Burgundy is the historical home of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, and where the pinnacle expressions of each variety are found. Each village has its own unique expression of its preferred varietal, from powerful to nuanced and racy to flamboyant. The most valuable bottlings produced in the world originate in this tiny corner of France, but so do stunning values from lesser known villages throughout the region.
The history of Burgundy goes back two millennia, back to the Romans. However, it wasn’t until Cistercian monks moved in and began analyzing the soil in the region to determine what grows best where. Over time, generations, and even centuries, the monks would analyze the soil structure, exposure, and the degree of incline to determine the best varieties, but also the best wine.
Burgundy Wine Classifications
The elite of the region are classified as Grand Cru vineyards. These wines tend to be on the mid slope, with southeastern exposure, and have a wonderful mix of red clay as well as limestone, which we call marl. Grand Cru production tops out at 2%, but that has 95% of the demand. With production so low and demand so high, pricing tends to match.
The next step down in quality is Premier Cru. These bottlings tend to represent about 10% of total production in Burgundy. Vineyards are typically located just below and just above Grand Cru vineyards on the slope.
Underneath is the rest of Burgundy. These are where you tend to find your greatest values., but are not necessarily inferior. Sometimes they come from young vines in the in the better vineyards. However, the pricing tends to be lower and can offer really excellent value.
For investment purpose, the great blue chip producers have increased in value by thousands of percent over the last even the last few years. Given the demand, availability is stretched. But at SaratogaWine.com through our Pre-arrival program, we offer all of these selections from the greatest vintages at very competitive pricing.