Lesson 4 Principle Wine Regions of the World a unique gift from nature and the earth’s geology


Lesson 4: Principle Wine Regions of the World 4.10 France (continued) [ Wine map of the Burgundy region ]


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Lesson 4: Principle Wine Regions of the World 4.10 France (continued) [ Wine map of the Burgundy region ]



Lesson 4: Principle Wine Regions of the World 4.10 France (continued) [ Burgundy Region ]

  • Burgundy’s famous white wines: Chablis, Macon Blanc, Meursault, Montrachet, Pouilly Fuisse.

  • Burgundy’s famous red wines: Beaune, Bourgogne, Gevrey Chambertin, Macon, Nuits Saint Georges, Pommard, Vosne-Romanee.

  • Location and Climate: Burgundy is to the Northeast of France, its landlocked. Its climate is continental, no sea influence, severe winters, hot

  • summers – unreliable rain. Weather: Frost and hail are major hazards. Frequent summer rains make area prone to grey rot

  • Burgundy main wine growing areas are; Chablis / Cote de Nuits / Cote de Beaune / Cote Chalonnais / Maconnais / Beaujolais.

  • Main Soils: Chablis: limestone overlaid with Kimmeridgian clay, Core d’Or: limestone mixed with marl, Beaujolais: granite.

  • Grape varieties: North Burgundy: Black - Pinot Noir, White - Chardonnay, Aligote. South Burgundy: Black - Gamay, White -

  • Chardonnay.

  • INAO regulations for the top wines of Burgundy state that the grapes used are Pinot Noir for red wine, Chardonnay for white wine

  • Yield: is set at 40 hectolitres per hectares for the best, 60 for ordinary (this can change).

  • Strength of wine: must achieve 12% for best, 10% for ordinary.

  • Grape growing: North: high-density planting, Guyot trained. The best vineyards are on the east – or southeast – facing slopes

  • South (Beaujolais): Gobelet-pruned, freestanding vines. The best vineyards are on the hillsides in north.

  • Winemaking:

  • Red: Traditional fermentation with very little use of new oak maturation for Pinot Noir. Carbonic maceration for Beaujolais.

  • White: Stainless steel with very little oak used for Chablis. Barrel fermentation and new oak used for Cote de Beaune Chardonnay.

  • Overall Classification for Burgundy Wines:

  • Generic: for wines that do not quality for higher AC, must have Bourgogne in title.

  • District: used for wines from a single district or group of better villages within a district (Cote de Beaume, Macon, Beaujolais).

  • Commune: used for wines from single communes (villages) allowed own AC (i.e. Gevrey Chambertin, Pommard, Aloxe Corton, Meursault).

  • Premier Cru: village name followed by vineyard name, used for better vineyards (i.e. Beaume(commune) Bressandeo(vineyard)’.

  • Grand Cru: vineyard name only, highest level for best vineyards (i.e. Le Clos, Le Corton, Le Montrachet (finest Grand Cru vineyard in the world).

  • Burgundy – three major levels: (1) Domaines – family dynasties, (2) Negociants – shippers, most important they decide on the wines grade,

  • they buy the fruit, wine, mature it and sell it, (3) Co-ops lower areas, no middle manthey make and sell the wine and share the profits, basic

  • wines. AC is granted to demarcated areas – knowldege is crucial. Bourgogne AC (reds: PN, Gamay, Cesar, Tressot), (whites: Chardonnay.

  • Bourgogne Grand Ordinaire AC (ordinary wine)

  • Main Areas of Burgundy: Chablis / Core d’Or / Cote Nuit / Cote de Beaune / Cote Chalonnaise / Cote Maconnais – Macon / Cote Beaujolais.

  • Further detailed information: (Chapter 4 – pp. 96-100)

  • .



Lesson 4: Principle Wine Regions of the World 4.10 France (continued) [ Champagne Region – Wine Map ]



Lesson 4: Principle Wine Regions of the World 4.10 France (continued) [ Champagne Region ]

  • 68,000 acres (27,500 hectares) in Champagne, with 19,000 proprietors; it is split up among 8,000 holdings of a

  • hectare or less. Only 10% belongs to the great exporting firms.

  • Soils: Belemnita (rich in rare fossil): magic chalk on the hills and slopes, Micraster: magic chalk on the plains or flat land.

  • These unique chalky thin sub soils (often only 60cm) are excellent for drainage, they reflect heat and are excellent for

  • storage (cellars are complete cities underground). The chalk also helps the Ph balance. The chalky subsoil absorbs the rain

  • and also helps to reflect the heat of the sun. The topsoil is gravely which helps to aerate the roots.

  • Main grape varieties: Pinot Noir (gives backbone and structure), Pinot Meunier (gives fruit and aroma, its late budding

  • and early ripening makes it better suited to this northern climate,), Chardonnay (gives finesse and elegance) are the main

  • grapes with the Arbanne, Petit Meslier, Pinot Blanc (used as salt and pepper). The Pinot Meunier is especially used in bad

  • weather to add fruit and aroma.

  • Main Areas: Montagne de Reims, Vallee de la Marne, Cote de Blancs

  • Training systems: 2 high training systems (AC regulations) these are; Cordon de Royat (high) , Guyot:

  • (single and double systems)

  • Champagne making – the process: Methode Champenois: This unique method can only be used with

  • Champagne. For all other sparkling wines using this method they use the term methode traditionale. (chapter 4 – pp. 101-104).



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