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Back roads of Burgundy, part 1: the Côte de Beaune

Burgundy might command eye-watering prices, prohibitive for most wine lovers, but there is still value to be found for those willing to go beyond the better-known villages. In his two-part report, Charles Curtis MW explores the back roads of the Côte de Beaune and highlights the lesser-known wines and producers.

The common lament that Burgundy wine is overpriced is far from universally true.  Those with imagination, determination and a good GPS can still find their way to a profusion of estates in the Côte d’Or where ‘value-priced, high-quality Burgundy’ is not a contradiction in terms.

The only thing required is a trip down the back roads of Burgundy, where you can find top-quality wines at a fraction of the price of the better-known villages and lovely everyday wines that still sell for a song.  We tasted so many that this will be a two-part article.


Scroll down for scores and tasting notes for Charles Curtis MW’s 20 must-try Côte de Beaune wines


The first instalment explores the back roads of the Côte de Beaune.

The Côte de Beaune is the southern portion of the Côte d’Or, where the limestone slopes turn to face slightly south.  The division begins at Ladoix-Serrigny, the northernmost village of the Côte de Beaune.  The hill of Corton, with its grand crus Corton and Corton-Charlemagne, is the focal point here.  The slopes of Corton are followed by the majestic hills behind the town of Beaune.

South of Beaune lie the well-known red wine villages of Pommard and Volnay and the famous white wine villages: Meursault, Puligny-Montrachet, and Chassagne-Montrachet.

For many, this is as far as they get in their exploration of the Côte de Beaune.

This overview, however, is only the beginning.

This article explores:

  • The Hautes-Côtes
  • Monthélie and Auxey-Duresses
  • Above Meursault and St-Romain
  • Blagny
  • St-Aubin
  • Santenay
  • Maranges

Charles Curtis MW’s 20 must-try Côte de Beaune wines


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