Located in central-eastern France, Burgundy is renowned for its outstanding quality wines, particularly its Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
To the envy of their eternal rivals, Bordeaux wines, Burgundy wines stand out for their finesse and sharp elegance. Exceptional terroir and a true epicureans’ paradise, Burgundy’s vineyards extend over nearly 230 kilometres.
Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2015, Burgundy’s “climats” are a priceless reminder of the incredible diversity of terroirs this region has to offer. “Climat” is a typically Burgundian term that defines the winemaking terroir, which encompasses plot, grape variety and know-how.
Each climat features unique geological, hydrometric and exposure characteristics. The production of each climat is vinified separately from a single grape variety; the wine that is produced takes the name of the climat it comes from.
The region boasts nearly 562 Premier Crus. The small size of the plots of land, which results in some very limited productions, makes most of the great Burgundys extremely rare, contributing significantly to the craze for this exceptional region among wine enthusiasts.
Since the beginning of the 90s, and spurred by a new generation of young, more rigorous, and better trained winegrowers, Burgundy has been experiencing what could be called a wine revolution. It is one of the regions of France that has achieved the most progress in terms of infrastructure and processes in recent decades.
The Route des grands crus will take you on an extraordinary journey of discovery along a series of “vintage” stages. No wonder it is dubbed the “Champs-Élysées of Burgundy.” Over 60 kilometres, through 37 villages bearing mythical names, it is France’s very first wine route, established in 1937 after the country created the first paid vacations. It is the first stone that paved the way towards the development of wine tourism, which we could not do without today!
But Burgundy is also rich in breathtaking historical monuments. The most famous being the Hospices de Beaune, this timeless place has stood the test of time and still stands today exceptionally proud.
Its originality lies in the nature of its heritage, consisting of a historical monument, the 15th-century Hôtel Dieu, and a prestigious 60-hectare wine estate with some of the region’s best appellations which were gathered over time through legacies and donations. Every year since 1794, the production of the vineyard is sold at the world’s most famous charity sale held on the 3rd Sunday in November. The proceeds of the sale are entirely donated to the Hospices de Beaune’s charity work.
Another architectural jewel you will not want to miss is the majestic Palais des Ducs de Bourgogne in Dijon’s historic district. This important site of royalty for centuries saw the powerful Dukes of Burgundy almost overthrow the kings of France several times. The Palais now houses the town hall, the Fine Arts Museum, the municipal archives and the city of Dijon’s tourist office.tourisme de Dijon.
Finally, nature buffs won’t feel left out during their trip to Burgundy, as the region also offers many exceptional natural landscapes:
The Parc Naturel du Morvan, covering nearly 9% of the region, is endowed with a rich ecosystem featuring forests, lakes, mountains and rivers. In addition, the park offers a large range of activities to suit all ages and tastes. Discover Burgundy’s natural beauty on foot, by bike, by boat or even on horseback.
If you still have a little bit of time left, head south to another iconic spot, the Roche de Solutré. It will only take you an hour of moderate walking to reach the peak at 493 m, and to be rewarded with the spectacular scenery from the top of this rocky spur.
Before you leave, stop by the mustard factory Moutarderie Edmont Fallot, to pick up a jar of real Dijon mustard. Enjoy the tour!