Burgundy: Articles on France's Burgundy Wine Region

Top 75 French Wines to Try Before You Quit Drinking (a non-dump bucket list if you will!)

If you are a wine lover, wine connoisseur, wine aficionado or even if you just like to have a couple of glasses on a Friday night, it soon becomes obvious that there are some wines that are held in a higher esteem in the wine world.  Sometimes, it is because these wines are very rare.  Other times, it’s because the wine has a place in history.   Sometimes it’s because the wine is just that good.  Here is a list of 75 wines from France that make up that category.  A few caveats.  I have not tried every wine on this list.  Some I have and others I hope to.  Many of these wines are rare and hard to find.  That doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be on the list.  After all, if the opportunity presents itself, go for it. 

Q&A with Allen Meadows of Burghound.com

Allen Meadows, author of Burghound.com, a highly respected and critically acclaimed quarterly publication that reaches subscribers in more than 60 countries and nearly all 50 states. Burghound.com was the first of its kind to offer specialized, exhaustive coverage of a specific wine region and grape, he and pioneered the on-line format. There are reviews of the wines of Burgundy and U.S. Pinot Noir, as well as coverage of Champagne. Subscribers have access to a fully searchable database of nearly 60,000 of Meadows’ tasting notes with recommended drinking windows for present day vintages all the way back to 1845. Meadows spends four months every year in Burgundy and visits more than 300 domaines during that time. He is also the author of “The Pearl of the Côte – The Great Wines of Vosne-Romanée.”

Q&A with Jean-Charles Boisset, of Boisset Family Estates

Founded in 1980, Boisset Family Estates is a family-owned producer and importer of fine wines with its roots in Burgundy, France. Boisset’s collection of more than twenty historical and unique wineries boast leading positions in the world’s pre-eminent terroirs, including Burgundy, Beaujolais, the Rhône Valley, the South of France, Canada, and California’s Russian River Valley and Napa Valley. Jean-Charles Boisset, President of Boisset Family Estates, has implemented sustainable, organic, and biodynamic farming practices at the family’s vineyards, while simultaneously introducing alternative packaging innovations that reduce a wine’s environmental impact and carbon footprint.

Burgundy’s Domaine de la Romanée-Conti – The Pinnacle of Pinot Noir

France's Burgundy Wine Region: A Primer on the History, Wines, Vineyards & Terroir contains an excellent introduction into the ethereal wine of one of the most famous wine producing regions.  No winery is more famous, or produces such legendary wines in Burgundy than Domaine de la Romanée-Conti.  Often abbreviated as DRC, the winery makes some of the most exclusive and expensive wines in the world.  They are, for those lucky enough to have tried them, the pinnacle of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. 

Best Burgundy Red Wine Worth Seeking Out (for the money)

IntoWine asked our panel of experts to share their recommendations for the best Burgundy red wine worth seeking out (for the price of course):

Two words come to mind when I think about Red Burgundy ­– Style and Focus. For those who know, when looking for Pinot Noir that expresses the true uniqueness of terroir and variety, you look at Burgundy. Really good Burgundy, unfortunately, does come at a price.

Q&A with Georges Duboeuf, Founder of Les Vins Georges Duboeuf

Georges Duboeuf is practically a legend. Originally from the Pouilly-Fuissé region of Burgundy, Duboeuf was raised on a small farm where his family owned a few acres of Chardonnay vines. His father died when Georges was young, therefore his uncle and older brother, Roger, took over the business. Duboeuf helped out on the family vineyard growing up, even using the manual grape crusher when he was just six years old. By age 18 he was delivering wine on his bicycle from producers to local restaurants. He began bottling Beaujolais to meet one of his customer's demands. Duboeuf became a négociant in 1964, when he founded Les Vins Georges Duboeuf. He is best known for Beaujolais Nouveau, though he produces many others. His wines now hold world-wide appeal and are sold in an astonishing 120 countries.

Top Burgundy Red Wines

France's Burgundy wine region produces some of the world's truly great wines.  This is a region completely dedicated to terroir and tradition.  Even the grapes planted in Burgundy are restricted to a few traditional varietals, with pinot noir and chardonnay holding pride of place – as they have for many, many centuries.

Burgundy's Winemaking History

Burgundy's winemaking history dates back at least to ancient Roman times, possibly earlier, although documentation is scanty prior to the Romans' arrival.  Catholic monks cultivated vineyards during the Middle Ages, and the ruling Dukes of Burgundy involved themselves in the grape-growing process in an effort to improve the quality (and, no doubt, export value) of Burgundy wines.  It was during this period that pinot noir became the red wine grape of choice in Burgundy.  Vineyards shifted from Church ownership to individual owners during the Renaissance, and, in the aftermath of the French Revolution some 300 years later, all remaining Church vineyards were privatized.  These privately-owned vineyards were divided and re-divided under Napoleonic law, which forced families to split holdings among heirs instead of willing all inheritable property to one descendant.  This division of the vineyards led directly to the system used in Burgundy today; hundreds of growers sell their grapes to négociants, or buyers, who use the grapes to make wine.

France's Burgundy Wine Region: A Primer on the History, Wines, Vineyards & Terroir

There is a saying among wine aficionados that on the journey to wine understanding, all roads eventually lead to Burgundy.  I am not sure I agree with that as my heart seems to be in Italy, but there is no denying the impact that Burgundy has had on the wine world and that some of the most ethereal wine experiences one can have come from Burgundy wines.  Many tomes have been written on the subject but the purpose of this article is to give a basic primer on the subject and eventually delve deeper into the Burgundy experience in subsequent articles. 

Chablis: History & Recommendations for the Great Burgundy White Wine

About 110 miles southeast of Paris, at the northern tip of the Burgundy wine region France lays Chablis.  Chablis is the name of a village that has given its name to a region producing some of the best white wines in the world.  The region of Chablis encompasses 19 towns and is about twenty by fifteen kilometers in size.  In France, by law, wines are named after the place where they are fashioned and not the grape varietal.  The wine producers of Chablis have spent hundreds of years determining which grapes produce the best wines for their soils and the answer:  crisp, mineral-driven wines made from the Chardonnay grape. 

Pinot Noir in La Cote de Beaune: Burgundy’s Bouchard

The name Burgundy conjures up images of lush pinot noirs and chardonnays with expensive price tags, served to you with a French accent. It’s most wine lovers dream to visit the region and immerse yourself in pate, pinot and pastries.

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