Burgundy Wine Tours

Burgundy lies south of Paris in the heart of France, slightly east of the country’s very centre. The most south easterly tip of this large region is just an hour or so from Switzerland and in general Burgundy’s many towns and villages retain the authenticity and charm that comes from being off the full blown tourist trail.

Back in the late 60s, one of our SmoothRed founders spent his first wine harvest in Burgundy. (We’d tell you who, but we don’t want to give away his age).

Working the vines of Clos Vougeot, the largest vineyard in Côte de Nuits, he soon fell in love with the region. And since then our little black book of contacts has grown steadily every year. Or should that be “our little SmoothRed book of contacts”?

Nowadays we run a range of Burgundy wine tours and self-drive tours across the whole region. From Chablis in the north to the Mâconnais in the south and the picturesque region of Beaujolais near Lyon, we can show you the finest sights and wines in all of Burgundy.

Popular places to visit in Burgundy

As well as its beautiful rural landscapes of farmland and vineyards, Burgundy also boasts several stunning towns and villages to visit.

Dijon is the capital of the region and has plenty to offer besides just mustard. In its medieval heart you can visit the Musée des Beaux-Arts (one of the oldest museums in France), the elegant Palais des Ducs and the exquisite Renaissance stylings of the Hôtel de Vogüé.

Beaune meanwhile is the capital of Burgundy wines. Home to over 100 kilometres of tunnels and wine cellars, this charmingly picturesque town has wine coursing through its veins, with opportunities to taste incredible Burgundy wines at every twist and turn.

The regions of Burgundy

Measuring around the same size as Belgium, Burgundy can be hard to get a handle on. So it’s easiest to think of it in terms of its distinct sub-regions, arranged in a narrow strip running south from Dijon.

Starting in the north, Chablis is known almost exclusively for its exceptional dry white wines made from 100% Chardonnay grapes. Just to the south, the Côte de Nuits is home to Clos Vougeot, Gevrey-Chambertin and some of the finest red Burgundies in the whole region. But it’s always worth checking out some of the whites they produce there too.

In the Côte de Beaune meanwhile you can taste some of the greatest white Burgundies from places like Pulingy-Montrachet, Chassange Montrachet and Mersault. But we’ll leave it to you to decide whether you prefer these to those from Chablis.

To the very south of Burgundy lie the Côte Chalonnaise and the Mâconnais. Both are known for producing somewhat cheaper reds and whites, but can still surprise with some truly excellent wines.

The Wines of Burgundy

The Burgundy region enjoys an exceptional geographical location, perfect weather for growing grapes, rich soils, renowned varietals which all combine to produce its 100 appellations that are recognized around the world.

Compared to other regions, Burgundy is actually a pretty simple region to understand when it comes to grape varieties. There are really only two main grape varieties to remember, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

Red Burgundy is 100% Pinot Noir, while White Burgundy is made from 100% Chardonnay grape. Pretty simple, right?

Many wine drinkers will automatically think of red wine when they hear the name “Burgundy”. These wines pair with food in much the same way as New World Pinot Noir. They are lighter than many reds, with berries and a certain earthiness on the nose that makes them good with more savoury flavours such as mushrooms.  As with their New World cousins, these wines can easily be matched with fish, poultry and game too.

When it comes to White Burgundy, many younger drinkers may not realise that the Chablis or Pouilly-Fuissé they claim to love is made from Chardonnay. In the 1970s such wines were hugely fashionable before falling out of favour. With a big improvement in quality at the lower end of the pricing, however, they have become popular once again.

The whites of this region are subtler than many New World Chardonnays and so when it comes to food it is best to keep things relatively simple. Classic pairings include dishes such as roast chicken or a seafood risotto.

 

The Food of Burgundy

Perhaps Burgundy’s two most famous dishes are boeuf bourguignon and coq au vin and even those with a rudimentary knowledge of French cuisine will know that both of those involve red wine. Burgundy is famous for its Charolais cattle, this white cow being France’s number one beef breed. It is perhaps a little ironic and certainly unexpected that the light reds wines of the region are not ideally suited to beef, although they are the classic match for a coq au vin.

Snails are another Burgundian favourite, whilst the mustard of Dijon is famous worldwide. As you can see, with dishes such as snails, boeuf bourguignon and coq au vin, Burgundy is home to some of France’s most famous dishes, meaning this Burgundy wine holiday will delight food lovers just as much as those here to worship the vine.

Hotel le Cep Beaune, Burgundy Wine Region
Hotel Le Cep Beaune

Description Located in the heart of the historic town of Beaune in the Burgundy Wine…

France, Burgundy
Abbaye de la Bussiere in Burgundy
Abbaye de la Bussière

Description A luxury hotel in the heart of the Burgundy wine region. The Abbaye de…

France, Burgundy
Le Cedre Beaune , Beaune - 5 Star Hotel in Burgundy
Le Cedre

Description Le Cedre offers 40 rooms conducive to relaxation and reverie. Each one is different…

France, Burgundy

Burgundy wine trips

“Thanks for taking the time and trouble to call. You really have set the standard by which we compare all other companies!! Thank you so much for organising a fantastic itinerary with such an interesting and varied range of stop-overs. We are already starting to think about next year’s trip to France so would welcome any suggestions.”

Hilary Alder

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Recent Google Reviews

SmoothRed planned a truly fabulous trip from Paris through Brittany to Normandy and back to Paris. Every part of the trip was wonderful and seamlessly executed. It was a trip of a lifetime! Without any hesitation or qualifications, we heartily recommend SmoothRed. They customized an extraordinary family trip.

Dorothy Weinstein

Very well organised trip to Tuscany, getting in 2 wine regions. Lovely hotel with amazing view. The best part was our guide Paula who ensured our wine tasting tours were with smaller wineries which have authenticity and care for the environment. Highly recommend SmoothRed!

Warren De Villiers

To Adam & the SmoothRed Team. Our recent trip to Bordeaux and the Medoc/St Emillion has been a wonderful trip & experience. One I would have no hesitation in saying is top class. I would certainly use SmoothRed & their travel associates in future wine tasting trips. The entire group…

Paul Green

SmoothRed did an outstanding job providing chauffeured driven wine tour through Bourgogne and the Rhone valley (France). The multiple vendors they used were all Courteous, Prompt, and very fluent in English. This 7 day trip went without problems. I would highly recommend SmoothRed.

Dan Lepley

We came to Bordeaux for part of our honeymoon and took the First Growth Bordeaux tour. SmoothRed worked with us to curate a trip based on our desires. The 8 Chateaux we visited, the 3 delicious lunches, and the hotel were wonderful, but what set the trip apart was our…

Tibita Kaneene

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