Burgundy - Côte d’Or
The Côte d’Or is a region comprising of the Côte de Nuits in the north and the Côte de Beaune in the south. The Côte d’Or is catagorised by a limestone escarpment which forms the backbone of the region, creating an east facing slope which the best vineyards of the region sit on.
Côte de Nuits
The Côte de Nuits is the northern half of the escarpment. Named after the picturesque village of Nuits-Saint-Georges, the Côte de Nuits department is responsible for some of the most famous (and most expensive) red wines of Burgundy and in all of France. Red wine from Pinot Noir makes up 95% of total production; the remaining 5% is white made from Chardonnay.
The Côte de Nuits region is very small; it is 15 miles in length and its widest point is only two miles. However, within that small stretch of land is a vast array of villages, producers and quality wines.
The first tier of quality for the whole of the Côte d’Or is ‘Bourgogne Rouge’ and ‘Bourgogne Blanc’; these wines are generic wines without a specific place of origin within the Côte d’Or, however, this does not mean they are lacking in quality, within this category you can find some very good wines at affordable prices.
‘Bourgogne Hautes-Côtes de Nuits’ are a step up in quality; these wines come from vineyards slightly higher up the slope. ‘Côte de Nuits-Village’ wines are generally from the smaller villages of the region, such as Fixin, Brochon, Prémeaux or Comblanchien. The larger villages tend to label their wines using the village name. The principle villages of the Côte de Nuits are Gevrey-Chambertin, Morey-St-Denis, Chambolle-Musigny, Vougeot, Vosne-Romanée, Flagey-Échézeaux, and Nuits-St-Georges.
Within these different areas and villages, the best vineyard sites are classified into ‘Premier Cru’ and ‘Grand Cru’ sites. Grand Cru sites are often very small, but extremely high quality. For example, the small but prestigious ‘La Romanee’ vineyard is only 0.84 hectares.
Côte de Beaune
If the Côte de Nuits is responsible for the finest Pinot Noirs, then the Côte de Beaune is easily home to some of the best Chardonnay’s. With illustrious names such as Meursault, Chassagne-Montrachet and Puligny-Montrachet under its belt, it’s easy to see why this region is world famous. It is home to seven of Burgundy’s eight white Grands Cru vineyards, along with a single red Grand Cru.
Above the basic AOC Bourgogne, there are only four vineyards which sit on a hill above the town of Beaune that get the confusing designation of ‘Côte de Beaune’, rather than the whole region as the name would suggest. The ‘Hautes-Côtes de Beaune’ appellation is for vineyards on the hills to the west of Beaune.
‘Côte de Beaune Villages’ covers wines made from a number of lesser, named villages in the region, while the more famous villages have their own appellations; Corton and Corton-Charlemagne, Pommard, Volnay, Meursault, Puligny-Montrachet and Chassagne-Montrachet. As with the Côte de Nuits, the best vineyard sites are classified into ‘Premier Cru’ and ‘Grand Cru’ sites.
Take a look at some of our fantastic producers from the Côte d’Or:
Domaine Marc Morey
Domaine Morey Coffinet
Domaine Jean Pascal
Domaine Jean Tardy
Domaine Louis Carillon
Domaine Michel Bouzereau et Fils
Domaine Alain Michelot
Domaine du Prieuré
Domaine Lucien Boillot
Domaine Vincent Girardin