ground of Burgundy is home to the greatest Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs
in the world. Sadly though, in recent years not all of the wines made
from here have met the standards of their predecessors. Having said
that, there are some smart, up and coming young producers around and
today Burgundy finds itself on a bit of a roll.
one of the first French regions to be known for its wine outside its
boundaries. Favored by kings and queens, the much sought after wines of
Burgundy were also a passion for Thomas Jefferson.
central French, Burgundy stretches from Dijon in the north, to just
south of Macon in the south. The districts of Chablis, sixty miles to
the northwest of Dijon and Beaujolais, to the south of Macon, are both
considered part of the region. Due to the influence of the church and
the French law of inheritance, the vineyards of Burgundy are very
'négociant' (the merchant who buys direct from the grower) has an
important role in the making and selling of the wines. 'Domaine'
(estate) bottled Burgundy is a direct reflection of an individual
grower, who often tends the vines, makes the wine, and bottles it.
the principal white grape suited to the calcareous/limestone soil of
Burgundy. White Burgundy combines power and elegance but early maturing
wines are also produced, along with the racy, cool climate white wines
grape is also planted. This makes crisp and lively white wines and is
the classical base for Kir. Pinot Blanc and Sauvignon Blanc are also
planted in small quantities. The major black variety in the region is
Pinot Noir, except in Beaujolais where Gamay reigns supreme. In
Burgundy, Pinot Noir is capable of producing wines of exceptional class,
elegance and ability to age. It's a difficult customer though and great
care is required to grow and vinify this grape. Gamay on the other hand,
provides color, lots of fruit and acidity in Beaujolais and is also used
in the Mâconnais.
famous and expensive wines of Burgundy include those of the Domaine de
la Romanée Conti, Domaine Leflaive and Lafon.
"The wines in
Sauvignon de St Bris, an Appellation Contrôlée in Northern Burgundy, are
made from Sauvignon Blanc."
Passetoutgrains is a blend of a minimum of one third Pinot and Gamay."