The region in the east France covers 32,000 km². The capital is Dijon, the wine capital, however Beaune, Administratively, it is divided into the four departments of Côte d'Or, Nièvre, Saône-et-Loire and Yonne. However, the Burgundy wine region does not agree with that. The wooded Nièvre with his Oak wood for the production of barriques namely counts to the winegrowing region Loire, The Département Rhône in the south (not to be confused with the winegrowing region Rhone ), home of the Beaujolais, owns great independence. Administratively, it belongs to the region Rhône-Alpes, but is counted as the wine region Burgundy. The north-facing département Yonne with the area chablis also known as Basse-Bourgogne.
Burgundy is one of the oldest and most important winegrowing regions in France. Viticulture was already influenced by the Greeks before the later Romans. These supplied wine and art objects to the then living here Celts (Gaul). The famous Crater of Vix (a mixed pitcher of wine) in a Celtic princess grave from the 6th century BC testifies the trade between the two peoples. The first evidence of viticulture dates from 312 from a writing to Emperor Constantine (288-337). Bishop Gregory of Tours (538-594) wrote in his story about the Franks that in the mountains west of Dijon a noble with the Falernian comparable wine grows.
According to legend, Kaiser owned Charlemagne (742-814) a still existing vineyard in the municipality Aloxe-Corton, Burgundy existed from the year 879 from two kingdoms and was from 947 to 1493 an independent duchy. The great importance of the Catholic church for French and European viticulture is inseparable from the Cistercians connected. This order was founded in Cîteaux Monastery in 1098 by Robert de Molesme. In 1308 Avignon was established as an exile place of the popes. They feasted on the "Beaune wine" and Pope Urban V (1310-1370) issued a bull in 1364, in which he forbade the Abbot of Cîteaux to send even a drop of Beaune wine to Rome, under threat of excommunication.
Under the Burgundian Duke Philip the Good (1396-1467) in 1443 the famous Hospices de Beaune whose income comes from a vineyard and has been used for the care of the elderly and the sick for 600 years. It is attributed to the Duke, personally a variety of the sort Pinot Noir selected and prescribed as a mandatory grape variety for the area. In addition, he issued laws that represented a kind of appeal system in Burgundy even then. At this time, wine from Beaune was one of the most famous in the world. The clergyman Claude Arnoux (1695-1770) published in 1728 the book "La Situation de la Bourgogne", in which he described the Burgundy wines and their preparation.
The history of Burgundian viticulture was very changeable in the following centuries. In the 1930s it came through late effects of the First World War (1914-1918), abstinence movements and perennial crop failures to a large sales crisis, which forced many landowners to sell their vineyards. For this reason, two Burgundian patriots founded the Wine Brotherhood in 1934 Confrérie des Chevaliers du Tastevin to preserve the tradition of Burgundy wine. This organizes annual events such as the Les Trois Glorieuses and Saint-Vincent Tournante,
Over 10,000 winegrowers cultivate around 40,000 hectares of vineyards. Most have only one to two hectares, which is why Burgundy is also referred to as the land of small landowners. Only around a third of them operate exclusively viticulture. The big wineries are not called here like in the Bordeaux " Chateau "But mostly" Domaine ". The very different soils consist of granite and shale, marl and limestone, as well as gravel and loam. The largely continental climate is characterized by cold winters and due to the northern location relatively short summers. In the months of May and June and October, there are often rich rainfall,
In the centrally organized quality rating system for the appellations, the Terroir-thought a major role. Small adjacent plots are often completely different. For example, in the Côte de Nuits area around 60 different soil types determined by physical and chemical characteristics, hillside etc. and have long ago led to a classification into quality classes. Every single vineyard (Cru, Climat) on the Côte d'Or and in Chablis (but not in Beaujolais and Mâconnais) is well recorded. The system, which is valid for the whole region with more than 100 appellations, is considered to be complicated, but it is opposite to the Bordeaux Classification just uniform. For the most part it is based on the already 1861 by Jules Lavalle (1820-1880) created system. This is under in detail Burgundy classification described.
From the 1990s took place in Burgundy a rethinking towards natural viticulture. Anne-Claude Leflaive, the owner of Domaine Leflaive, warned of the consequences of exploitative farming and prophesied that there would be no Burgundian vineyards and no wines in the foreseeable future, if you do not care about the soils. Your winery and also the famous Domaine de la Romanée-Conti set up Biodynamic viticulture and were therefore pioneers not only in Burgundy, but throughout France and other countries for Organic (organic) viticulture,
Around 75% produce white wines and 25% red and rosé wines. The big difference to the Bordeaux and other regions is that the wines mostly unmixed to be produced. Due to the climatic conditions, early ripening varieties are best suited. The four dominant varieties are Chardonnay and Aligoté for white wines, as well Pinot Noir and Gamay (Beaujolais) for red wines.
The biggest areas (where more appellations are listed):
The Côte d'Or - aptly named "Golden Hang" - is the heart and jewel of Burgundy with many famous wine villages as independent appellations. The best red wines grow in the northern part of Côte de Nuits in the municipalities Chambolle-Musigny. Gevrey-Chambertin and Vosne-Romanée with many highly classified climates / layers (Grands Crus and Premiers Crus). Top white wines come from the fields Aloxe-Corton. chablis. Meursault and Montrachet (Chassagne-Montrachet and Puligny-Montrachet). Burgundian lace plants are among the best and most expensive wines in the world,