The best wines in Burgundy

As early as Roman times, wine has been made in the Bourgogne. But it was only after the Middle Ages that the quality of wine making improved greatly. An important factor in this was the work of the monks, who had access to cool spaces in their monasteries and ensured that all their experiences were recorded in writing, like for example Dom Perignon. In this way, knowledge and experience were handed over to the next generations.

In later times, the vineyards would end up the hands of the nobility. But after the French Revolution, many of these landowners were forced to sell of their vineyards, transferring the ownership to the farmers. Subsequent generations of inheritance led to fragmentation of the vineyards, which is why nowadays the Bourgogne is characterised by a great diversification of the plots and vineyards. Gaining knowledge of Bourgogne wines is quite a challenge, because apart from knowing all about the vineyards themselves, you also need to find out who the winemaker is for that particular plot. One vineyard can have dozens of different owners, and by extension, winemakers.

This means that knowledge of Burgundy and its wines can be quite a challenge. Besides the different vineyards with their typical character, you also need to know the winemaker. A winemaker puts a decisive stamp on the final product, the wine in the bottle. The vineyard and the winemaker determine the quality and attractiveness of a Burgundy wine.

Four grape varieties are used in Burgundy. For white wines Chardonnay and Aligoté. For red wines Pinot Noir and Gamay. The Gamay is mainly used in the Beaujolais region for the specific Beaujolais wines.

Burgundy has four main regions;

  • The Cote de Beaune, where white wines are mainly made
  • The Cote de Nuits where mainly red wines are made.
  • Chablis, an area some distance from Cote de Beaune and Cote de Nuits, where white wines are made
  • Beaujolais, the southern part of Burgundy, famous for its gamay wines.

The Cote de Beaune and the Cote de Nuits are also called Cote D'Or. Besides the Cote D'Or and Chablis, Burgundy also has Cotes Chalonnaise and Maconnais. The best wines, both red and white wines, come from the Cote D'Or.

The Burgundy is relatively small compared to bordeaux, the number of hectares amounts to about 20% of that of bordeaux.

All wines in Burgundy

The appelations in Burgundy

The Law on The Appelation Controlees in Burgundy has been in place since 1937. The number of appelations is enormous. In the Cote D'Or alone, more than 100 designations of origin are distinguished. This includes 33 grand crus and 1271 lieux-dits or climats. Approximately 560 vineyards have the status of premier cru. The 100 appelations in the Cote D'Or can be found in 35 municipalities.

The difference in quality is huge. One cannot therefore simply compare one grand cru with another. The same goes for the Premier crus.

The Grand Crus are considered the best wines of Burgundy. These grand crus are:

The Burgundy Grand Crus, the best white wines

  • Bâtard-Montrachet.
  • Bienvenues-Bâtard-Montrachet
  • Chevalier-Montrachet
  • Corton-Charlemagne
  • Criots-Bâtard-Montrachet
  • Montrachet

The Burgundy Grand Crus, the best red wines

  • Bonnes-Mares
  • Chambertin-Cos de Bèze
  • Chapelle-Chambertin
  • Chambertin
  • Charlemagne
  • Charmes-Chambertin
  • Clos de la Roche
  • Clos de Tart
  • Clos de Vougeot
  • Clos des Lambrays
  • Clos Saint Denis
  • Corton
  • Échezeaux
  • Grands Échezeaux
  • Griotte-Chambertin
  • La Grande Rue
  • La Romanée
  • La Tâche
  • Latricières-Chambertin
  • Mazis-Chambertin
  • Mazoyères-Chambertin
  • Musigny
  • Richebourg
  • Romanée-Conti
  • Romanée-Saint-Vivant
  • Ruchottes-Chambertin

The Chablis Grand Crus:

  • Blanchots
  • les Clos
  • Valmur
  • Grenouilles
  • Vaudesirs
  • Preuses
  • Bougros

Unfortunately, a vineyard does not say everything about the quality of the wine. The winemaker is ultimately decisive in this.

Some vineyards are a monopole. This means that the vineyard has only one owner. Examples include Domaine de la Romanee Conti La Tache, Lamarche Grande Rue and Domaine de la Romanee Conti Romanee Conti.

The grape varieties in Burgundy

Four grape varieties are used within the appelations of Burgundy, two of which clearly produce the best wines: Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.


Almost all white wines in Burgundy are made from Chardonnay. The chardonnay grape is also called a noble grape. Many of the finest white wines are made from chardonnay, Burgundy as the most prestigious region. The finest and most expensive Chardonnay come from Burgundy.

In Burgundy the chardonnay grape shows tropical fruit aroma (mango, passion fruit, pineapple). Also butter and honey elements are present . The wines ccan be very concentrated with lots of terroir.

The top white wines from Burgundy will show their potential after a number of years (5-15) and are very suitable wines for cellaring. The premier cru and grand cru wines spend several years in wooden casks (Oak) before being bottles.

Pinot Noir

Burgundy is the perfect climate for pinot noir because of its cool temperatures and the composition of the soil: the teroir. Some of the best red wines in the world come from Burgundy. You often see wine lovers with strong preferences: Burgundy style or Bordeaux style. That is: pinot noir, with its softness, subtlety and fruitiness in contrast to the power of the cabernet sauvignon grape, Bordeaux.

Light red fruit (raspberry, strawberry), floral elements (violet, rose).

The best pinot noir wines come from Burgundy. The premier cru and grand cru wines better wines are brought up on wood. 

What are the best wine producers in Burgundy

There are actually too many to mention, but in general the following domains are leading:

  • Domaine Leflaive
  • Domaine Leroy
  • Ramonet
  • Roumier
  • Liger Belair
  • D'Auvenay
  • Raveneau, Dauvissat
  • Coche Dury
  • Domaine de la Romanee Conti
  • J.F. Mugnier
  • Dujac
  • Meo Camuzet
  • Ponsot


What are the best Burgundy wines?

There are actually too many to mention, but in general the following domains are among the leading: Domaine Leflaive, Domaine Leroy, Ramonet, Roumier, Liger Belair, D'Auvenay, Raveneau, Dauvissat, Coche Dury, Domaine de la Romanee Conti, Mugnier, Dujac, Meo Camuzet, Ponsot.

What are the most beautiful Chardonnay wines?

This is of course a matter of taste, but in general the best Chardonnay wines from Burgundy are considered the most beautiful wines that can be made with Chardonnay grapes. That doesn't mean there aren't other places in the world where beautiful Chardonnay wines come from: The United States (Napa and its surroundings) and Australia for example offer a variety of top wines.

What are the most expensive wines from Burgundy?

The price of a wine is determined by the quality and, to an increasing extent, the rarity of the wine. Certainly from 2015 onwards, this trend has accelerated.

The most expensive wines from Burgundy come mainly from Domaine de la Romanee Conti, D'Auvenay, Coche Dury, Domaine Leroy, Liger Belair, but this list is certainly not exhaustive.

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