The name Burgundy (Bourgogne in French) comes from the Burundians, an ancient Germanic people originating in Bornholm who settled in the area during the early Middle Ages.
Burgundy’s best red and white wines set the gold standard for Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. At the top of their game, Burgundy wines are acknowledged as some of the most aromatically complex, seductive and silky on the globe. This thanks in part to their indescribable melding of fruits, flowers, minerals, and earth, as well as their facility in projecting an authoritative flavor sans excess weight.
Unfortunately, for many, the best Burgundies are only produced in limited numbers. Burgundy wines can spell trouble for the non-connoisseur—there are still many examples of less than stellar, overpriced bottles for sale. This fact is due to the nature of the region’s vineyard ownership. An individual, small premier cru vineyard may be subdivided amongst a dozen or more owners. These owners may produce everything from plonk to exceptional wines—all at the same price—depending on the skills of the producer.
The Côte d'Or, or "golden slope," is the in heart of Burgundy and is home to the region’s most famous, and pricey, wines. This 30-mile-long ribbon of vineyards is where all the Grand Cru vineyards (except for Chablis Grand Cru) are found. The Côte d'Or lies just south of Dijon extending to Chagny. The greater Burgundy region also envelopes Chablis to the northern extreme, while the Côte Chalonnaise and Maconnais regions are located to the south of the Côte d'Or. Beaujolais, at the extreme southern end of the Burgundy region, almost touches the outreaches of Lyon.
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