Burgundy, France is one of the country’s most prolific wine regions. Known far and wide for both red and white varieties, the wines of Burgundy are arguably, some of the most popular -and expensive-wines in the world. Those new to the global arena of food and wine will soon develop the palate and knowledge of a true epicure upon visiting the storied and historic communes of this region.
Inheritance laws governing Burgundy, which date back to the days of Napoleon, state that family property be divided equally between surviving dependants. The result is many generational small family wineries, which welcome tours and thrill at the opportunity to show visitors a special brand of hospitality. One-of-a- kind vintages are poured and served up alongside a loaf of crusty bread, a wedge of lusty cheese, and an intoxicating bowl of braised stew for which the region is famous.
Five distinct growing areas make up the region producing the wines of Burgundy, each bearing the rich and fertile soil necessary to produce outstanding grapes used by regional vintners. Northernmost Chablis boasts many small family vineyards, some producing rare varieties which should not be missed. Combing the trail southward, to Cotes de Nuits, Cotes de Beaune, Cotes Chalonnaise, and Maconnais will introduce the knowledge-thirsty connoisseur to wineries dating back to the 12th century.
Although wine is the main focus in these historic towns and communes, food is also an integral part of the Burgundy lifestyle. Bourgogne, in French, has a recognizable style when it comes to cuisine. Local fare is typically a braised meat with in-season vegetables, frequently just-picked from a backyard garden. The classic dishes Beef Bourguignon and Coq au Vin both trace their roots to this region. As expected, wine is featured in many of the dishes which bear the name of Burgundy.
Cheese varieties of the area are equally as tasty and well worth a side visit to a local dairy farm. Quite often, travelers, both seasoned and novice, find the best way to really get to know any area is by getting to know it’s personality- it’s people. Overflowing with warmth and welcome, Burgundy invites you in, pulls out a chair and pours you a glass of their favorite beverage. Burgundy will regale you with heartfelt stories of a region beautiful and proud. Drink it all in and enjoy.
Burgundy can be explored in 3-4 days. Here is an itinerary we put together called Taste Burgundy like a local.