Guide to Burgundy Wines

Burgundy is the name of a wine region in France and is synonymous with the regal red and white wine the region produces.

This is why Burgundy wines are some of the most expensive in the world; they are considered to be the most coveted and best that money can buy.

Type of Grapes

Red Burgundy is wine that is made in the Burgundy region of France using 100% Pinot Noir grapes while White Burgundy is made from 100% Chardonnay grapes.

Over the centuries, Burgundy has become known for being the best producers in the world for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

What makes Burgundy wines great to drink?

There are several reasons that make wine-making in this region unique.

French winemakers here devote all of their energy into growing only one of two grape varieties.  Over time through inherited techniques, they’ve conquered its art. More importantly, many of these winemakers also use biodynamic and organic viticultural methods, which brings a great host of personality to their wines.

Other factors affecting quality include the soil composition and the weather.  

Most of Burgundy maintains a calcareous and limestone soil composition.  That's because many years ago, it used to be a shallow inland sea. eventually dying and becoming limestone.  This gives way to the "minerality" most Burgundy lovers find present in Burgundy wines.

All of these factors come together to produce wines that are unique and have personalities. 

Burgundy Appellations

In Burgundy there are 100 different appellations, numerous individual vineyards and even more individual producers. Wines produced from Burgundy are sub-divided into five regions: Chablis, Côte de Nuits, Côte de Beaune, Chalonnais and Mâconnais.

Burgundy Wine Classifications

There are numerous grades and classifications of Burgundy wine, dependent upon where the grapes are sourced and the terroir the wine comes from.

Terroir is what gives a wine its unique characteristics and taste from which it was produced. It reflects the land from which the grapes are grown, that impart a unique quality that is specific to that single vineyard.

Grand Cru

Considered to produce one of the world’s most famous and expensive wines. This classification is reserved for the best vineyards. Only about 2 percent of all vineyards in Burgundy receive this classification and wines with this classification are aggressively pursued by wine collectors.

Premiere Cru

Wines carrying the Premier Cru designation are from a specific vineyard within a village in Burgundy. Premier Cru vineyards aren’t as highly regarded as Grand Cru vineyards, but are usually of exceptional quality regardless.

‘Village’ Burgundy Wine

Village wines bear the name of whichever village is closest to where the grapes are sourced, and grapes can be sourced from multiple vineyard areas as long as they’re near that village.

Vineyards that produce Village wines may be right next to vineyards classified as Premier or Grand Cru, so with some clever sourcing you can find excellent bang for your buck among Village wines.

Regional Burgundy Wine

Regional wines account for the majority of wine produced in Burgundy. A regional wine here can be made from grapes throughout the entirety of the region, and do not need to be tied to any vineyard or appellation. These wines carry very general designations. “Bourgogne Rouge” or “Bourgogne Blanc” is used to describe red and white

August 22, 2015 written by Coleman Seet 0 comments