The Burgundy wine region in central-eastern France, near the city of Dijon, is built on centuries of winemaking tradition with close historical links to the monasteries.


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Burgundy’s patchwork quilt of vineyards and associated terroirs – or ‘climats‘ – gained UNESCO world heritage status in July 2015.

Top estates include Domaine de la Romanée-ContiArmand Rousseau and Domaine Leroy.

Grapes

Burgundy’s key grape varieties are Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, largely due to the cool and moderate climate of the region. Aligoté usually produces cheaper white wines of less quality. Sauvignon Blanc is a rarity which is allowed to be grown in the St Bris appellation.

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There are four different classifications in Burgundy: regional/district, commune, and two kinds of single vineyard communes, premier cru and grand cru.

This is one of the ways that Burgundy’s architecture differs from Bordeaux, its traditional rival in France, Bordeaux, because many producers own patches of the same vineyard, rather than existing in self-contained chateaux.

Burgundy grand cru vineyards are the most expensive in France, costing an average 4.35m euros per hectare, according to French land agency Safer.

Wines from the wider Burgundy regions are labelled as Bourgogne AC, and the best come from the Cote d’Or – split into the Cote de Nuit from the North and the Cote de Beaune in the South.

Key red wine communes include Gevry-Chambertin, Nuits-St-Georges, Beaune, Pommard and Volnay.

Well-known white wine communes include Chablis, Puligny-Montrachet, Meursault, Macon and Pouilly-Fuisse.