The foundation of the originality of Burgundy wines
The terroir, in Burgundy, is the basis of the Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée. Burgundy is renowned for its prestigious Appellations d’Origine Contrôlée (AOC). It enjoys an exceptional range of natural production conditions, thanks to which a highly diverse range of AOCs can be found today.
In Burgundy, terroir is a broad concept which includes both natural and human factors. It was wine growers, sometimes aided by the work of monks, who discovered, identified and then developed the terroirs. Centuries of hard work were necessary for this concept, whose origin goes back to the early Middle Ages, to be passed down to us and be officially recognized and described in the middle of the last century with the creation of the appellations of origin.
Today, after more than 1000 years, the terroir continues to assert itself in Burgundy as a modern concept, copied all over the world because it represents and conveys values of origin, authenticity, tradition and typicity that are dear to consumers.
Ever since wine has been made in Burgundy, it is the Pinot Noir on which the fame of her great red wines depends. It produces compact, purplish-black grape bunches whose berries contain an abundance of sweet, colorless juice. In Burgundy, the skins (which contain the coloring matter) are macerated in the fermenting vats along with the juice, and it is this that gives the wines their attractive red hue.
The Chardonnay is also considered a Burgundian grape and has been for centuries. It is responsible for the prestige of the great white wines of the Côte de Beaune, Côte Chalonnaise, Mâconnais and Chablis districts. (In Chablis it is locally known as the Beaunois grape.).
The Gamay grape takes its name from a hamlet belonging to the village of Saint-Aubin, near Puligny-Montrachet. It is mentioned in a number of 14th-century written sources. The variety which concerns us here is the white-juiced black Gamay which, growing on the granitic soils of the Beaujolais hills, produces attractive, delicate and aromatic red wines. It is to this grape that the red wines of the Mâconnais and Beaujolais owe their reputation.
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