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Burgundy covers one of the largest areas of any French wine region stretching all the way from Chablis, 90 minutes from Paris, to Beaujolais, which borders Lyon. However since phylloxera devastated the European vineyards in the late 1800s huge areas of Burgundy’s vines were torn up and never replaced.
The heart of the surviving vineyards, which most people now think of as Burgundy, is the Cote d’Or. This is the forty-mile stretch between Dijon, Beaune and Montrachet, which have always produced the best wines of the region.
Beaujolais has become known as its own region largely due to the fame of the innovative Beaujolais Nouveau developed by wine super entrepreneur George Deboeuf.
Chablis has suffered in the past, both from a certain amount of mediocre wine making, and perhaps more from the damage done to its reputation by low quality generic labeled “Chablis” produced in Australia, California and other places. However a recent string of excellent vintages from this region, which is known as one of the toughest places to grow grapes, has helped to restore the prestige of one of the world’s most unique wines. One of the prettiest regions in France, the hills and valleys of Chablis lie on one of the oldest and most unique geologies, a mix of kimmeridgian limestone, clay and slate which produces distinct character of terroir from the same Chardonnay grape from one vineyard to the next.
An hour and a half further south, Dijon, home of the famous mustard, marks the northern end of the Cote d’Or. Here are found some of the most exclusive and expensive wines in the world. The Cote d’ Or is divided into two parts. The Cote de Nuit, which runs from Dijon through Nuit St. George, produces predominately red wines from Pinot Noir