If you’re hoping to find a place with rich history, interesting monuments, and breathtaking scenery all in one area, look no further than Burgundy (or Bourgogne in French). Burgundy has been considered the heart of France for centuries, and it is the region where many traditional French dishes and fine wines come from. From Chablis to Côte de Beaune, there is something for everyone in this stunning region.
Burgundy, France, is a prime destination for wine lovers. As one of the most renowned wine-growing regions in the world, it offers travelers an opportunity to immerse themselves in some of the most exceptional vineyards and wineries in existence.
Located in Central Eastern France, Burgundy offers a variety of activities for travelers, from wine tasting, to cycling through the vast vineyards to visiting historical monuments and landmarks.
With its beautiful rolling vineyards and picturesque villages, Burgundy is a place for everyone who appreciates beauty and the finer things in life. Keep reading as we take you through our itinerary of the French wine region, and the best wine tastings we’ve had along the way.
How to Get to the Burgundy Wine Region of France
Burgundy is conveniently located between Paris and Lyon, as well as being easily accessible by train from Strasbourg. Once you arrive, there are many ways to explore the area.
For example, you can take a bus tour that stops at various wineries and vineyards in Chablis, Domaine Long-Depaquit, Château de Béru, and more. You can also rent a car and drive around on your own schedule.
If you’re hoping to save a little money, buses are readily available and frequently travel throughout the area. Although costly, taxis are another option for transportation. A more adventurous–albeit time-consuming–possibility is renting a bicycle and biking between villages or wineries!
By Rail: TER or inOui trains travel throughout Burgundy
It’s easy to reach Burgundy by train. It’s less than 2 hours from Paris, and the scenery you’ll spy along the way is beautiful. Once you get to the region, it’s easy to navigate. Several options include regional high-speed inOui trains, and local trains called TER. You can use the TER trains to travel around Burgundy easily.
Rental Car: Enjoy the freedom of the open road
Renting a car allows you to explore Burgundy on your own schedule. If you rent a car in Burgundy, drive the famed Route des Grand Crus wine route to enjoy stunning scenery and delightful stops along the way. U.S. drivers don’t need an international driving permit, but getting one is still recommended before heading overseas. Also, check that you have auto insurance coverage. Not all insurance policies cover driving outside of the U.S. Taxi services are more expensive than other travel options in Burgundy, but several local options are available. Unfortunately, car-sharing services such as Uber and Lyft have yet to arrive in this area. However, local hotels and wineries can often help you find the rides you need.
Pleasant public transit: travel around via Burgundy Bus.
The Burgundy bus system is economical and easily accessible. You can download the Mobigo app to help find schedules and bus stops in English.
Pedal the winding country roads on a bicycle
If you’re visiting the region outside of wintertime, consider renting bikes during your trip to Burgundy, making about the most French experience ever. The “Tour de Bourgogne à Vélo” is a circuit of 500 miles of bike paths with several places to rent bikes along the way. If you’re not up for quite that much of an adventure, it’s still worth renting a bike for a day or two and enjoying the rolling hills and scenery with the wind in your hair.
Arriving by Air: Land in Lyon
It’s also possible to access Burgundy via domestic flights. There are a few domestic flights to small commercial airports in the Burgundy wine region (such as Dijon DLE and Dijon DIJ). If you’re flying internationally, it’s best to land at Lyon (around 185km/115 miles away) and then drive, take a bus, or board a train for the rest of the way.
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Main Types of Wine in Burgundy
There are generally two main types of wines in Burgundy; red and white. Red Burgundy wine comes from the Pinot Noir grape variety and tends to be more full-bodied with notes of blackberry, cherry, leather, and spice. White Burgundy wine is usually made from Chardonnay grapes and has a slightly acidic taste with notes of apple, pear, butter, and minerals.
This is not to say these are the only two wines made in Burgundy, oh, no, no. The Burgundy wine region is also known for its sparkling wines, rosés, and dessert wines too.
Classification of Burgundy Wines
Burgundy wines are classified according to their geographical regions, ranging from the village level to the national. From premier cru to grand cru wine, we’ll help decode the labels for you.
At the national level, burgundy wines are labeled either Grand Cru or Premier Cru. These burgundy wines usually come from very specific vineyards and have stricter production regulations than other burgundies. Grand Cru wines are considered the best burgundy wines, while Premier Cru wines are still of good quality.
Then there are village wines. At the village level, burgundy wines may be labeled AOC (Appellation d’Origine Controlée) or Vin de Pays. Village wines usually come from larger regional areas and have fewer production regulations than Grand Cru and Premier Cru wines.
These burgundies are less expensive than Premier Cru or Grand Cru wines but still offer excellent quality. The wines can be labeled at the village level with a regional name and/or a varietal (e.g., Sauvignon Blanc).
Finally, there are burgundy wines labeled simply as Vin de France. These burgundies come from anywhere in the country and thus have fewer restrictions regarding production. Burgundy wines at the local or individual vineyard levels may be labeled as “village” or “Vin de Pays.”
A Guide to the Burgundy Wine Regions
Burgundy is split into five main regions: Chablis, Côte de Nuits, Côte de Beaune, Côte Chalonnaise, and the Mâconnais. Each Burgundy wine region grows different types of wine, depending on the grape varieties.
Made from Chardonnay grapes grown on limestone-rich soils, Chablis produces white wines of the most delicate and mineral-driven extent. This Burgundy wine region produces some very light, crisp, and refreshing wines.
Côte de Nuits
The Côte de Nuits is a region of Burgundy that produces some of the most iconic wines in the world, including both pinot noir-producing vineyards Vosne-Romanée and Gevrey-Chambertin. Though we didn’t have the chance to explore this region, you can nonetheless expect to find amazing wines here.
Côte de Beaune
This region is known for its white wines from Chardonnay grapes and produces some of the world’s most coveted white burgundies. Côte de Beaune is home to some of the most famous grand cru vineyards in both the Burgundy wine region and the entire world.
Côtes Chalonnaise is a Burgundy wine region that produces some of the most unique and interesting wines in the world. Chalonnaise wines are characterized by their aromatic complexity and freshness, making them perfect for food pairings. Here, you won’t find any Grand Cru vineyards. Nonetheless, the wines are still high-quality and offer an exciting experience.
The Mâconnais region is known for its Chardonnays, as well as both Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blancs. This area is located further south and produces more significant volumes of burgundy wine than other regions.
Unfortunately, our latest tour didn’t cover all Burgundy wine regions, but we’ve still compiled a list of the top spots to sip on Burgundy wine. Keep reading as we take you through our ultimate Burgundy wine tour!
Burgundy Wine Tour & Itinerary
First stop: Chablis
Chablis is home to some of France’s best white wines. Here, you will find Domaine Long-Depaquit—a winery known for its award-winning wines made from 100% Chardonnay grapes. Other vineyards include Jean-Marc Brocard and Domaine William Fèvre. You’ll also find plenty of restaurants serving local specialties like escargot and coq au vin.
All wines produced in this incredibly quiet village are called Chablis. Vineyards entirely envelop this peaceful town. All grapes cultivated here are exclusively Chardonnay- no other type can be found in this microclimate.
Chablis wines are renowned for their dryness, purity, crispness, and sophistication. The subsoil provides unparalleled character and personality to these wines. Furthermore, the ideal ripening conditions in a Chablis semi-continental climate allow for a perfect balance between sugar levels and acidity.
Chablis is a village in Burgundy’s Yonne department and is home to the Domaine Long-Depaquit. The Long-Depaquit family has been making wine in Chablis since the early 1800s.
The vineyards are planted with Chardonnay grapes and are classified as Premier Cru. These Premier Cru vineyards are situated near the village of Chablis and cover 30 hectares of land.
The Domaine Long-Depaquit winery produces white, red, and rosé wines. The white wines are made from 100% Chardonnay grapes and are aged in stainless steel tanks. The red wines are made from Pinot Noir grapes and are aged in French oak barrels. The rosé is made from a blend of the two aforementioned grapes.
Domaine Long-Depaquit Chardonnays are consistently recognized for their quality. The Wine Enthusiast says their white wine has a creamy, buttery smoothness with hits of lemon and a resonating salty high note.
Vineyard at the Château de Béru
The Château de Béru is a picturesque residence owned by the Counts of Béru since the 1600s. The vineyards boast a Renaissance porch, cellar, and 16th Century sundial, as well as a 13th Century gate and tower.
The Château de Béru grows 34.6 acres of vines, including a unique terroir called “le clos béru”. Surrounded by historical separation walls from the 13th Century, this terroir is considered one of the most beautiful in all of Chablis and boasts designations for both Chablis and Chablis Premier cru wines.
Athénaïs de Béru runs the Chateau de Béru. Her father, Comte Éric de Béru, was working to rejuvenate the land during the 1980s but unfortunately passed away before he could see his vision come to life.
But his daughter developed organic and biodynamic practices. Today, the vineyard uses natural fertilizers and pest control and avoids any synthetics likely to harm the Château’s soils.
The grapes are handpicked and fermented with local yeasts before bottling without fining or filtration. Athénaïs de Béru says the secret to winemaking is focusing on each process, which reduces the need for sulfurization.
Château de Béru
Sweeping views of the vineyard greet visitors as they approach the Château de Béru. This magnificent castle, built in 1574, houses beautiful frescoes depicting scenes from Greek mythology and stunning panoramas of the countryside. After exploring the castle, guests can visit the tasting room to sample wines produced on-site before making a purchase.
Chateau de Béru Chablis Clos Béru Monopole 2018, Chateau de Béru Chablis Terroirs de Béru 2018. The 2018 vintage won several awards for its delightful combination of fruit and acid.
Château de Béru ages their wines in large oak barrels and only adds the smallest amounts of sulfur to produce flavors that truly reflect the unique geographical features of the soil around Chablis.
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Hiking and Biking in Chablis
Chablis is a historic town located in an idyllic hilly landscape. The vineyards and forests make it the perfect place for hikers and bicyclists looking to explore nature when you’re not busy with wine tastings.
Chablis’ Château de Chablis is definitely worth a visit, as it offers stunning views of the surrounding countryside. The Grands Crus trail and the Circuit des Grands Crus de Chablis both offer short trails to allow you to explore the vineyards at a slower pace. We recommend staying in this central apartment close to all the region’s activities.
Next up: a Detour to Sancerre
Our next stop on this virtual tour of Burgundy is Sancerre. Sancerre isn’t technically located in the Burgundy wine region; this Loire Valley area only borders it.
Still, with such close proximity to Burgundy vineyards, many wine tours will still stop here, and you’d be mad to miss out on this brief non-Burgundy detour.
Sancerre is another famous French wine region known for its Sauvignon Blancs and Pinot Noirs, and of course, the region’s namesake wine (a personal favorite of mine). If you’re looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, then Sancerre is the perfect place for you.
Located in eastern France, this hidden gem is full of charming medieval villages, beautiful fields of wildflowers, and artisans who are passionate about their crafts.
If you plan to spend the night gazing at the Sauldre River, the Château de Beaujeu is a 16th Century home renovated with 6 light-filled rooms. Or, for more elegance, stay at the La Chancelière looking over the Sancerre vineyards and countryside.
Dating back to Roman times, Sancerre is a picturesque town with medieval villages, vineyards on rolling hillsides, and artisans devoted to their trade. The area is most famous for its dry white wine made from Sauvignon Blanc grapes. This unique wine has a mineral component that gives it a flint-like aroma and flavor – as if two stones are being rubbed together.
The perfect place for your adventure to begin is at the House of Sancerre headquarters, where local vignerons reside. In this beautifully restored 14th Century castle, you can watch a film documenting the region’s rich history.
Sancerre visitors can visit Domaine Bourgeois—a family-run winery that produces some of Sancerre’s finest wines, including their signature Cuvée des Murailles which has been awarded gold medals at international competitions such as VinExpo Hong Kong 2016. Looking for a place to stay as a base? Maison Les Fossiles is ideally located for all your tasting needs.
Domaine Bourgeois is a family-run winery and hotel located in the Loire Valley of France. The winery was founded in 1935 and is now run by the 10th generation of the family. The Domaine specializes in Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir wines and offers tours of the vineyard, winery, and aging cellar.
The Domaine is located in the Loire Valley in France. The Domaine is committed to sustainable viticulture and producing organic wines, refusing to use chemical weed killers. Domaine Bourgeois produces wines from the Sancerre region, which are best enjoyed alongside local specialties like goat cheese.
The winery offers three different tours that guide visitors through the family history, the winemaking process, and the cellars before tasting the estate wines. Domaine Bourgeois also offers a picnic and topographical map for visitors to use while exploring the vineyards on their own. Appointments are required for wine tastings, so plan ahead.
Stay overnight at the Domaine Bourgeois; a small hotel with 12 bedrooms, located in the medieval village of Chavignol. The Domaine also has a Michelin-starred restaurant called La Cote des Monts Damnés, named after one of Sancerre’s most prized vineyards. Chef Jean-Marc Bourgeois designed the menu to match the estate’s wines. Try the house signature tagliatelle with Chavignol goat cheese.
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Finish the tour off at Côte de Beaune
The Burgundy region is also home to the city of Beaune, which is Burgundy’s wine capital. Burgundy wines are made from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes and are known for their complexities and elegance. Côte de Beaune wines are some of the world’s most popular and coveted wines. Try some for yourself on this tour!
Domaine Besancenot is a wine producer located in Côte de Beaune, in the heart of Burgundy. The Besancenot family has been making wine since 1850 and is now in its 6th generation of winemakers.
Domaine Besanceno offers a discovery tasting and tour of their estate, which includes a visit to the cellar and a tasting of up to 6 wines with gorgeous.
The Domaine Besancenot is certified HVE (High-Value Environment) by the French government. This means that the winery produces wines with traditional methods while using sophisticated technologies. A visit to the Domaine is an amazing opportunity to learn about wine production – both traditional and modern – while enjoying some of Burgundy’s best wines.
Any vintage Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Aligoté. Domaine Besancenot’s wines produce excellent wines every year, with 2018 and 2021 considered exceptional vintages.
Domaine Moissenet-Bonnard is an incredible wine-tasting experience that takes visitors on a journey through the different vineyards of Côte de Beaune. The 18th Century cave at Domaine Moissenet-Bonnard is a beautiful setting for the tasting. The friendly and knowledgeable staff is passionate about the wines they produce.
The 12 different appellations that are tasted provide a varied and interesting experience, and visitors will leave with a greater understanding of the different terroirs of the Côte de Beaune region.
Domaine Moissenet-Bonnard is an unforgettable experience for anyone who loves wine, and a great way to wrap up the perfect trip to Burgundy. We recommend staying in the center of Beaune for all-day tour options. The Hotel Henry II in Beaune is a great option.
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Travel Tips for Visiting Burgundy, France
No matter how you decide to explore Burgundy or where your itinerary takes you during your stay, there are a few things worth keeping in mind when planning your trip: Be sure to book accommodations ahead of time; restaurant reservations should also be made ahead as restaurants tend to fill up quickly.
Some of the best wine-tasting experiences require reservations, so we recommend making reservations for wine tastings well in advance of your trip, then confirming them a few days before.
Download Google Maps or another mapping app before leaving so that you can access directions offline; bring comfortable shoes for exploring wineries on foot; plan extra time for unexpected detours or delays; don’t forget sunscreen if traveling during summer months. Last but not least, enjoy every minute!
There’s no better place than Burgundy for experiencing some of France’s best wines firsthand! With its numerous vineyards offering guided wine tours and tastings, not to mention its stunning landscapes and historical sites such as Château de Béru, this region offers something truly special for both wine connoisseurs and casual travelers alike!
Whether you choose an organized tour of Burgundy or prefer exploring on your own schedule with rental car or bus transportation—or even both!—you won’t regret taking advantage of this incredible opportunity.
So grab your passport—and don’t forget your shades—and get ready for an unforgettable journey through one of France’s most beloved regions. If you love wine, look no further than Burgundy. This vibrant area of France is steeped in the history and making of the best wines in the world.
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Burgundy is a region that offers travelers a chance to explore its beautiful countryside, discover its incredible wines, and experience true French hospitality. With careful planning and this guide, you’ll have an unforgettable trip through Burgundy’s vineyards. Bon voyage!
Is Burgundy, France, worth visiting?
Yes! Burgundy is a beautiful region that offers travelers a unique opportunity to experience truly divine wine while exploring its stunning countryside.
What are some recommended activities when visiting Burgundy?
From riding vintage trains to a wine tasting at local family-owned wineries, there is something for everyone in the Burgundy region! Participate in a guided tour of one of the many chateaus. Whatever you choose to do, it won’t disappoint.
What kind of wine is Burgundy?
Burgundy is the name given to the wines produced in this region. Burgundy wines are typically either Pinot Noir or Chardonnay, with some exceptions such as Aligote, Sauvignon Blanc, and Gamay. Most burgundy wines come from small family-owned vineyards, often with centuries of tradition behind them.
How far is the Burgundy wine region from Paris?
The Burgundy wine region is approximately 200km (124 miles) southeast of Paris. It takes about 2-3 hours to drive, but you can also take a train which would take less than two hours.