The Region. One of France’s best kept secrets, Burgundy -Franche Comté infact boasts an extraordinary historical heritage including castles, abbeys and some of the most beautiful villages in France. Dijon, its capital, acquired its wealth and culture in the 14th & 15th centuries thanks to the Dukes of Burgundy. The Duchy stretched from Burgundy to Belgium (Bruges) and was considered one of the most powerful regions in Europe. It brought romanesque architecture and fine arts to the region.
The Wines. Burgundy is also home to the Cluniac and Cistercian religious orders, who we can thank for establishing Burgundy as one of the top wine-making regions in the world, home to the Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes.
The wine trail goes from Chablis in the north through Beaune and down to Macon. The most famous wines come from the Côte de Nuits area (Pinot Noir) and the Côte de Beaune area (Chardonnay & Pinot Noir), around the city of Beaune. Emblematic villages such as Gevrey Chambertin, Chambolle Musigny, Vosne-Romanée, Pommard, Meursault and Puligny Montrachet produce the most iconic and sometimes the most expensive wines on the planet!
The Gastronomy. Burgundy is literally peppered with many great restaurants & bistrots in both the cities and the villages.
As the famous food critic Brillat Savarin once said “The fate of a nation depends on the way they eat”! This is so true of Burgundy where both liquids (wine) and solids (crops/livestock) agriculture harmoniously live together, producing such eminent personalities as Gustav Eiffel, Louis Pasteur, Victor Hugo to name just three…
Then there is the food. Snails, beef Bourguignon, Bresse chicken (aristocratic hens with blue legs and red crops (affectionately known as the Tricolor poultry), marbled ham, eggs meurette, sweetbreads, and cheese…namely Epoisses, Comté, Citeaux and Brillat Savarin (yes, he even had a local cheese named after him!). And so much more…
Where to stay. There are many great places to stay in Burgundy. We recommend you stay in the city of Beaune if your visit is mainly about wine. It’s located right in the center of the wine trail, head north for the Pinots and south for the chardonnays. Dijon is wonderful if you want to discover the history and culture as well as the food and wine.
Our favorites in Beaune are: Hostellerie Le Levernois (5 kms outside Beaune), Le Cep (center), Le Cèdre and L’hôtel de Beaune.
Our favorites in Dijon are: Grand hôtel de la Cloche, Hôtel Philippe le Bon, Hostellerie du Chapeau Rouge.
Things to know.
Dijon is only 1 hour 40 minutes from Paris by TGV (fast) train
60% of all wines produced in Burgundy are white and only 28% red!!
The average size of a winery is 16 acres and there are 3577 wineries over a 143 mile stretch!
Why is Burgundy wine so special? Burgundy is completely influenced by its terroir, more than anywhere else in the world. What is this terroir ? You will have to come over so we can explain…
The climate in Burgundy is both oceanic and semi-continental. So winters are cool and sometimes vey cold and summers are hot and dry! Temperatures in July & August can reach 100F but humidity is low.
Air conditioning is not a big thing in this region!!!
You can be a vegetarian and enjoy Burgundy cuisine!
Don’t expect a hearty welcome from the wineries during harvest. They are winemakers and this is the most stressful period of their year. You won’t get hugs and hearty handshakes. Also in the wineries there is a lot of CO2 gas given off during the vinification process + hoses + pumps + presses + excess juice…so it’s also dangerous.
Don’t forget, winemakers only have one shot at making great wine…