Côte de Beaune Part 1- Pommard, Volnay & Meursault


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.

Côte de Beaune
Côte de Beaune

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.

Map credit: Burgundy & Beyond
Map credit: Burgundy & Beyond

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.

Beaune- Heart of Burgundy
Beaune- Heart of Burgundy

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.

Pommard Village
Pommard Village
Pinot Noir Grapes
Pinot Noir Grapes

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.

Vineyard outside Volnay
Vineyard outside Volnay
Old Pinot Noir vine
Old Pinot Noir vine

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.

Hungry Burgundy birds
Hungry Burgundy birds
Leaving Meursault Village
Leaving Meursault Village

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.

 

 

Côte de Beaune
Côte de Beaune
Vineyards of Côte de Beaune in autumn
Vineyards of Côte de Beaune in autumn

Write a comment

Comments: 6
  • #1

    Chrissie (Thursday, 05 December 2013 14:15)

    What beautiful photos Douglas! This post has given me definite wine wanderlust!

  • #2

    Douglas Renall (Thursday, 05 December 2013 14:26)

    Thanks Chrissie! Appreciate the feedback. Hope you get to visit soon! :)

  • #3

    Daniele Tincati (Sunday, 08 December 2013 21:55)

    Great job Douglas, well done! Great shots !

  • #4

    Douglas Renall (Sunday, 08 December 2013 23:30)

    Thanks Daniele! Awesome that you checked it out. Cheers!

  • #5

    Anthony Davies (Friday, 13 December 2013 19:49)

    I never get tired of Beaune and tge Southern Côte. Beaune is the place my mind goes to in times of stress and I can't wait to return. The food on offer in Meursault and Beaune us fabulous and my favourite wines of all come from Volnay... Thanks for reigniting the memories!

  • #6

    Douglas Renall (Saturday, 14 December 2013 10:09)

    Great to hear that you love the area as well Anthony. Côte de Beaune is def a special place! Thanks for comment and feedback. Have a great weekend!