France: Burgundy

Côte de Beaune

Wines from the southern part of the Côte d'Or
By Russell Hone and Jean-Pierre Renard

This Guide was last updated on 27 April 2011
To explore this Wine Travel Guide, select from the menu on the left

Main appellations

It's worth noting that the Grands Crus are appellations in their own right and do not have to name the village on the label e.g. Le Montrachet.Note also that some are in more than one village. Most villages of the Côte de Beaune have no Grands Crus and all are for white wines only except Corton. There are a great number of Premiers Crus, in the hierarchy, these are the second best vineyard sites after the Grands Crus. The Premiers Crus are not AC in their own right and the name must be stated after the village appellation name e.g. Puligny Montrachet Premier Cru Les Folatières. However, a wine blended from several such sites will be labelled simply as Premier Cru e.g. Puligny Montrachet Premier Cru. The simple village name is third in the hierarchy and these appellations are referred to either as Village appellations or Communal appellations.

Grands Crus of Aloxe-Corton

Le Corton, the largest Grand Cru in Burgundy also has a number of lieu-dits (specific vineyards) allowed to add their name to it, e.g. Corton-Bressandes. Corton is mainly red, though a little white is also made. Corton-Charlemagne is the principal Grand Cru appellation for white producing two-thirds of all the white Grand Cru wine in the Côte d’Or.

Grands Crus of Puligny-Montrachet and Chassagne-Montrachet

These important white Grands Crus, shared by the two villages, consist of Le Montrachet and Bâtard-Montrachet Grands Crus (both also with vineyards in Chassagne-Montrachet), Bienvenues-Bâtard-Montrachet and Chevalier-Montrachet. Situated wholly in Chassagne-Montrachet is Criots-Bâtard-Montrachet


The most northerly appellation of the Côte de Beaune it is situated where two valleys meet among the hills of the Côte de Beaune and adjoins two prestigious villages, Aloxe-Corton and Ladoix. The production is 65% red and 35% white and there are eight Premiers Crus.


On the border with the Côte de Nuits with vineyards on the hill of Corton, 99% of production in Aloxe-Corton is red and there are 13 Premiers Crus, a few shared with the neighbouring village of Ladoix which also has nine Premiers Crus.


Situated between Beaune and the hill of Corton, the slopes are gentle at first before becoming steeper and the vineyards face south. Nearly 90% of the wine produced here is red and there are 22 Premiers Crus.


The Beaune vineyards are among the most extensive of the Côte de Beaune and are on the slopes to the west of the town with about 85% of the production being red. There are 42 Premiers Crus, some of which have a very high reputation including Les Bressandes and Clos des Mouches.


Lying between Beaune and Volnay, Pommard for centuries has been considered the archetypical Burgundy red. The well-drained slopes of clay-limestone and marl provide ideal growing conditions for Pinot Noir - only reds are made here and there are 27 Premiers Crus.


The village itself is perched above the southeast facing vineyards which are between Meursault and Pommard. Only reds are made under the Volnay appellation and there 30 Premier Crus. Any whites take the appellation of Meursault.


Situated between Volnay and Meursault on slightly lower slopes of the Côte de Beaune its south and southeast facing vineyards produce mainly red wines. There are 11 Premiers Crus.


The hard limestone which disappears deep underground around Nuits-Saint-Georges in the north, reappears here where, as one moves southward, red wines give way to the famous Chardonnay whites of the Côte de Beaune. Meursault has 21 Premiers Crus, and produces a tiny amount of red. The neighbouring village of Blagny, produces just reds with seven Premiers Crus (whites from the village of Blagny are labelled either as Mersault or Puligny-Montrachet depending on where the vineyards are sited).


Once part of the Hautes-Côtes above Meursault and on an extension of the hill that extends south from Volnay, this appellation produces about 75% reds to 25% whites. About a third of the land is classified as Premier Cru (there are 9 named Premier Crus) most of which is planted with Pinot Noir.


Most of the production here is white and, with its neighbour Chassagne-Montrachet, some of the best white Burgundies are made here. There are fine limestone soils with some marl, ideal for Chardonnay. Among the 17 Premiers Crus are Les Champs Gains and Les Combettes.


In the southern part of the Côte de Beaune, Chassagne-Montrachet shares with Puligny the uncontested title for the world’s most famous dry white wines. This fine, broad hillside brings out the best in Chardonnay, but also in Pinot Noir, and the two varieties grow here side-by-side. On the higher slopes are the 19 Premiers Crus.


Lying in the south of the Côte de Beaune only a little white is produced. The vineyards face south and east and the oolitic limestone and marl suit Pinot Noir well. There are 12 Premiers Crus.


An appellation that replaced three separate appellations in 1989 and produces mainly reds.

Bourgogne Hautes-Côtes de Beaune

The Hautes-Côtes de Beaune overlooks the Côte de Beaune from the west, lying between Maranges and Ladoix-Serrigny. On a succession of hills and valleys the vines cover the sunny slopes at the foot of a limestone cliff. Between 280 and 450 metres above sea-level, the well-exposed vineyards run east-west at right angles to the axis of the Côte. Reds are the principal wines although some light whites and rosés are produced.

Côtes de Beaune Villages

Only red wines are produced in the appellation where the slopes are gentle and regular, not reaching the plateau – it covers 14 villages which may choose to use their own name, or when blended with others use this appellation.


Generic appellation for basic Burgundy red, white and rosé from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay whose vineyards are often adjacent to the Village appellations and located along the foot of the wine-growing slopes on limestone soils mixed with some clays and marls. The soils are stony, rocky even, and quick-draining. Rosé is made in some of the red wine areas. May also be called Bourgogne Grand-Ordinaire. The appellation Bourgogne Aligoté is specific to that grape variety.

Bourgogne Passe-Tout-Grains

Appellation covering the whole Burgundy region for reds and a very few rosés producing early-drinking wines from a blend of Pinot Noir (minimum one-third) with Gamay.

Crémant de Bourgogne

This appellation was created in 1975 for white and rosé to replace the unglamorous Mousseux de Bourgogne AC (now used only for red sparkling) and the quality continues to improve as more producers are cultivating grapes especially for sparkling wine. The wines must be made by the Traditional Method and aged on lees for minimum 12 months. Little is produced in the Côte de Beaune.

This information is provided free of charge, however it is strictly the copyright of Wine Travel Guides and its contributors. We try to do our best in keeping our guides and information up-to-date and accurate, but if you notice any mistakes, please contact us. Note that we take no responsibility for any inaccuracies. Thanks for your respect and understanding. For full details see our Terms and Conditions.