“Climats” of Burgundy : the DNA of Burgundy wines
Bernard Pivot : “In Burgundy, when we speak about a “Climat”, we don’t look up to the sky. We look down to the ground”.
Come and drink to the sources of the Earth by discovering the “Climats” of Burgundy included in the UNESCO World Heritage since July 2015. This specific term of the 16th century is unique to Burgundy and was a synonym for locality back then. It expresses the gist of a local site in terms of geography and geology, as well as cultural diversity of the Burgundy wine region. The idea of the “Climats” in the sense of winegrowing locality is dated back to the Early Middle Ages.
Vine plot, grape variety and know-how: the sacred union
There are 1247 “Climats”, vine plots with evocative names such as Montrachet, Romanée-Conti, Clos de Vougeot, Corton, Chambertin… representing a unique particularity in the world. These treasures result from the alchemy between a natural environment from a great variety and the human know-how. The word “Climats” refers to a specific vineyard site whose limits have been clearly defined for centuries. Each of them has its own specific characteristics (geological, geographical and climate) giving birth to a mosaic of legendary wines along a 60 km strip from Dijon to Santenay, in the south of Beaune.
2000 years of History
Shaped by 2000 years, defined, protected and promoted by the monks, dukes, kings and winegrowers, the Burgundy vineyard gets its particularity from the constant search of the link between the place of origin and the notion of time (millésime/vintage), settings that guarantee the quality of the wines. It is the only wine-growing region worldwide to have constantly privileged the identity of its “Climats” throughout these 2000 years of History.
It is indeed in the wine that each spot, each particularity of the landscape tells a story and reveals a relief, a unique exposure, a particular altitude, a geological characteristic, and typical plants. And so, each “Climat” shapes the character and the personality of the wines, making them unique, incomparable and inimitable.
The subtle alchemy between the vine and the architectural heritage has shaped the landscape, the towns and the villages through the ancient stone walls and enclosures, the “cabotes” (stone shelters) and “meurgers” (piles of large stones) that define the contour of each “Climat”. Each of these buildings is intrinsically linked to vine cultivation and plays a major role in protecting the vine from damages caused by animals or thieves, in preventing soil erosion, in marking out the boundaries between the vine plots or in sheltering in bad weather. If the “Climats” can be savored in wine cellars, they can also be visited through the many walking trails in the heart of the vineyards and in emblematic places such as the Palace of the Dukes of Burgundy in Dijon, the Hospices de Beaune or the Castle of the Clos de Vougeot.
The “Climats” of Burgundy represent a unique repository of traditions, passed down over the centuries, and punctuating the life of an entire community throughout the winegrowing year: the public Wine Auction of the Hospices de Beaune, the Saint-Vincent Tournante Festival, as well as the Paulée celebrating the end of the harvest, are among the major events in Burgundy. Live out the “Climats” of Burgundy that reflect the genius of the place and the human. Wines of excellence, landscapes of a great beauty, a remarkable heritage are enough valuable reasons to lay down your luggage in Burgundy.
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