If you are a wine enthusiast, maybe you heard about this long road in Bourgogne. ‘La Route des Vins’ (the Wine Road) or ‘Route des Grands Crus’ (Grands Crus Road) is a 60km long road that goes through the Côte de Nuit and Côte de Beaune, 37 villages and 2 cities, between Dijon and Beaune. Amidst the vineyards, you can enjoy the view… and tasting sessions!
Riding this road, you will recognize some names. All villages you will go through are actually well-known in the world for this reason! All along the Côte de Nuit, you will find the most famous red wines. 24 Grands Crus are situated there. Among them: Romanée-Conti, Clos de Vougeot, Chambertin,… In the Côte de Beaune, you will see the famous vineyards of Corton Charlemagne, Meursault and Montrachet: the Chardonnay heaven!
The main appellations are: Fixin, Gevrey-Chambertin, Morey-Saint-Denis, Nuits-Saint-Georges, Pommard, Meursault and Santenay.
What can be better than tasting wine while looking at the vineyard it comes from? Experiencing a tasting session at a Domaine is something unique, an opportunity to talk with the winemaker who will explain all the production processes in the vineyard and the cellar. Sharing their passion, that is the true goal of these hard workers.
More than wine, this road tells us French History. Châteaux, églises,… Most of the villages have been preserved and still have historical treasures.
For example, the Château de Vougeot has been built in the 12th century by the cistercian monks. It is now a Wine museum in which tools from the 15th century originally used by the monks in this place are displayed. More than a museum, it is an important place for all wine lovers as it is the home of La Confrérie du Tastevin (Fraternity of Knights of the Wine-Tasters Cup), the most prestigious wine fraternity that links more than 12000 amateurs from all over the world. History is still written there during ‘Chapitres’ (gatherings) where all the most influent persons of the wine world reunite to enjoy a traditional meal and, of course, delicious wine from the local producers.
By car or bike, you can spend days riding the Route des Grands Crus, between wine, local food, and history. Many small and charming hotels or ‘chambres d’hôtes’ will warmly welcome you. Here are a few recommendations of activities for your next visit:
GRANDS CRUS TASTINGS IN CÔTE DE NUIT
DOMAINE JOLIET, in Fixin (Manoir de la Perrière, 21220 Fixin) Visits: 15€ in both French and English. Wine bottles are from 30€ to 55€. The ‘clos’ has been built by the cistercian monks during the 12th century.
DOMAINE QUIVY, in Gevrey Chambertin (7, rue Gaston Roupnet, 21200 Gevery Chambertin) Visits: 10€ in French. Wine bottles are from 12€ to 200€. The domaine is in a 18th century mansion.
DOMAINE RENE LECLERC, in Gevrey Chambertin (29, route de Dijon, 21220 Gevrey Chambertin) Visits: 10€ to 20€ in French, English and Japanese. Wine bottles are from 15€ to 150€. The visit is led by the winemaker himself who will gladly explain all the processes in a 17th century cellar.
DOMAINE MICHEL MAGNIEN, in Morey-Saint-Denis (4, rue Ribordot, 21220 Morey-Saint-Denis) Visits: from 30€ in both French and English. Wine bottles are from 50€ to 200€. This Domaine has 18 hectares of vineyards in Côte de Nuits and has bottles from 23 different appellations. All wines are made respecting the Biodynamic processes (plannings depend on the moon phases) which are close to organic ones.
MAISON MOILLARD, in Nuits Saint Georges (2 Route de Dijon, 21700 Nuits Saint-Georges) Visits: 6€ to 20€ in both French and English. Wine bottles are from 8€ to 200€. A real figure of the tradition, it exists since the French Revolution. King François 1er and Emperor Napoléon used to stopped by. What a piece of history!
GRANDS CRUS TASTINGS IN CÔTE DE BEAUNE
DOMAINE CHANSON, in Beaune (10, rue Paul Chanson, 21200 Beaune) Visits: 15€ to 37€ in French, English and German. Wine bottles are from 14€ to 200€. This Domaine has been created in 1750 and is one of the oldest wine makers in Bourgogne. They own more than 45 hectares, exclusively producing Premier Crus and Grands Crus wines.
BOUCHARD-AÎNE & FILS, in Beaune (4, boulevard du Maréchal Foch, 21200 Beaune) Visits: 17€ in English, French, Portuguese and Chinese. Wine bottles are from 7€ to 145€. The visit takes place in a cellar from the 18th century. It has an interactive and sensorial path that educates all visitors to the wine production. Moreover, they organize wine pairings tastings such as wine and chocolate.
MAISON CHAMPY, in Beaune (12, place de la Halle, 21200 Beaune) Visits: 25€ to 90€ in both French and English. Wine bottles are from 17€ to 200€. One of the first Maison in Bourgogne, it has been created in 1720. They are mostly producing organic wines. Its cellar has been listed as Historical Monument. Moreover, it is situated in front of the Hospices de Beaune, a major historical place.
CHÂTEAU DE POMMARD, in Pommard (15, rue Marey Monge, 21630 Pommard) Visits: 26€ to 94€ in both French and English. Wine bottles are from 27€ to 200€. Built in 1726, the Château de Pommard is listed on the UNESCO historical treasures list. Most of their wines are organic. The visit is led by WSET certified sommeliers. Many art exhibitions are also held in the some parts of the castle.
CAVEAU DE MEURSAULT-MOILLARD, in Meursault (Route départementale 974, 21190 Meursault) Visits: 5€ to 55€ in French, English and German. Wine bottles are from 8€ to 153€. The Caveau is a place of discoveries for all wine lovers. They have interesting exhibition about wine, Bourgogne and history. You can taste wines from several local producers. A nice place if you want to taste many different types of wines!
DOMAINE FAMILLE PICARD, in Chassagne-Montrachet (5, chemin du Château, 21190, Chassagne-Montrachet) Visits: 15€ to 20€ in French, English, German, Spanish. Wine bottles are from 13€ to 200€. A familial and welcoming Domaine. In the 11st century cellar, you can enjoy wine and food pairings: what can be better than tasting wine with local food?
DOMAINE PROSPER MAUFOUX, in Santenay (1, place du Jet d’Eau, 21590 Santenay) Visits: the Domaine welcomes small groups only on reservation. In the heart of Santenay, this mansion has been built in the 19th century. One of the the levels of cellars is from the 15th century. The Domaine has wines from 6 different appellations of Côte de Beaune.
You can book your tasting sessions HERE.