3 minute read

The lush and beautiful region of Burgundy in France is renowned for many things; exquisite food, excellent cycling venues, beautiful natural vistas, fascinating medieval architecture and don’t forget the mustard of Dijon. However, first and foremost Burgundy is recognized far and wide for its excellent wines.

While it is possible for the true oenophile to wax endlessly over the attributes of a perfect glass of red or white Burgundy we will struggle to be a bit more concise. Here we offer a quick guide to the wines of Burgundy.

The Most Celebrated Wine Region

Burgundy, also known as Bourgogne is one of the most celebrated wine regions in the world. In fact, the classic old world Burgundy wines have long been considered a benchmark for all other wines. Benchmark or not the wines of this region should be celebrated as simply outstanding. Sip for yourself!

Many people are surprised to find out the red burgundy that is so prized for its unmatched flavor profile is actually a Pinot Noir. Likewise, that buttery, spectacular white burgundy is a Chardonnay. Therefore, we must acknowledge that most of the wine world regards the Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from the region as often unmatched in excellence.

Of course there are other delicious wines from Burgundy made from the region’s four main grape varietals, including a sparkling variety, Crémant de Bourgogne. The regional grapes used to produce these exquisite wines are Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Gamay and Aligoté.

What Makes Burgundy A Must for Wine Lovers

What is it that makes this region the favorite destination of wine lovers?

The best wines of Burgundy possess a quality that is only achieved in the region. The flavors are a balanced and sometimes intense combination of earthiness and spice, minerals and fruit.

It’s been noted that red Burgundy imparts the fruity essence of blackberry, red raspberry and cherry, with older varieties offering a taste of exotic spice and a gaminess.

White burgundy Imparts notes of apple, citrus, peach and fresh herbs. In both the white burgundy and the red you will notice the finer wines bestow delicate floral aromas.

Where the Grapes Are Grown

Burgundy wine region is located in the eastern part of central France. There are nearly 200 miles of wine-producing area in Burgundy and it’s separated into five major subregions. The prime wine-growing real estate is located among the rolling hills and steep terrain of the Côte d’Or.

Côte de Nuits

Located in the northern part of Burgundy, lies the Côte de Nuits.

Along with the Côte de Beaune, Côte de Nuits makes up the rolling hill terrain of the Côte d’Or. The area’s sunny slopes and gentle wind make an excellent climate for grape-growing. A number of Burgundy’s highest quality reds hail from Côte de Nuits. In fact the area is almost exclusively red wine country with perhaps some whites grown here and there.

Côte de Beaune

For exceptional white burgundies you’ll need to look to Côte de Beaune. Named for the town of Beaune, this area of the region makes up the southern half of the Côte d’Or. Although the Côte de Beaune is recognized for some of the most highly regarded white burgundies there are a few delicious reds that are grown here as well.

The Wines of Burgundy

Red Burgundy/Pinot Noir

The primary grape grown in the region is Pinot Noir. This red grape is central to the most popular wine of Burgundy and you will find the red burgundies are 100% Pinot Noir. The thing about these red wines is that they reflect the terroir, or place where they are grown, most expressively. While the typical Pinot Noir from other regions tends to lean toward the muscular, full bodied palate, these beauties from Burgundy are their own elegant example of a deeply complex, rich and earthy bouquet.

White Burgundy/Chardonnay

White burgundy is 100% Chardonnay, buttery, floral and with all the loveliness a Chardonnay is meant to possess. A white burgundy is a Chardonnay unlike any other. When the flavors play upon your palate you’ll note an expression of the terroir in which the grapes are grown. For instance, chardonnay made from grapes produced in the northern areas, such as Chablis tend to have a lean, more mineral-forward zippiness where the Côte de Beaune grapes lend a melon and tree fruit profile to their chardonnay.


Gamay is a red wine grape most notably used to make Beaujolais. Although Beaujolais is recognized as a wine region itself the grapes are often grown in Burgundy. There are Gamay wines labeled Bourgogne Gamay which lean toward a fruity and young profile. Some are blends with as much as a 15% Pinot Noir blend.


The white aligoté grape makes for an easy drinking white wine. It’s not used for traditional white burgundies but is found in its own varietals, typically young wines. Aligoté wines may be mixed with 15% Chardonnay as a blend. The wines are regarded as light, crisp and acidic. A famous regional cocktail, Kir, is made by combining Aligoté and créme de cassis.

Crémant de Bourgogne

Since we mentioned this sparkling wine earlier we thought to include it in our guide. As with all the sparkling wines made in France, but outside of the Champagne region, this bubbly is called Crémant. The Crémant de Bourgogne is made in the same way as all French sparklers, the méthode champenoise and may be white or rosé. This Burgundy bubbly typically contains Pinot Noir or Chardonnay although some include Gamay or Aligoté.

Sip for Yourself

There are so many reasons this region of France beckons to visitors but for the wine lover it's a must-visit destination. More than any other wine in the world, a Burgundy wine reflects the terroir in the best way.

Come sip some exquisite burgundy and taste what has been referred to as “the reason wine lovers love wine”.

Burgundy village