The capital of Burgundy wines
North of Beaune, just before you reach Ladoix-Serrigny, the Côte de Beaune begins. Surrounding the town, the vines continue all the way down to Santenay. The Hautes-Côtes de Beaune continues to the west, along the top of the plateau.
Beyond this point, the landscape changes. Until now, we have been travelling in a more-or-less straight line, but now the landscape widens out and becomes more rounded as we head south. Although the vines are still mainly east-facing, there are now more “combes” (valleys) with southeast-facing plots that protect the vines from the northern wind and the frost.
The vineyards around Beaune are a mixture of Pinot Noir (Volnay, Pommard, Ladoix, etc.) and Chardonnay (Corton), but from Meursault onwards, Chardonnay is king, with its golden crus that have delighted wine lovers for centuries.
The Côte de Beaune is marked by two hills: Corton, to the north of Beaune, and Montrachet, 10 km to the south. The first, with its wooded summit, produces one Grand Cru, whose name Corton-Charlemagne reminds us that the Emperor Charlemagne was a fan of this nectar as far back as the 8th century. The other hill’s name tells us of the cropped grass at its peak which is reminiscent of the “garrigue” scrub in Provence, “rachet” meaning “bald”. It is home to a whole family of Grand Cru white wines.
The Beaune region is full of history and artistic heritage, and enchants and delights with its easy-going style. Around the capital of Burgundy wines gather a host of names as famous as they are evocative: Aloxe-Corton, Pommard, Volnay, Meursault, Puligny-Montrachet and Chassagne-Montrachet to name but a few. There are also a few surprises for discovery if you stray off the beaten track with Ladoix-Serrigny, Pernand-Vergelesses, Chorey-les-Beaune, Saint-Romain, Saint-Aubin, Santenay and Maranges.
Côte de Beaune and Hautes-Côtes de Beaune. Total area: 6,013 hectares
Source: Vin Bourgogne