Burgundy holds the terroir concept (a group of vineyards or vines
that share similar soil and climate) more dearly than any other area
in France. This area is in east central France, and holds 1.6
million inhabitants that endure cold Continental winters, but enjoy
This region covers 31,500 square kilometers (over 12,000 square
miles), and is rich in world and winemaking history. Within this 360
km (225 mi) strip stretching 100 km (60 mi) south of Paris, from
south of Dijon to north of Rhoone, are 99 different wine
Over 180 million bottles of some of the world's finest wines are
made including anything from the full-bodied reds Pommard and Corton
to the medium Beaune, and also world class whites, the dry Chablis
or Chassagne Montrachet.
The area was fragmented into a system of small plots that are still
used today during the French Revolution when monasteries'' vineyards
'Premier Cru', which designates the finest quality of wine has been
obtained by 600 of the vineyards in this area. 33 vineyards can
boast the more exclusive 'Grand Cru' label, among them the supreme
Montrachet, Chambertin, and Clos Vougeot.
Burgundy reds made from the pinot noir grape goes well with Boeuf
Bourguignon or pheasant, while a Chablis or other white is perfect
with everything from shrimp to goat cheese.
Derived from the famous village of the same name, the Chablis, makes
a brisk dry, white with refreshing acidity. The Chardonnay grapes in
this area grow in limestone rich with fossil remains.
Lamb or grilled chicken can be accompanied by the world famous
Beaujolais, with its fruity flavor from the Gamay grape grown in
In Volnay, the delicious eponymous red has been made for eight
centuries. Pinot Noir are grown on a sliver of less than 600 acres
and produce 1.3 million bottles of this elegant wine with its aroma
of raspberry and violets.
For those that love the finest whites, Meursault has the Premier Cru
label. Chardonnay, grown on over 1,000 acres of limestone and marl,
produces 2.5 million bottles of dry white that can be aged from 3 to
15 years. It holds the aroma of almond and apples and pairs well
with fish in white sauce.
The red Pommard celebrates a tannic, robust flavor and is making a
comeback after some decades of decline. In this area 1.8 million
bottles with aromas of black cherry and black currant are produced
from only 780 acres of Pinot Noir grown in limestone and red clay.
This wine will age from 5 to 15 years and pairs well with game
venison or roast red meat, with a side of Livarot cheese.
No matter what is preferred, a Burgundy is always a wonderful
Swirl the wine gently, sniff and taste.
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British Columbia, Canada
Cotes Du Rhone