Burgundy farmers have been growing grapes since Roman times, and Burgundy’s wines are some of the most renowned in the world. In recent years, though, Burgundy’s vineyards, and those in other regions of France, have suffered due to competition from the southern hemisphere. However, because of stringent legal restrictions banning watering and other interference, French wines, more than others, remain a faithful reflection of the terroir where they are produced, and Burgundy experts remain confident that the climate and soil of their region will fight off any temporary economic challenges.

Burgundy’s best wines come from a narrow strip of hillside called the Côte d’Or that runs southwest from Dijon to Santenay, and is divided into two regions, Côte de Nuits (the better reds) and Côte de Beaune (the better whites). High-quality wine is certainly produced further south as well though, in the Mâconnais and on the Côtes Chalonnaises. Reds from the region are made almost exclusively from the Pinot Noir grape, while whites are largely from Chardonnay. Fans of bubbly should look out for the often highly regarded sparkling whites, which crop up across the region and won’t set you back half as much as a bottle of Champagne.

The single most important factor determining the “character” of wines is the soil. In both the Côte d’Or and Chablis, its character varies over very short distances, making for an enormous variety of taste. Chalky soil makes a wine drier and more acidic – while clay brings more fruitiness and body to it.

For an apéritif in Burgundy, you should try kir, named after the man who was both mayor and MP for Dijon for many years after World War II – two parts dry white wine, traditionally aligoté, and one part cassis. To round the evening off there are many liqueurs to choose from, but Burgundy is particularly famous for its marcs, of which the best are matured for years in oak casks.

Book through Rough Guides’ trusted travel partners

France features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

Christmas markets in Paris: how to plan a festive foray to the French capital

Christmas markets in Paris: how to plan a festive foray to the French capital

Christmas markets in Paris: how to plan a festive foray to the French capital.  Paris is a city in thrall to electric light. From the sparkling stars that fli…

11 Oct 2018 • Jenny Cahill-Jones insert_drive_file Article
The French Alps: summer amongst the peaks

The French Alps: summer amongst the peaks

It's difficult to picture the Alps in your mind's eye without a blanket covering of white. But when the snows melt, another side to the region comes alive. Neil…

31 Aug 2018 • Neil McQuillian local_activity Special feature
Paris off the beaten track

Paris off the beaten track

Paris is the world's most visited city. It draws in a barely comprehensible 30 million travellers each year – and its monuments, museums and galleries are so…

20 Aug 2018 • Eleanor Aldridge insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Privacy Preference Center

Necessary

Mandatory - can not be deselected. Necessary cookies help make a website usable by enabling basic functions like page navigation and access to secure areas of the website. The website cannot function properly without these cookies.

PHPSESSID,aelia_cs_selected_currency,cookie_notice_accepted,RS,bp-message,bp-message-type,id,UIDR,w3tc_logged_out,__cfduid
__cfduid

Statistics

Statistic cookies help website owners to understand how visitors interact with websites by collecting and reporting information anonymously.

__utma,__utmb,__utmc,__utmz,_ga,_gid,__atssc,__atuvc,__atuvs,di,dt,ssc,ssh,sshs,uid,uit,xt
__utma,__utmb,__utmc,__utmz,_ga,_gid
__atssc,__atuvc,__atuvs,di,dt,ssc,ssh,sshs,uid,uit,xtc

Marketing

Marketing cookies are used to track visitors across websites. The intention is to display ads that are relevant and engaging for the individual user and thereby more valuable for publishers and third party advertisers.

__gads,PISID, BEAT, CheckConnection TempCookie703, GALX, GAPS, GoogleAccountsLocale_session, HSID, LSID, LSOSID, NID, PREF, RMME, S, SAPISID, SID, SSID,__utmv, _twitter_sess, auth_token, auth_token_session, external_referer, guest_id, k, lang, original_referer, remember_checked, secure_session, twid, twll,c_user, datr, fr, highContrast, locale, lu, reg_ext_ref, reg_fb_gate, reg_fb_ref, s, wd, xs
__gads,PISID, BEAT, CheckConnection TempCookie703, GALX, GAPS, GoogleAccountsLocale_session, HSID, LSID, LSOSID, NID, PREF, RMME, S, SAPISID, SID, SSID
__utmv, _twitter_sess, auth_token, auth_token_session, external_referer, guest_id, k, lang, original_referer, remember_checked, secure_session, twid, twll
c_user, datr, fr, highContrast, locale, lu, reg_ext_ref, reg_fb_gate, reg_fb_ref, s, wd, xs