Côte de Beaune is a magical area located in the southern part of the Côte d'Or, France. The wine-growing part of Côte de Beaune is the heart of Burgundy and extends approximately 40 kilometres from Beaune down to Santenay, and in most places is less than 2 kilometres wide. The area is made up of tiny villages surrounded by a combination of flat and sloped vineyards on the side of a hilly region.
The grape varieties cultivated in Côte de Beaune are dominated by Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, which were chosen in antiquity to match the geology of the region. The soil type is Argilo limestone which many critics claim to be responsible for the perfect terroir of the region.
Beaune is the beating heart of this region with many of the surrounding vineyards having their wineries and retail outlets located in the city. It truly is a wine lovers heaven. With cobbled streets and fairytale wine stores located on every corner, the city is a place which every wine lover should visit once in their lifetime. Located around Beaune is an array of villages whose names one usually finds written on the most expensive wines in the world. Names like Pommard, Meursault and Montrachet.
The vineyards which surround Beaune to the north are predominantly Pinot Noir vines. As you go south past Beaune, you come to Pinot Noir paradise Pommard. Pommard is a small village which specialise in the production of Pinot Noir. The wines are usually tannic, full-bodied and fleshy. A number of the regions best Premier cru vineyards are located here, including Les Rugiens.
As you travel south, Volnay springs out of the sea of vineyards. Volnay is a rustic small town where medieval winemaking techniques are still implemented. The wines from this village are usually lighter in style and more delicate compared with Pommard. It is a small area with less than 250ha of vines cultivated.
South of Volnay you come to the hilltop village of Meursault. Meursault is a very famous name in the wine industry and can be found on the wine list of top restaurants around the world. The vineyards which surround this beautiful village are predominantly Chardonnay with a small area given to the production of Pinot Noir. The Chardonnay tends to be buttery, silky and rich.
If you ever find your way to Côte de Beaune, I highly recommend you base yourself in Beaune and hire bikes to travel through the vineyards. The vineyards have a lovely bike track winding its way through the best vineyards and the villages which dot the region. If you do not take your own lunch + wine then plan to have it in Meursault as the village boasts some awesome restaurants and tasting stores. Volnay and Pommard have a few tasting rooms which have signs saying 'degustation' but restaurants are hard to find.