Burgundy wines are renowned all over the world to be very unique wines. And you may be wondering why these wines are “so special”…
You may also love to taste them and meet their producers, connect with them and listen to their stories.
We often associate them with the concept of terroir and are correct in that correlation because Burgundy is all about that sense of “place.”
To me, terroir gives to wine an identity.
An identity that is rooted in the place or region it comes from, the weather and types of soils, the people and their culture and tradition.
In Burgundy, the concept of terroir went even one step further.
“In Burgundy, when we talk about Climats, we do not raise our eyes to the sky but we lower them on the earth”.
– Bernard Pivot.
Burgundy people created these two words « Climats » and « Lieux-dits » to refer to the contribution of men and women who have observed the soils and the regionally unique microclimates over the past 2,000 years! Yes, winemaking in Burgundy is not that young!
If you want to understand this region, the best way to do it, to my point of view, is to go there and do the wine route.
It’s best to start off on the stunning Route des Grands Crus especially during the fall season if you can. You will encounter names that are on the best tables on the planet like Clos Vougeot, Romanée Conti or Corton Charlemagne.
Just so you know, Burgundy is much more than the Route des Grands Crus that covers the Côte de Nuits (primarily red wines) and Côte de Beaune (primarily white wines). Burgundy also includes Chablis in the north, Côte Chalonnaise and Maconnais further South towards Lyon.
It can be difficult to pick which producers to visit as there are many great small growers in Burgundy and also to visit them as they usually ask for a booking before. Here are 4 great choices to start with.
1-Jane et Sylvain, a tiny estate, making delicious organic Gevrey-Chambertin wines.
9 Rue du Chêne, 21220 Gevrey-Chambertin, France — +33 3 80 34 16 83 — firstname.lastname@example.org
This small estate of 4 hectares, certified 100% organic since 2003 is owned by Sylvain and Jane.
Sylvain, a Parisien, simply fell in love with a girl from Burgundy, Jane. He discovered that in addition to his love for Jane, he also had a passion for wine and Burgundy.
When they started working together back in 1993 they decided to reduce the use of chemicals on their vines and became over time completely organic.
From Bourgogne Passetoutgrain to Gevrey Chambertin Premier Cru, their wines are very well balanced and delicious.
Come and have a visit! Sylvain will be delighted to spend some time with you and show you their wines! Wines prices are very reasonable from 10 to 22 euros and of exceptional quality.
2-Chandon de Briailles, a biodynamic estate that can become a most enchanting stay.
1, rue Soeur Goby, 21420 Savigny-les-Beaune, France — +33 3 80 21 52 31 — email@example.com
This is a biodynamic, 13-hectare winery, with important holdings in Corton, Corton-Charlemagne, Savigny-lès-Beaune and Pernand Vergelesses, that has been in the hands of the de Nicolay family since 1834.
Today Count and Countess Claude and François de Nicolay run the estate. Their wines are exceptional, elegant and a pure reflection of the terroir.
It’s possible to spend the night at their estate. Their house and garden are enchanting and well worth a visit. For more information, visit their website.
3- Didier Montchovet, one of Burgundy’s pioneers in biodynamic wines!
23 rue de la gare, 21190 Nantoux-Meursault, France — +33 3 80 26 03 13 — firstname.lastname@example.org
Didier is a born winemaker. From age 12, he knew he wanted to make wine. Over time he became obsessed with making wines in a more natural.
Life made it handy for him as he grew up in a wine family. Nevertheless, his father had no interest in organic practices.
So when the time came, Didier left the family business to create his own which was at that time considered nuts! For five years he looked for a vineyard and finally was able to purchase the first one in 1984 in the village where he grew up.
Today Didier Montchovet is the proud owner of 13 hectares of vines certified biodynamic. In my opinion, his wines simply must be tried! I loved everything I tasted and especially story behind Didier wines.
4-Caveau de Puligny : a wine bar in the charming village of Puligny.
1, rue de Poiseul, 21190 Puligny-Montrachet, France — +33 3 80 21 96 78 — email@example.com
In Côte-de-Beaune, Caveau de Puligny is another great stop along the way.
Still a young man in his 30s, Julien Wallerand is originally from the north of France and son of the ex head-sommelier at Caveau de Puligny in Côte-de-Beaune.
Today Julien is the owner of that restaurant and he is proud of the fact that he annually tastes about 2,000 wines from the region! He then selects as he likes to say “the best wines of Burgundy” (to his taste of course). This makes him the perfect man if you’re looking for any personal recommendations along the way.
His wine bar is a must-visit when exploring the “Burgundy Trail”. You will discover a range of wines from different boutique growers all in one place, which is quite handy if you ask me. You will love to hear the many stories that Julien shares with his guests.
During the summer months, Julien opens the terrace and the staff can offer you small bites to enhance your tasting.
I hope that this little gateway along the “Route des Grands Crus” enhanced your appetite to actually pack your bag and go experiencing this very famous route by yourself!
Have you been to Burgundy? What were your best moments? Share with us in the comments session below, we would love to hear it!