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Burgundy Wine Appellations
Cotes de NuitsThe Burgundy region runs from Auxerre in the north down to Mâcon in the south, or down to Lyon if the Beaujolais area is included as part of Burgundy. Chablis, a white wine made from Chardonnay grapes, is produced in the area around Auxerre. Other smaller appellations near to Chablis include Irancy, which produces red wines and Saint-Bris, which produces white wines from Sauvignon Blanc.

Some way south of Chablis is the Côte d'Or, where Burgundy's most famous and most expensive wines originate, and where all Grand Cru vineyards of Burgundy (except for Chablis Grand Cru) are situated. The Côte d'Or itself is split into two parts: the Côte de Nuits which starts just south of Dijon and runs till Corgoloin, a few kilometers south of the town of Nuits-Saint-Georges, and the Côte de Beaune which starts at Ladoix and ends at Dezize-les-Maranges. The wine-growing part of this area in the heart of Burgundy is just 40 kilometres (25 mi) long, and in most places less than 2 kilometres (1.2 mi) wide. The area is made up of tiny villages surrounded by a combination of flat and sloped vineyards on the eastern side of a hilly region, providing some rain and weather shelter from the prevailing westerly winds. The best wines - from "Grand Cru" vineyards - of this region are usually grown from the middle and higher part of the slopes, where the vineyards have the most exposure to sunshine and the best drainage, while the "Premier Cru" comes from little less favourably exposed slopes. The relatively ordinary "Village" wines are produced from the flat territory nearer the villages.

The Côte de Nuits contains 24 out of the 25 red Grand Cru appellations in Burgundy, while all of the region's white Grand Crus are in the Côte de Beaune. This is explained by the presence of different soils, which favour Pinot Noir and Chardonnay respectively.

Further south is the Côte Chalonnaise, where again a mix of mostly red and white wines are produced, although the appellations found here such as Mercurey, Rully and Givry are less well known than their counterparts in the Côte d'Or.

Below the Côte Chalonnaise is the Mâconnais region, known for producing large quantities of easy-drinking and more affordable white wine. Further south again is the Beaujolais region, famous for fruity red wines made from Gamay.

Burgundy experiences a continental climate characterized by very cold winters and hot summers. The weather is very unpredictable with rains, hail, and frost all possible around harvest time. Because of this climate, there is a lot of variation between vintages from Burgundy.

France

Burgundy

Chablis
Here is a region with a truly ancient viticultural heritage. It is likely that vines came to the region with the Romans, if not before. The early plantings were used to sustain the Roman garrisons, but soon became a holding of the local peasantry who...
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Cote de Chalonnaise
The Côte Chalonnaise is named after the town of Chalon-sur-Saône, located on the Saône. Its location made the town an important trading center of the Celts in Gaul. The region was later used by the Ancient Romans with wine being one of...
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Côte d’Or
Further south we hit upon Côte d’Or and this is the region which many feel is the ‘heart’ of Burgundy. For many, the ‘golden slope’ embodies the region – and certainly it is easy to have sympathy with this...
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Mâconnais
In contrast to the other vines beyond the Côte Chalonnaise, the vineyards beyond Macon were established not by Roman conquerors or settlers but by the Catholic clergy that dominated the land around the 11th and 12th centuries. The Cistercian orders...
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