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Burgogne Wine Touring - The Wine Trails Of Burgundy
Burgundy Wine Routes – Scenic, Varied Landscapes, Historic Home to Great Wines Food If you go South from Paris to Burgundy, your spirits rise as soon as you enter the A6 and see the sign - Autoroute du Soleil. You’re on your way to the Burgundy wine trails, the region of exceptional wine and food allied with cultural richness and scenic beauty. Whether for a quick stop on the way to the Med beaches or as destination for wine tasting, this is the unmissable region for “serious” wine lovers. The Burgundy wine villages and towns won’t disappoint.
From Chablis or Dijon the gateways in the north, the Burgundy wine region runs South for 200 kilometers to Beaujolais, which is a few kilometers north of Lyon. The changes in climate and soil through the region explain how the best wine even though mono- varietal - Chardonnay for white wines and Pinot Noir for reds –have an exceptionally wide range of finished styles and qualities. As you travel the region, you discover why it's renowned for its gastronomic tradition. Excellent restaurants of all prices ranges are available, and remember it's at meals that you can most enjoy wine tasting experiences and experiments – especially by ordering local dishes with local wines.
The Burgogne vineyards were planted in the Roman period but is was the Cistercian and Benedictine monks in the middle ages who expanded the grape growing and brought order and method to wine making. Their monasteries and abbeys will be a backdrop to your excursions and those at Pontigny, Fontenay and Cluny are all worth visits. The fame of the region’s wines spread throughout Europe in the 14th century under the Valois Dukes of Burgundy. To witness their lifestyle and influences visit Dijon, it’s filled with the great palaces of these Burgundian nobles and Dukes and the museums holding their collections of the art and sculptures. In addition, scattered throughout Burgundy is evidence of the past history of wealth at the many chateaux that still have vineyards and also often restaurants and accommodation.
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IN BURGUNDY TERROIR ASKS THE QUESTIONS
Always the beautiful answer, who asks a more beautiful question. e.e.cummings
For hundreds of years, first the monks and then the nobles realized that terroir asked beautiful questions. The monks would even taste the soil before deciding which grapes to plant. Without commercial pressures to make a mass market wine, but seeking quality for personal consumption, the beautiful answer throughout Bugurndy's history has been to amplify and transmit terroir through excellence.
As explained in wine information section terroir is all that contributes to distinction of a vineyard. But to really understand terroir we need to recalibrate our modern point of view. The concept of terroir comes from an age before the dominance of commerce and science. The excellence of French wine and Burgundy in particular is that the wine maker does not ask one site to duplicate the qualities of another, he does not standardize for a market, but values and cultivates the diversity, the distinction of his site. He accepts and delights in these differences. This combined with the small parcelling of land has created the wonderful diverse excellence for wines of the two dominent grape varietals – Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
In traveling Burgundy wine trails you discover this diversity as you see Grand Cru and Premier Cru vineyards in some cases only yards away from regional appellation vineyards.
Different places on the face of the earth have different vital effluence, different vibration, different chemical exhalation, different polarity with different stars, call it what you like. But the spirit of place is a great reality.
Burgundy Wine Route - Chablis is a small town of some 2,700 inhabitants, where discovering the character of Chablis wines would be your main reason for visiting. For Chablis wine tastings there are three excellent places definitely worth a stop. The Cooperative La Chablisienne - tel 03 86 42 89 89 – 8 Bouivard Pasteur, 89800 Chablis Open daily. Here they have a good range Chablis wines at all levels of quality and prices. The Domaine Michel Laroche – 10 Rue Auxerroise, 89800 Chablis tel 03 86 42 89 28. A large producer and negociant. Their shop is open from daily plus you can take a tour of the shop cellars in the 10th century building followed by a wine tasting. Also the shop of Jean-Marc Brocard, 1 Place du General de Gaulle, 89800 Chablis – Tel 0386 42 45 76 Closed Monday. They offer and extensive range of Chablis and wines from the Yonne. There are other wine shops on the village side streets and enough restaurants to make your stop in Chablis well worth while.
Of interest to hikers are the 7 vineyard trails, - 8 km from the shortest to 33 km for the longest. For details check at the Tourist Office, 1 Rue du marechal de Lattre de Tassigny (89). Tel: 03 86 42 80 80 – The village also has the usual range of charming French bakery and charcuterie shops for picnic supplies for your walk. Of special interest are two charcuterie shops considered to be among the best tripe sausage suppliers in France both on Place Charles De Gaulle.
Auxerre - the gateway to Burgundy wines, is the place to base yourself if you are to take a day or two to explore the northern Burgundy. It’s a fair size town, the capital of theYonne region and has an excellent Tourist Office at 1 Quai de la République on the banks of the Yonne river, in the town centre near the Clock Tower (rue des Fourbisseurs d’Epées). Here you can rent bikes – electric powered bikes – and electric powered boats. There is charming old town with lots of shops – Les Cellier des Agapes, 13 Rue de Preuilly- tel 03 86 52 15 22 for wines - and restaurants. In town and around the centre are plenty of hotels. In summer from July 1st to August 31st, every Thursday in city cellars or on the river boat L’Hirondelle regional food and wine are served in a special program organized by the tourist office. Market day for Auxerre is Wednesday morning in the town centre.
For Yonne department wines besides Chablis the following are villages of interest. Saint-Bris le Vineux and especially its vineyard Les Caves Bailly-Lapeirre – 89530 – tel 0386 53 77 77 – are worth visiting – they are excellent producers of the sparkling wine - Crement de Bourgogne. Of special note is this village has an AOC for white Sauvignon. Also villages of Irancy and Joigny have vineyards and wine shops of interest.
For wine and history, the hilltop village of Vezelay with its Benedictine abbey is a special. In the 12th century the church sanctioned the 9th century claim that relics – bones- of Mary Magdalene are here which lead to the abbey becoming a major pilgrim destination. With this heritage, it was here the nobles assembled for Saint Bernard to launch the second crusade in 1146 – giving a rousing speech ending with the ripping off of his garment to make crosses on flags. Then in 1189 for the third crusade the English and French nobles met here to depart. As a centre for pilgrimage and with coming and goings of knights this brought wealth to the region and spread the fame of Burgundy wine. If a holy place produces holy wines then the vineyards around Vezelay are sacred for sure.
Vineyard near Fixin Chateau de Gevrey Roads are Marked
Chateau du Clos de Vougeot Romanée-Conti
Nuits St. George - A great stop for wine attractions, purchases, tourist office infromation and outdoor dining often with entertainment on summer nights. Good parking available.
Burgundy Wine Trails - starting at Dijon.
Dijon Eastern Entrance for Burgundy Wine Touring and the Famous Cote d'Or Vineyards- Ninety minutes by TGV train from Paris and gateway to the Cotes de Nuit, Dijon is the ideal first stop for the wine tourist choosing to go without a car. After spending time in Dijon and the nearby wine towns of Fixin and Gevry –Chambertin, a perfect Burgundy visit can be finished off in Beaune - a further 25 minute TGV train ride. Information on bus travel to villages and local wine tour services – private car hire etc- can be obtaine from The local Tourist Office – 11 rue des Forges, BP82296, F-21022 – tel +33-(0)892 700 558 or at 15 Cour de la Gare – Central Train station- F-21000 tel +33 (0)892 700 558.
For drivers go South from Dijon on the N74 the Grand Cru Burgogne Route - going though the great red wine - pinot noir producing villages - nicked named the “Champs-Elysees of Burguny.
The Roman settlement of Dijon with its crossroads of trade routes became the capital of the Kingdom of Burgundy as early as the 5th century, but it was in the 14th century when the Dukes of Burgundy held court there, it was one of the most important towns in medieval Europe and Dijon wines famous. The impressive Palais des Ducs et des Etats de Bourgogne today houses the art museum- Musee des Beaux-Arts. The Museum of Archaeology is also an interesting cultural visits, housed in the magnificent Abbey.
A little owl La Chouette, is carved on one of the pillars of the Notre Dame church, is the bringer of good luck. Keep your eye out for little gold owls embedded in the pavement as these show the walking tourist routes. Market days -Tuesday, Friday, Saturday - are especially enjoyable in town. The streets surrounding Les Halles – the market – are a shopping precinct with food shops like you will have never seen, of particular interest - The Amora-Maille Mustard shop is at 32 Rue de la Liberté, Mulot et Petitjean which sells pain d’épices, the spiced breads and cakes at 13 Place Bossuet and the artisan butcher Boucherie Theuriet, at 26 Rue Monge.
Behind the church of Notre Dame, the Quartier Jean Jacques Rousseau is are antique shops and galleries.
Dijon is a cycle friendly city. Public bicycles are available for residents and tourists at 40 bike stands in the city centre.
Not for bargin hunters but for Burundy connoisseurs searching special vintages or hard to find wines, there are some fine wine shops of note in Dijon -Au Vieux Millesime – N82 Rue Monge – Tel -0380412879 - Aux Grans Crus -22 Rue Verrerier, Tel 03 80 31 68 71 and Les Care De Vins – 1 Rue Musette – Tel 03 80 50 45 01. A bonus of a visit is the opportunity for fascinating conversations with the staff.
Driving south on the marked Burgundy wine trail sign road you start from Dijon starting via the suburb of Marsanny-la-Cote going for 50 kilometres – 30 miles - to Aloxe-Corton and Ladoix on the outskirts of Beaune you can meander through the villages of Cote De Nuits famed for red wines, but also offering many outstanding whites. Starting on the N74 going south and by following sign posts to side roads for wine villages there is ample opportunity for cooperative, negotiant and domain wine tastings and purchases. See our Winery section for villages wine outlets. Remember many of Grand Crus domains are able to sell out their entire production to restaurants and foreign trade buyers in advance so these Grand Cru locations may not be so tourist friendly and visits are by appointment. The main villages with restaurants and wine outlets are Fixin, Chevrey –Chambettain, Tourist office -3 Rue Gaston -Roupnel, 21220 Tel 0380 62 11 17 Morey-Saint-Denis ( visit the cooperative Caveau des Vignerons –Place de Eglise- tel 03 80 51 86 79 for value purchases of Village AOC wines and some Grand Crus),
Nuit St. Georges Red Wines are special and so it the town- a mini, rustic Beaune - a minute off the motorway -A 31 with some Disney like tourist attractions for Cassis - Le Cassissium – and Imaginarium – la Magic des Bulles for Sparkling wine - Cremant de Bourgogne – note their shop also has excellent value for many Burgundy wines. Nuit St George is a good villages for walks, visiting some Domain sales offices and getting wine information and eating at tradition good value restaurants visit the Tourist office -3 Rue Sonoys 21700, tel 03 80 62 11 17. In summer especially you eat out on the main walking street with entertainment - local singers and muscians preforming most nights.
The region, especially just north of Nuits St. George ( the village of Arcenant ) is known for its distilleries – makers of eaux-de-vies – Cassis and other fruit, herb and nut based brandies ( marcs) and liqueurs. Travel further and go back in history at the Renaissance Chateau du Clos de Vougeot, which stands in a vast - 125 acre- vineyard surrounded by a wall – Clos. Over seventy winemakers own parcels of the vineyard, all producing Grand Cru wine of varying quality depending on their skill. It is home of the world's largest wine brotherhood , "Les Chevaliers du Tastevin" an organisation that likes fancy dress – gold and scarlet robes and pointed 4 corner hats, but with the serious purpose of maintaining the quality of Burgundy wine. The Chateau boasts a great cellar with room for 2,000 casks, its a good visit, but be warned the Chateau does not sell wine or do tastings. Thats left to other nearby Domains.
Accor Hotels - Novotel- Mercure- Ibis -Etap etc are conveninelty located For Burgogne vineyard touring - close to motorways and near town centers for Dijon, Beaune, Nuit St. George, Macon Chalon etc. In Beaune the Ibis and Mercure are within walking disiance to old town and just near suprstore.
Chateau Rully The Casino at Santenay
There are alot of great villa and apartment rentals in Burgundy region. Many with pools and great gardens. For longer stays these accomodations make sense.
Beaune – For full information, click here and go to our Beaune Section.
For one afternoon, for one night or for a week Beaune is the place. Easy to walk around, it’s the best – most convenient - location to get a handle on the Burgundy experience. You can learn all about the region's wines, do tastings, eat in great restaurants and walk back through a labyrinth of medieval streets to a convenient hotel in or near the walled city centre. It is a city of art, religion, history and gastronomy, full of antique shops, food shops, tasting rooms, caves and historic buildings. Visit the tourist office at Office de Tourisme Porte Marie de Bourgogne6 boulevard Perpreuil BP 50087 21203 Beaune Cedex - FRANCE - Tel: +33 (0)3 80 26 21 30 They have excellent brochures on wine walks, bike tours and all the regions attractions.
Driving south from Beaune are village appellations familiar to all Burgundy lovers. The Caves and Domains along the way offer exceptional purchase opportunities for reds and whites. Here the treasure hunting for value of a wine trip pays off as many of the lesser known domains make quality wine without having prices being pushed up by inflated international reputations. If you have the money with careful selection you can purchase vintage Grand Crus and Premier Crus of fantastic quality. Pommard is a small village just south of Beaune with excellent producers some of Burgundy’s most powerful reds. Volnay also produces only red wines of note. They are and like well-structured and elegant. Volany white wines are sold under the Meursault appellation. ..
Meursault has made Chadonnay wines of quality for hundreds of years. The hazelnut and butter flavours with mineral overtones of Meursault whites are copied all over the world. The village has restaurants and a Tourist Office worth stopping in at Place de l'Hôtel de ville - 21190 Meursault - Tel : 03.80.21.25.90. Besides the areas domains it is worth visiting the Chateau de Citeau belonging to Domaine Philippe Bouzerau. .Its 12th century cellars were originally constructed by Cistercian monks. Of white wines in Burgundy none are more sought after than those of Puigny-Montrachet and a number of top negociants and producers own vines and cellars here.
Santenay is a charming town of about one thousand inhabitants, bordered by hills. It has been a hydrothermal and health resort since 1968 but currently is closed for building work. Not closed is the Casino that attracts hundreds of thousands of tourists. As if buying top quality Burgundy wine wasn’t enough of a gamble, you may want to try your luck at the tables.
Nolay, 18 km from Beaune, is a medieval city and holiday resort located on a important tourist canal. Built on Gallo-Roman site, Nolay was for centuries a thriving vitculture village.It has a regional history museum. It mentioned as it has a good Tourist Office, 24 Avenue of the Republic 21340 NOLAY Tel / Fax: +33 (0) 380218073, and here you can get information on this region for winery visits, boat / bike hire and routes.
Chalon-sur-Saône is a town that has lots of chain hotels near the Autoroute as it serves as a night stopover for drivers heading to the med, it can serve as an inexpensive stopover base for a quick visit to the region, although Beaune also has e hotels of the economic chains. It is a centre for river tourism and has excellent bike trails with full information on this and wine visits available from Office du Tourisme de Chalon-sur-Saône, 4 place du Port Villiers, 71100 -Tel: 00333 85 48 37 97 The “Cote Chalonnaise” region, classified as an appellation contrôlée, covers vineyards in Mercurey, Givry, Rully or Montagny and in this classification you can find some excellent values, and the villages are all worth visiting for these and better classed wines. Chateau Rully is also worth a visit in this area.
Excellent Independant Hotels throughout Burgundy Wine Region.
Chalon-sur-Saône is a town that with eonomy hotels near the Autoroute, as it serves as a night stopover for drivers heading to the med, so it can serve as an inexpensive stopover base for a quick visit to the region. It is a centre for river tourism and has excellent bike trails with full information on this and vineyard visits available from Office du Tourisme de Chalon-sur-Saône, 4 place du Port Villiers, 71100 -Tel: 00333 85 48 37 97. The “Cote Chalonnaise” is an appellation contrôlée that covers vineyards in Mercurey, Givry, Rully and Montagny. In this classification you can find some excellent values, and the villages are all worth visiting for these and higher classed wines. Chateau Rullyis also worth a visit in this area.
Driving south from Beaune are village appellations familiar to all Burgundy lovers. The Caves and Domains along the way offer exceptional purchase opportunities for reds and whites. Here the treasure hunting for value of a wine trip pays off as many of the lesser known domains make quality wine without having prices being pushed up by inflated international reputations.
Pommard is a small village just south of Beaune with excellent producers some of Burgundy’ most powerful reds. Volnay also produces only red wines of note. They are and like well-structured and elegant. The white wines of the Volnay area are sold under the Meursault appellation. ..
Meursault has made Chadonnay wines of quality for hundreds of years. The hazelnut and butter flavours with mineral overtones of Meursault whites are copied all over the world. The village has restaurants and a Tourist Office worth stopping in at Place de l'Hôtel de ville - 21190 Meursault - Tel : 03.80.21.25.90. Besides the domains it is worth visiting the Chateau de Citeau belonging to Domaine Philippe Bouzerau and its 12th century cellars originally constructed by Cistercian monks. Of white wines in Burgundy none are more sought after than those of Puigny-Montrachet and a number of top negociants and producers own vines and cellars here.
Santenay is a charming town of about one thousand inhabitants, bordered by hills and overlooking south. Santenay has been a hydrothermal and health resort since 1968 currently closed building work. Not closed is the Casino that attracts hundreds of thousands of tourists. As if buying top quality Burgundy wine wasn’t enough of a gamble, you may want to try your luck at the tables.
Nolay, 18 km from Beaune, is a medieval city and holiday resort located on a important tourist canal. Built on Gallo-Roman site, Nolay was for centuries a thriving vitculture village.It has a regional history museum and a Tourist Office, 24 Avenue of the Republic 21340 NOLAY Tel / Fax: +33 (0) 380218073. Here you can get information on winery visits, boat and bike hire and routes.
Chalon-sur-Saône is a town that has lots of chain hotels near the Autoroute as it serves as a night stopover of drivers heading to the med if Beaune it can serve as a stopover base for a quick visit to the region. It is a centre for river tourism and has excellent bike trails with full information on this and wine visits available from Office du Tourisme de Chalon-sur-Saône, 4 place du Port Villiers 71100 Chalon-sur-Saône Tel: 00333 85 48 37 97 The “Cote Chalonnaise” region, classified as an appellation contrôlée, covers vineyards in Mercurey, Givry, Rully ( Chateau Rully is worth a stop) or Montagny and in this classification you can find some excellent values and the villages are all worth visiting for these and the better wines of these villages.
MACONNAIS REGION is where northern France meets southern France. The grape harvest is earlier than the Côte d'Or, producing wines with stronger, riper flavors. Cooperatives dominate the selling market and the selective buyer can get excellent values here especially for quality everyday table wines. Wine routes are well marked. Click here to go our Maconnais Section.
Beaujolais is the last – most Southern - district of Burgundy. It runs for 55 km from Macon to Lyon, nestling the Massif Central foothills to the West and sloping down to the Saone River plain to the East. It produces one of the most famous red wine in the world. Beaujolais having a generally, light and fruity flavour from the Gamay grape variety. There are several villages worth visiting and excellent wine purchase opportunities. Click here to link to the Beaujolais section for full information
Click on picture to high step over to GRAPES section
|Excellent train connectiions. To Dijon,,Beaune,Macon, Auxerre, Avallon, and other Burgundy towns.. From Beaune it is easy to rent cycle and take bilke trails through vineyards. |
Download a wine tasting notepages in a Notebook designed for use in Burgundy. As you go from tasting room to tasting room, restaurant to restaurant you can keep track of the wines you try and the wine you like. With this download you also get free Wine Cellar Book. Drink the wines you take home in their prime.