Exploring the Vineyards of Burgundy

Situated in the heart of prestigious vineyards, like Pommard, Corton-Charlemagne, La Romanée-Conti, Nuits-Saint-Georges and Gevrey-Chambertin, you will find the town of Beaune, only 45km from Dijon and the focal point for wine tourism in the Burgundy area. Arriving in Beaune our guide for the day Fabien met us off the train to begin our full day guided tour of the Route des Grands Crus.

From Dijon all the way to the wine village of Santenay the “Route des Grands Crus” takes you through the vineyards of the Côte de Nuits and the Côte de Beaune.

Fabien our guide, the son and grandson of local wine makers has many contacts within the most famous wine growing companies of Burgundy. His passion and knowledge for wine was obvious and we hit it off from the start.

 Côte de Nuits

Beaune / Aloxe Corton / Pernand Vergelesses / Nuits St Georges / Vosne Romanée / Vougeot / Chambolle Musigny / Morey St Denis / Gevrey Chambertin

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Our first stop was in the vineyard of Romanée Conti in Vosne Romanée. Wine from this vineyard is among the most sought after, and expensive, in the world. Romanee-Conti is a Grand Cru vineyard site (and corresponding appellation) of the Cote de Nuits sub-region of Burgundy. One of six Grand Cru sites in the village of Vosne-Romanee, the vineyard is the only one to be bordered on all sides by other Grand Crus. Covering just 620ft (190m) across at its widest point, the Romanee-Conti appellation is one of the very smallest in France.

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For me no visit to France is complete without visiting at least one Chateau, so I was delighted the next stop was the Chateau du Clos de Vougeot.

IMG_4911 Chateau du Clos de Vougeot was originally a wine farm, built-in the 12th century by monks from the nearby Abbey of Cîteaux. In the 16th century, a Renaissance style château was added to the existing buildings.

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The medieval vat-house and four enormous oak presses are found in the winery.

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In the centre of the little courtyard you find, the Porteur de Benaton, the work of the famous Burgundy sculptor, Henri Bouchard de l’Institut (1875 – 1961).

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Badly damaged during the Second World War, the Château was patiently and lovingly restored over the years by the Confrérie des Chevaliers du Tastevin and their many friends.

Even though the Chateau du Clos de Vougeot does not produce wine anymore it has been a national monument since 1949 and is well worth visiting.

Our next stop was the wine cellar of Moillard-Grivot to sample various wines from the Cote De Nuits.

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Côte de Beaune

Beaune / Pommard / Volnay / Meursault / Puligny-Montrachet / Chassagne-Montrachet / Santenay

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In the afternoon we focused on Côte de Beaune and the vineyards of Puligny-Montrachet and Chassagne-Montrachet. Visiting the vineyards gave us a better understanding of the Côte de Beaune.

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Our last visit of the afternoon was to Santenay to Prosper Maufoux, found in the heart of the Santenay village, this beautiful mansion-house built-in 1835 by Jacques Marie Duvault-Blochet, who at the time was the owner of the prestigious domaine de la Romanée Conti.

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Here we enjoyed visiting the vaulted cellar dating back to the fifteenth century and enjoyed a wine tasting from the Côte de Beaune.

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I hope you enjoyed my day exploring the vineyards, has anyone had a similar experience, has anyone enjoyed wine tours or wine tastings anywhere else in the world? As always I would love to hear your thoughts and comments.

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14 Comments

  • Great pictures. Chateau du Clos de Vougeot has been really well preserved. I once road a train through that area and I am so jealous that you got to go inside (and underneath) so many beautiful vineyards. I have traveled to, and worked on, vineyards in Spain. I grew to really enjoy the hearty red wines of Spain but you’ve got me thinking that I need to get to France to experience an amazing wine experience.

  • You have beautifully captured the essence of Burgundy. It has been a lifetime goal of mine to explore at least one vineyard across the pond. Most of the vineyards in the United States that I have visited lack layers of culture and mystique compared to the vineyards I hear exist halfway around the world. My hope is to cross this goal off of my list by 2016. I may just get in contact with Fabian. It sounds like he would be a great guide!

    • Thank you for your kind words. I will link Fabien’s company at the end of the final blog I do about Burgundy as I still have two more posts to put up of the excursions he organised.

  • These pictures are absolutely amazing! There sure isnt Vineyards like that in the United States. I have always wanted to a Vineyard like the one above. It is absolutely breath taking!

  • First off, I would like to thank you for this post. This is the first time I came into your blog and I feel I entered into a another world. I’ve known about vineyards and cellars but I have never seen ones that are so beautiful I can spend the whole day looking at them. Amazing!

  • I have never been to a winery or wine tasting but after seeing these breath taking pictures, I sure want to go to one 🙂 These pictures are absolutely beautiful. It is my dream to visit a chateau however, so I totally understand your need to do so! Thank you for sharing your experience, it almost felt like I was there too. My favorite picture is the little courtyard with the Porteur de Benaton sculpture. I just find it so beautiful. I have a thing for little places with vines running up the wall. It just look so peaceful.

  • I have been meaning to go to a vineyard for some time now but never got the opportunity to. After seeing these beautiful photos of yours, I am now definitely going to go experience this beauty that you did yourself. Thank you very much for sharing your experience!

  • Okay this place looks like an absolute dream!!! Where do you think you’ll go next for a vineyard trip?? Martha’s vineyards are phenomenal, and Napa Valley is absolutely amazing. You definitely need to check those places and post about them!! Your pictures turn out stunning…I’m so jealous of your traveling!

    • Thank you for your kind comments, so glad you are enjoying the blog 🙂 Actually the first vineyard I ever visited was in the US on Long Island, NY, must see if I can dig out a photo 🙂 I would love to visit California maybe next year? Maybe France again or Italy later in the year but no firm plans as yet. Don’t worry I will take you all along on my next adventure 😉

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