requested by luxury hotels in Paris for their most VIP clients.
TO BOOK YOUR TOUR PLEASE CONTACT US DIRECTLY HERE