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Wiens on Wine - Burgundy

Posted on October 6, 2023

This post originally appeared in our Wine Line email newsletter. Stan was kind enough to let us post it on our blog as well. Thanks, Stan!

Learn alongside Stan as he completes WSET Level 4.

Days to Final Exam: 399

This week’s focus: Burgundy

Burgundy is located on the central, east side of France, nestled between the region of Champagne, in the north, and the Rhone Valley, in the south. Burgundy is the classic home of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir and is considered the benchmark for producers worldwide. The climate is cool in the north, providing outstanding, crisp, clean Chardonnay’s, in the region of Chablis. As you travel south, towards Beaujolais, the temperature rises modestly, providing the best expressions of Pinot Noir in the world.

Buying wine from this region of France needs a little explanation and can be confusing. Let’s break it down as simply as possible and then provide you with a little homework – trying a few wines that may be new to you.

Burgundy, Bourgogne, Haute Côtes de Bourgogne, Cote d’Or and so forth are all talking about the same general region. Burgundy is split into five smaller regions (from North to South): Chablis which produces Chardonnay; Cote d’Or (split further into Côte de Nuits and Cote de Beaune) produces Chardonnay and Pinot Noir (arguably the best in the world); Cote Chalonnais and Maconnais. Many also include the southernmost region of Beaujolais, which makes simple to outstanding red wine from the grape variety known as Gamay.

Fun fact:

Beaujolais is currently in the process of trying to achieve Premier Cru classification for a few select vineyards in the village of Fleurie. One of my favourite red wines comes from the small village of Moulin-a-Vent, a fuller expression of Gamay.


Three wines to drink to help get to know the region: Chablis (Chardonnay - typically unoaked), Pinot Noir from any region in Burgundy; and Beaujolais (from simple to full body…ask your wine expert in the store :)

Stan Wiens can be found working at our shop sporadically in between lengthy bouts of drinking wine ("studying") in order to complete Level 4 of the WSET program.

You can also find Stan on Instagram: @wiensonwine

This entry was posted in Wine, Wiens on Wine



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