The Côte de Beaune Villages In Your Glass(es)

A tour of the villages of this remarkable wine region


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The Côte de Beaune Villages In Your Glass(es) The Côte de Beaune produces an array whites and reds thanks to soils that are less homogenous than in the Côte de Nuits. More reds are made than whites and they show more immediate appeal than their Côte de Nuits cousins - Pommard excepted. The whites, however, take top honors. Here’s why:

1. Chardonnay grows better in these lighter, higher limestone content soils. Pinot Noir prefers some clay and silt, too.

2. Valleys make incisions into the hills, meaning more rain and wind assail the vines. Sturdier Chardonnay handles this better than thin-skinned Pinot.

3. The slopes are gentler, making the wrong exposition unforgiving for sun-seeking Pinot Noir.

From north to south, let’s examine this trail of microscopically mapped terroir to see what it delivers to your glass village by village.

Photo courtesy of Megan Mallen via Wikimedia Commons

Mentioned in this article


  • Snooth User: mrooney16
    1025588 3

    Thank you for such a fine article!


    Aug 16, 2012 at 2:14 PM

  • Great article. But the best buys are the reds of Volnay and the wines of St. Aubin.

    Aug 16, 2012 at 7:16 PM

  • Snooth User: SM
    1097030 218

    Once again Ms. Canterbury a great article. It's refreshing to see a wine critic/writer break down the complex and intricate world of Bourgogne fine wine into a village by village so that we can understand it. I always eagerly anticipate your articles.

    I did have one question for you though, if you don't mind. I think you may have explained it before in a previous article. But I seem to have forgotten what the term lieu-dit refers to.



    Aug 16, 2012 at 9:22 PM

  • I think with a region like Burgundy there is no substitute for attending tastings.

    Before I got lucky and found a mercahnt that does an annual tasting, I have to say as a retail punter I found the region very hit and miss. At their best, they are really memorable, but others are farmyardy and the corks can let down things by being poor or stuck on in an amateur foil with sticky goo.

    The other thing is that the top whites - and reds- tend to their best after about 4-5 years from vintage and you have to stash them somewhere

    Aug 17, 2012 at 5:26 AM

  • Snooth User: Christy Canterbury MW
    Hand of Snooth
    1060100 93,448

    Howdy, all! (I'm in Texas after all....)

    First, thanks so much for all the thumbs-up on this piece!

    Second, S.M., here is my note on a lieu-dit from the first post of this series:
    "A lieu-dit is nothing more than a recognized vineyard, as you say. You can find lieu-dits at village, Premier Cru and Grand Cru level. For example, consider Meursault Meix Chavaux at the village level and Corton Les Renardes at the Grand Cru level."

    There are three more pieces to come...thanks for following!


    Aug 17, 2012 at 10:07 AM

  • Snooth User: vinodm28
    551301 2

    I like Chardonnay wine.Easy,sociable wine. I don't have a preference but i haven;t found a French Chardonnay I enjoy. Weird. Strange: as its originates from France. i found the overtones of apricots and hazelnuts more to my liking in California and Northern Italian wines. Down to personal taste. But I will take your advice and try Aubin wine. I travel extensively for my marketing agency and have the chance to try many wines on my travels. and I will try it.Thanks for a great post:

    Aug 17, 2012 at 10:58 AM

  • Snooth User: zinfandel1
    Hand of Snooth
    154660 1,085

    Love The Article
    I;m just beginning to explore Burgundy. Can you explain why the pinot noir grape is so different in Burgundy as opposed to California and Oregon wines.

    Aug 17, 2012 at 7:25 PM

  • Snooth User: topherg3
    921880 75


    Aug 23, 2012 at 8:44 AM

  • Snooth User: Csquare
    702354 23

    Bravi! I like these notes very much. Clear, didascalic and Immediately understandable. My compliments.

    Sep 05, 2012 at 2:03 AM

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