For wine lovers, Burgundy is a must-see destination, a place where wine-making techniques are the result of centuries of trial and error, producing a level of refinement and care all too rare in the modern world. Though there are some white varieties produced here – most notably Chablis – it is the reds which dominate, especially on the Cote de Nuits.
Heading south out of Dijon, follow the 37 miles (60 kilometers) of the “Route des Grands Crus” and you’ll encounter such fine drops as Gevrey-Chambertin – a hearty accompaniment to local specialties like boeuf bourguignon – fragrant Nuits-Saint-Georges and fruity Romanée Conti. You’ll encounter wine-making on an intimate scale, with many vineyards producing a small output highly prized by connoisseurs. Some varieties are so limited that you won’t find them at all outside the region.
With an expert on hand, you’ll learn all about the winemaking process – the geographic conditions which influence flavor, the blend of grape varieties which make up each wine, and the meticulous harvest and fermentation process. Step inside cool stone cellars to taste the region’s best wines and you’ll soon see what all the fuss is about. Even if you’ve never been on a wine-tasting excursion before you’ll soon be sizing up your wines like an expert, assessing their appearance, aroma and – of course – taste!
Even without the enticement of first-rate wines, this area of Burgundy has much to offer, from charming market towns to stately old homes, such as the Château du Clos de Vougeot. The gently undulating countryside is a pleasure for the eyes as you travel between wineries.