Burgundy – A Guide To Burgundy Wines
Mar 29, · Burgundy is a complex web of viticulture (almost) fixated completely on just two wines; Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Red Burgundy is exclusively made from Pinot Noir grapes and absolutely nothing else. Beholding to purist tradition, on the other side of the coin white Burgundy wine is crafted solely of Chardonnay. Mar 09, · All in all, white Burgundy is just Chardonnay, but the region is also the origin place of the variety, which is by the way, the world’s most popular white grape. In Burgundy, the combination of climate, land, and tradition produce a wine that is coveted .
This is Burgundy. Heard of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay? Burgundy put them on the map. Burgundy is the birthplace of Chardonnay, and has a prominent and unmovable place in the canon of top shelf white wines. White Burgundy owes its acclaim to the unique traditions, climate, and agronomy of Burgundy unparalleled the world over.
The region of Burgundy is probably the most famous of French wine regionsif not of the whole world. Burgundy wines are traditionally considered the best winex money can buy. Burgundy is a wibes web of viticulture almost fixated completely on just two wines; Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Red Burgundy is exclusively made from Pinot Noir grapes and absolutely nothing else.
Beholding to purist tradition, on the how to play harvester of sorrow side of the coin white Burgundy wine is crafted solely of Chardonnay. What makes all Burgundy wines unique is terroiror the geographical context of the wine. Thus, Burgundy wine is classified by AC and into four vineyard classifications:.
White Burgundy is produced in four sub regions, each with its own terroir, imparting a unique profile and nuance to each wine. The Sparknotes answer is yes. However, woth white Burgundy wines age better than others.
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Every week. Start your wine enlightenment. Get the I Love Wine winess and special offers today. Always amazing. Always free. What is Burgundh Burgundy? What wines are made in Burgundy? Thus, Burgundy wine is classified by AC and into four vineyard classifications: Grand Cru: This title is reserved for the best vineyards in Burgundy. A mere 2 percent of all Burgundian vineyards have earned this coveted title.
Spoiler alert: wines produced from Grand Cru wgat are highly sought after. Pemier Cru: These vineyards produce wines of stellar quality but not quite up to par for Grand Cru designation. Village Wines: Wines produced from grapes sourced from multiple vineyards from one of the 42 villages of Burgundy. A Village Wine is labeled with the village it came from. Regional Wines: The plebeians of Burgundy wine. But still some excellent, ready-to-drink wines can be found in this classification.
White Burgundy is also made in Burgundy, but, since it is white, it is made from % Chardonnay grapes.
The most famous wines produced here—those commonly referred to as "Burgundies"—are dry red wines made from pinot noir grapes and white wines made from chardonnay grapes. Chardonnay-dominated chablis and gamay-dominated beaujolais are formally part of the Burgundy wine region, but wines from those subregions are usually referred to by their own names rather than as "Burgundy wines".
The various Burgundy AOCs are classified from carefully delineated grand cru vineyards down to more non-specific regional appellations. The practice of delineating vineyards by their terroir in Burgundy goes back to medieval times, when various monasteries played a key role in developing the Burgundy wine industry. Chablis , a white wine made from Chardonnay grapes, is produced in the area around Auxerre. Other smaller appellations near Chablis include Irancy , which produces red wines and Saint-Bris , which produces white wines from Sauvignon blanc.
There are Appellations in Burgundy and these are classified into four quality categories. These are Bourgogne, village, premier cru and grand cru. 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.
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 come from a little less favourably exposed slopes.
The relatively ordinary "village" wines are produced from the flat territory nearer the villages. This is explained by the presence of different soils , which favour pinot noir and chardonnay, respectively. Further south again is the Beaujolais region, famous for fruity red wines made from Gamay grapes. Burgundy experiences a continental climate characterized by cold winters and hot summers. The weather is very unpredictable, with rains, hail, and frost all possible around harvest time.
Because of this climate, vintages from Burgundy vary considerably. Archaeological evidence establishes viticulture in Burgundy as early as the second century AD, although the Celts may have been growing vines in the region previous to the Roman conquest of Gaul in 51 BC.
The earliest recorded praise of the wines of Burgundy was written in by Gregory of Tours , who compared it to the Roman wine Falernian. Monks and monasteries of the Roman Catholic Church have had an important influence on the history of Burgundy wine.
The first known donation of a vineyard to the church was by king Guntram in , but the influence of the church became important in Charlemagne 's era. The Benedictines , through their Abbey of Cluny founded in , became the first truly big Burgundy vineyard owner over the following centuries. The Cistercians created Burgundy's largest wall-surrounded vineyard, the Clos de Vougeot , in More importantly, the Cistercians, extensive vineyard owners as they were, were the first to notice that different vineyard plots gave consistently different wines.
They therefore laid the earliest foundation for the naming of Burgundy crus and the region's terroir thinking. Since Burgundy is land-locked, very little of its wine left the region in Medieval times, when wine was transported in barrels , meaning that waterways provided the only practical means of long-range transportation.
The only part of Burgundy which could reach Paris in a practical way was the area around Auxerre by means of the Yonne. This area includes Chablis, but had much more extensive vineyards until the 19th century. These were the wines referred to as vin de Bourgogne in early texts. In the extravagance of the papal court, Beaune was generally seen as the finest wine, and better than anything available in Rome at that time.
The status of Burgundy wines continued in the court of the House of Valois , which ruled as Dukes of Burgundy for much of the 14th and 15th centuries. Their ban on the import and export of non-Burgundian wines, effectively shutting out the then popular wines of the Rhone Valley from north European markets, gave a considerable boost to the Burgundy wine industry. Pinot noir was first mentioned in under the name Noirien, but it was believed to have been cultivated earlier than that, since no other grape variety associated with Medieval Burgundy is believed to have been able to produce red wines of a quality able to impress the papal court.
On 6 August ,  Duke Philip the Bold issued a decree concerned with safeguarding the quality of Burgundy wines.
The duke declared the "vile and disloyal Gamay"  —which was a higher-yielding grape than Pinot noir in the 14th century, as it is today—unfit for human consumption and banned the use of organic fertilizer manure , which probably increased yields even further to the detriment of quality.
High-quality white Burgundy wines of this era were probably made from Fromenteau , which is known as a quality grape in northeastern France in this time. Fromenteau is probably the same variety as today's Pinot gris.
Chardonnay is a much later addition to Burgundy's vineyards. In the 18th century, the quality of roads in France became progressively better, which facilitated commerce in Burgundy wines. In the 18th century, Burgundy and Champagne were rivals for the lucrative Paris market, to which Champagne had earlier access. The two regions overlapped much in wine styles in this era, since Champagne was then primarily a producer of pale red still wines rather than of sparkling wines.
After Burgundy became incorporated in the Kingdom of France, and the power of the church decreased, many vineyards which had been in the church's hands were sold to the bourgeoisie from the 17th century.
After the French revolution of , the church's remaining vineyards were broken up and from sold off. It has also led to a profusion of increasingly smaller, family-owned wineries , exemplified by the dozen-plus Gros family domaines. The awareness of the difference of quality and style of Burgundy wines produced from different vineyards goes back to Medieval times, with certain climats being more highly rated than others.
Burgundy wine has experienced much change over the past 75 years. Economic depression during the s was followed by the devastation caused by World War II. After the War, the vignerons returned home to their unkempt vineyards. The soils and vines had suffered and were sorely in need of nurturing.
The growers began to fertilize, bringing their vineyards back to health. Those who could afford it added potassium , a mineral fertilizer that contributes to vigorous growth. By the mids, the soils were balanced, yields were reasonably low and the vineyards produced some of the most stunning wines in the 20th century.
For the next 30 years, they followed the advice of renowned viticultural experts, who advised them to keep spraying their vineyards with chemical fertilizers, including potassium.
While a certain amount of potassium is natural in the soil and beneficial for healthy growth, too much is harmful because it leads to low acidity levels, which adversely affect the quality of the wine. As the concentration of chemicals in the soil increased, so did the yields. With higher yields came wines of less flavor and concentration. The period between and was a turning point in Burgundy. During this time, many Burgundian domaines renewed efforts in the vineyards and gradually set a new course in winemaking, producing deeper, more complex wines.
Today, the Burgundy wine industry is reaping the rewards of those efforts. Burgundy is in some ways the most terroir -oriented region in France; immense attention is paid to the area of origin, and in which of the region's types of soil a wine's grapes are grown. As opposed to Bordeaux, where classifications are producer-driven and awarded to individual chateaux , Burgundy classifications are geographically-focused.
A specific vineyard or region will bear a given classification, regardless of the wine's producer. This focus is reflected on the wine's labels, where appellations are most prominent and producers' names often appear at the bottom in much smaller text. The main levels in the Burgundy classifications, in descending order of quality, are: Grand crus , Premier crus , village appellations, and finally regional appellations:   .
Wines from Beaujolais are treated still differently. In general, producers are always allowed to declassify their wine in steps to a lower-ranked AOC if they wish to do so.
Thus, a wine from a Grand Cru vineyard may be sold as a Premier Cru from that vineyard's village, a Premier Cru wine may be sold as a Village wine, and so on. This practice will almost invariably mean the declassified wine will have to be sold at a lower price, so this is only practiced when something is to be gained overall in the process. One motive may be to only include vines of a certain age in a Grand Cru wine, to improve its quality and raise its prestige and price, in which case the wine coming from younger vines may be sold as a Premier Cru at a lower price.
Overall, such a practice may allow a producer to keep a higher average price for the wine sold. The total number of vineyard-differentiated AOCs that may be displayed is well in excess of In , the Burgundy vineyards including Chablis but excluding Beaujolais covered a total of 28, hectares 70, acres.
Of the white grapes, Chardonnay is the most common. Sauvignon blanc is also grown in the Saint Bris appellation. Its renown goes back many centuries; in Erasmus wrote: "O happy Burgundy which merits being called the mother of men since she furnishes from her mammaries such a good milk"  This was echoed by Shakespeare, who refers in King Lear to "the vines of France and milk of Burgundy".
British wine critic Jancis Robinson emphasizes, "price is an extremely unreliable guide" and "what a wine sells for often has more to do with advertising hype and marketing decisions than the quality contained in the bottle. In , the Burgundy region experienced a notable increase in internet coverage thanks to official efforts like the online broadcast of the famous Hospices de Beaune ,  as well as the efforts of independent wine aficionados, such as Bourgogne Live.
Fans of Burgundy wine have been organizing events celebrating its virtues for decades. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This section does not cite any sources. Please help improve this section by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. December Learn how and when to remove this template message.
This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Oxford Companion to Wine Third ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN Retrieved 19 March ISBN, pp. Histoire du vin de Bourgogne. Editions Jean-Paul Gisserot.
Wines and winemaking. Aroma of wine Acids in wine Phenolic content in wine Proteins in wine Sugars in wine. Outline Glossary. Late harvest wine Noble rot Vintage. Deacidification Destemming Chaptalization Pigeage Wine press. Carbonic maceration. Oak Solera.
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