The wines of Burgundy are rich and varied, and are divided into regional appellations, village appellations, Premiers crus and Grands crus. The Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée (AOC) is your guarantee of the characteristics of the regional wines. Fall is a beautiful time to drive or bike through the wine routes.
The Côte de Nuits extends from the south of Dijon to Corgoloin and forms the northern section of the Grands Crus route. It is a prestigious hillside that is home to villages bearing the names of the greatest red wines in the world. Here you will find 24 of the 33 grands crus in Burgundy: Chambertin, Clos de Vougeot, Romanée-Conti and many more.
The Côte de Beaune follows on from the Côte de Nuits towards the south, from Ladoix-Serrigny to the hillside of the Maranges. This soil, blessed with the Chardonnay grape, is where the greatest dry white wines in the world are produced (Corton-Charlemagne and Montrachet, among others). Outside of the city of Beaune, which is the capital of Burgundy’s wine regions, the countryside becomes gentler as you approach Santenay and the département of Saône-et-Loire.
ROUTE OF THE GRANDS VINS DE BOURGOGNE – THE ROUTE THROUGH NATURE
The route of the Grands Vins runs from Santenay to Saint-Gengoux-le-National, and is the extension of the route of the Grands Crus towards the south: more than 100 signposts connect around 40 towns via the vineyards of Maranges, the Couchois and the Côte Chalonnaise. This varied route combines villages with nature, and vineyards with wooded countryside, and is dotted with Romanesque churches and castles. You can discover it by car, but also along the water of the Canal du Centre, or by bike along the the many cycling routes.
ROUTE OF THE MÂCONNAIS-BEAUJOLAIS, THE SOUTHERN WINE-GROWING AREA
This route in the south of Saône-et-Loire is the extension of all the wine routes from Dijon. The eight circuits enable you to break away from the main route and explore the most southerly vineyards in Burgundy in greater depth. The main route itself crosses the Mâcon wine-growing region in a straight line and finishes at Romanèche-Thorins (Saône-et-Loire) on the hillsides of the Beaujolais region.
ROUTE OF THE VINEYARDS OF THE YONNE ALONGSIDE THE RIVERS
In the département of the Yonne, the vineyards have developed alongside rivers: the Jovinien and the Auxerrois in the Yonne Valley, the Chablisien in the Serein Valley, the Tonnerrois in the Armançon Valley, and the Vézelien in the Cure Valley. The wines of the Yonne are undergoing a renaissance and deserve to be discovered in all their diversity just as much as the highly famous Chablis.
ALONG THE LOIRE AROUND THE NIÈVRE
The vineyards of the Nièvre, which extend along the right bank of the Loire, belong not to Burgundy but to the Centre-Loire, and have long suffered from a certain lack of recognition. Now another wine route enables visitors to discover all their charms, from the hillsides of Pouilly-sur-Loire, where the famous Pouilly-Fumé is produced, to the Coteaux du Giennois overlooking Cosne-Cours-sur-Loire. This route also takes in Sancerre on the other side of the river in the Cher.
For more information on Burgundy, go to www.burgundy-tourism.com.