The Wine Route - a great way of getting a taste of Burgundy
Although Burgundy is widely known for its rich historical past, its extraordinary artistic heritage and its authentic, high-quality cuisine, it is perhaps as a result of its great wines that it has acquired a worldwide reputation. Coming to Burgundy without visiting its vineyards would be a bit like going to Rome without visiting the Colosseum! The Burgundy Wine Route is the ideal way to explore this fascinating region.
This Wine Route can in fact be divided into several different itineraries which cross the main vineyards of Burgundy.
The Route des Grands Crus, sometimes referred to as the "Champs-Elysées" of Burgundy, heads from Dijon to Santenay via Nuits-St-Georges and Beaune, passing through 24 of the region's 33 grands cru wine areas.
The Route Touristique des Grands Vins de Bourgogne runs through the Maranges, Couchois and Côte Chalonnaise vineyards, while the Route des Vins Mâconnais-Beaujolais winds its way through the southernmost part of the section, allowing visitors to explore the Roche de Solutré and the landscapes which inspired the great French poet Lamartine, who hailed from this region. To the north, the Route Touristique des Vins de l’Yonne offers several different circuits around Chablis, Auxerre, Vézelay, Tonnerre and Joigny, and a new Route du Crémant has recently been created around the area of Châtillon-sur-Seine. Meanwhile, to the west, outside the Burgundy appellation area, but still in the region of Burgundy, the Route des Coteaux de Pouilly-Sancerre provides an insight into the Burgundian section of the Loire Valley.
Each of these routes can be followed in a number of different ways. Touring by car is the easiest option, although you can also use public transport, which allows you to enjoy the wine-tastings to the full! The Wine Route can also be explored in more unusual ways, such as by hot-air balloon, 4x4, on foot along the many footpaths, by bike following marked cycle trails, such as the Voie des Vignes de Beaune in Santenay, or even on horseback along the region's numerous bridleways.
Whichever method you choose, you're always sure of a warm welcome, especially when you visit one of the 282 wine-growers who have signed up to the "Des Vignes aux Caves" quality charter. Other tourist providers will be equally welcoming and will be happy to share the legendary relaxed Burgundy way of life with you, whether you're staying in a B&B, a charming hotel, or a gîte on a wine estate, eating in a restaurant or an inn, taking a trip through the vineyards, enjoying a wine-tasting, or taking part in one of the many wine festivals which are held throughout the year.