Beaune, the capital of Burgundy, is located 313 kilometres South-East of Paris. The region itself is divided into four departments:
Yonne (famous for Chablis)
Cote d’Or (Cote de Nuits & Cote de Beaune)
Soane-et-Loire (includes the region of Mercurey to the north and Maconnais to the south)
Whilst the four departments together are known as viticultural Burgundy, the Cote d’Or (slope of gold) is synonymous with Burgundy the wine. The 60 Kilometre strip of the Cote d’Or is divided into two parts. The northern section, between the village of Corgoloin (in the south), to its most northern tip, Fixin, is known as the Cote de Nuits. The southern portion, between Aloxe-Corton to the north and Santenay to the south, is known as the Cote de Beaune. Both Cotes have varying proportions of the regions main, premium, grape varieties – Pinot Noir and Chardonnay – although it is the Cote de Nuits that is more famous for its Pinot Noir reds, and the Cote de Beaune more recognized as the home of Chardonnay.
Burgundy consists of some 46,000 growers and the 43,000 hectares of vineyards yielding an annual production of two million hectolitres (22 million cases) of wine. However, only 20% of the production comes from the Cote d’Or. Furthermore only 7,000 hectares produce ‘appellation controleé ‘ wine. At the upper levels of quality in the Cote d’Or a single vine, in a good vintage, will only produce enough wine for a half bottle – such are the quality standards of the region!