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
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Main towns and villages


In mediaeval times the moated town of Beaune was the capital of the Dukes of Burgundy, who were richer and more powerful than the kings of France. Much of the moat and walls still exist and can be seen as you drive round the ring-road. The famous Hôtel Dieu (Hospices de Beaune – see ‘Places to Visit’), with its multi-coloured tiled roof, dominates the market square with narrow pedestrian streets radiating from it where there are still many very old buildings. Beaune is a friendly small town with a great selection of restaurants, cafés, bistros and wine shops, who sell wine paraphernalia as well as bottles. It is a very popular base for touring the region with hotels at all levels.


One of the principal villages of the Côte de Beaune famous for the white wines made there. Notice the large number of châteaux and bourgeois houses. The Château de Meursault, property of the Beaune négociant Patriarche, has beautiful cellars which are worth a visit. Also in Meursault you can find the first cellars constructed by 12th century monks beneath the Château de Cîteaux, which now belongs to the Domaine Philippe Bouzereau.


A village right in the south of the Côte de Beaune, Santenay is at the foot of the Montagne des Trois Croix, well known to Burgundian hikers. Worth a visit is the very pretty little church of Saint-Jean built in 1220. The spa is in the process of renovation with a planned 20-room hotel. As with many spa towns, Santenay has a casino which attracts more than 200,000 people every year.

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