Aug 2012

Route des Grands Crus – Burgundy

Route des Grands Crus - Burgundy

Following our thoroughly Burgundian lunch at Les Terrasses de Corton, The Astronomer, Mom, and I visited a few tasting rooms along the Route des Grands Crus. The roughly 40 mile route stretches from Dijon in the north to Santenay in the south.

Burgundy, France Collages

Burgundy is truly breathtaking with its rolling hills and sprawling vineyards. The terrain was wonderfully lush and green for as far as the eye could see. The Astronomer remarked that the grapes here were allowed to grow in free form, unlike their staked, split, and tortured cousins in California’s Central Coast and Napa Valley. The difference in methodology was quite striking.

Burgundy, France Collages

The first vineyard that we randomly stepped into was Château Corton-Andre, which is located at the bottom of the Corton Hill, the most important Grand Crus area in Burgundy. Grand Cru is the highest level in the vineyard classification of Burgundy.

The wines that we sipped here were quite young and thus acidic and assertive. We purchased a bottle to take home; it will be aging in our “cellar” for the next five years. Hopefully its flavors will be nice and round by the time we pop the cork.

Burgundy, France Collages

Our second stop was at the region’s oldest winery, Château du clos de Vougeot. The vineyard was created by Cistercian monks in the 12th century to the early 14th century and served as the flagship vineyard for their order. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to taste a single drop due to a private engagement on the premises.

Burgundy, France Collages

Our third and final stop was at Château André Ziltener. The coolest thing about this tasting room was its creepy wine museum full of monk mannequins. We also sipped wines from shallow metal dishes that fit around our fingers. While I am full of adjectives and expressions when it comes to describing food, with wines I’m not as verbose. The ones we tasted here were lovely. I’d hit those bottles again.

Route des Grands Crus - Burgundy

Here’s Mom celebrating the big 6-0 in high style along the Route des Grands Crus.

Caveau Château André Ziltener

And the Astronomer posing cheerily with a monk mannequin. Needless to say, we had a splendid time sipping the afternoon away.

Chateau Corton-Andre
Rue Cortons
21420 Aloxe-Corton, France
Phone: 3 80 26 28 70

Château du clos de Vougeot
Rue de la Montagne
21640 Vougeot, France
Phone: 3 80 62 86 09

Caveau Château André Ziltener
Rue de la Fontaine
21220 Chambolle-Musigny, France
Phone: 03 80 62 41 62

One year ago: Coop’s West Texas Barbecue – San Diego (Lemon Grove)
Two years ago: José Andrés Washington D.C. Restaurant Tour: Minibar, Café Atlántico, Oyamel, Jaleo, Zaytinya
Three years ago: Foodbuzz 24, 24, 24: Eat. Run. Repeat.
Four years ago: Noodlepie’s Sarnie
Five years ago: Vegetation Profile: Longan

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5 thoughts on “Route des Grands Crus – Burgundy

  1. I better not show my dad this post… we only took him to Napa for his 70th birthday! 😉

    I’m gonna invite myself over 5 years from now to partake in some of that round wine you got there. I’ll make beef fondue…

  2. Your mom is so cute. I went to a Burgandy tasting event a couple of years ago in LA. I wonder if any of the places you stopped had wines there.

  3. How would you describe the wine tasting experience in Burgundy? I’ve been to Napa and found it welcoming. I’m curious about the language barrier, that infamous French arrogance and ease of finding good wineries. Thanks for this post.

  4. Waleed – The tasting rooms in Burgundy weren’t as buzzy (quieter, fewer people) as the ones we’ve visited in the Central Coast and Napa. In that sense, the mood is a bit more serious. In regards to the people who administer the tastings, they were all perfectly nice to us. We didn’t feel any pressure to buy or anything like that. And our lack of French proficiency was never an issue. In fact, we were served by a Brit at the final tasting room. The protocol varies from winery to winery. Some have per-determined wine flights that cost a few Euros, while others just let you taste whatever you want.

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