This week, we’re traveling to Burgundy*, France. This region is located between Paris and Lyon in the center east of France, not far from Switzerland.
*Bourgogne in English.
In a few words, Burgundy is:
- The home of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. These 2 famous grape varieties are originally from there. The whites are 100% Chardonnay and the reds 100% Pinot Noir.
- Constituted by 4 sub-regions:
- Côte d’Or: Côte de Nuits (mostly reds) and Côte de Beaune (mostly whites)
- Côte Chalonnaise
- A region where terroir is strongly expressed in every wine, the vineyards of Burgundy were built around this concept of terroir.
But Burgundy is also the only place in the world where you will find wines made with the Aligoté grape, which is a crossing of Pinot Noir and Gouais Blanc! But don’t be mistaken, all the whites are made 100% with the Chardonnay grape except the wines called “Bourgogne Aligoté”. Understood?
To get the “Bourgogne Aligoté” appellation, the wine must come from the Aligoté grape (up to 15% Chardonnay is allowed to be blended into) and can be produced anywhere inside the Burgundy region. Light and acidic in style, these wines are usually unoaked, perfect for the aperitif.
I met last week with Didier Montchovet, a winemaker from a little village called Nantoux near Pommard in Côte de Beaune. Didier is a pioneer and above all back in 1984 when he started, he was the first winemaker in Burgundy producing biodynamic wines! He always knew that he wanted to become a winemaker, from age 12, and somehow was attracted to making wines in a more natural way. He grew up in a wine family but his dad didn’t want to introduce organic practices to its wines, so Didier had to go on its own. For 5 years he was looking for some vines to buy and he finally found the first ones in 1984 in his father’s village where he grew up! Today Didier Montchovet has 13 hectares of vines, and in my opinion its wines are a must try!!
His Bourgogne Aligoté 2014, seats aside of the crowd. Have some! You can contact Didier and his wife Joëlle directly on their email address to find out where to find their wines in your own country: firstname.lastname@example.org .