Burgundy, or Bourgogne in French, is the most celebrated wine region in France and maybe even in the whole world. A treasure trove of wonderful wines that all wine-lovers must try at least once. But the huge demand for their wines and the relatively small estates producing limited quantities means that the prices of wines from well-known terroirs, and famous towns and estates are often quite high. Having said that, if we look for AOC Bourgogne wines classified with the generic appellation label covering the whole area, they often allow wine fans to enjoy excellent wines at much more affordable prices.
Although it only covers 3% of the winemaking lands of France, Burgundy boasts 84 different appellations (AOCs). The regional appellation known as AOC Bourgogne is at the base of the quality ladder, followed by village appellations, and premier cru and grand cru wines. Wines made from grapes collected from anywhere in the region under the non-specific AOC Bourgogne label are honest and direct wines which prioritize fruitiness and immediacy to make them ready for enjoying as soon as they have been bottled.
AOC Bourgogne vineyards are spread around 385 different villages and towns, including 92 in Côte d'Or, the most renowned wine area in Burgundy. Both the most famous and prestigious wines and the simpler ones classified under the regional appellation are made using Pinot Noir (red wines) and Chardonnay (whites). Around 24 million bottles (15 million of red wine, 9 million of white) are produced annually from 3000 hectares of vines. The best Pinot Noirs delight wine-lovers with aromas of dark forest fruit and liquorice and are ideal for pairing with red meats or medium-hard cheese. Great Chardonnays offer aromas of lemon, vanilla or honey and go well with white meat or fish.
Paying a little attention to the best vintages from a well-known or prestigious winery, it is relatively easy to find splendid wines from the generic AOC Bourgogne appellation.