THE MAIN APPELLATIONS OF BURGUNDY WINES
For wine lovers, the richness of wine is above all the diversity of the different grape varieties, white or red, and the specificities of the regions where the grapes flourish. The appellations are the literal translation of this complex universe, which combines the contribution of the vine, the influence of the terroir and the work of the winemaker. But it is sometimes difficult to find one's way around, as the names can be so numerous and difficult to approach, especially in Burgundy, with its 83 appellations, spread over 4 levels - not counting the climats!
Here is a brief overview of the main Burgundy appellations, so that you can find out a little more about what you have in your glass.
DECIPHERING THE APPELLATIONS OF THE BURGUNDY VINEYARD
The Burgundy vineyards are divided into 4 levels, according to a classification by geographical origin.
We start with the regional appellations which designate wines from the main regions of the vineyard. Divided into 6 AOCs, they classify the wines produced throughout Burgundy according to precise characteristics (AOC Bourgogne Aligoté for white wines produced from the grape variety of the same name, AOC Crémants de Bourgogne for sparkling wines, etc.). More than half of Burgundy's wine production is made under this designation.
Then come the communal appellations, wines attached to their villages of origin and its AOC with evocative names such as Aloxe-Corton, Gevrey-Chambertin, Meursault, Pommard, Vosne-Romanée or Vougeot. A third of the wine production is dedicated to these wines.
Within these communal appellations are the premiers crus, which represent barely 10% of the total wine production in the region. They are easily identifiable because the name of the communal AOC from which the parcel comes is followed by the name of a climate. Here we find the names that make up the charm and history of Burgundy's vineyards (Sur le chêne, Sous la Roche, Les Pucelles, etc.).
Finally, the grand crus, the last level of reading which underlines the rarity of these wines whose production is marginal (1 to 2 % of the Burgundy vineyard). These are parcels of only a few hectares within a climate, in some cases barely a few acres, but whose reputation is international. Even those with little or no interest in the world of wine will have heard of La Tâche, Romanée-Conti, Grands Echezeaux, Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru.
THE REMARKABLE APPELLATIONS OF BURGUNDY
The 6 regional AOCs
Crémant de Bourgogne
The 44 communal appellations
Lower Burgundy vineyards :
Vineyards of the Côte de Nuits :
Vineyards of the Côte de Beaune :
Vineyards of the Côte Chalonnaise :
Mâconnais vineyards :
SOME DETAILS ABOUT THE CLIMATS
The climats of the Burgundy vineyards have been put forward recently, since their entry into the UNESCO World Heritage List. But in the end, what is a climat? A climat is an area dedicated to viticulture, geographically and precisely delimited according to a cadastral plan, and this since the Middle Ages and the work of the monks of the region. The climats are small parcels within the appellations and differ from one another according to numerous criteria such as the orientation of the slope, the nature of the soil and subsoil, the sunshine, sometimes a microclimate and often a specific history. There are 1463 climats listed in the entire Burgundy vineyard. The aim is to be able to link a wine precisely to its exact place of production.
The 4 categories of appellations can mention a climat on their labels. Generally speaking, an AOC or a Grand Cru or Premier Cru is followed by the name of the climate on the bottle.