When discussing the prestigious French wines, we immediately think of the Great Growths of Bordeaux and its famous Châteaux Margaux, Lafite, Latour, and Rothschild, among many others, enjoying a worldwide reputation that is proven. We then tend to forget that one of the most expensive wines in the world (price out from the winery) doesn’t come from the wine region of Bordeaux, but from Burgundy, the Great Growth Romanée-Conti.
But that prestigious wine is not a particular case, since in the vineyards of Burgundy, which is 250 km long from Dijon to the city of Mâcon, there are no less than 34 AOC Great Growth labeled wines. This designation is at the top of the 4 categories of wine produced in Burgundy:
– « Appellation Grand-Cru »
– « Dénomination Premier-Cru »
-« Appellation Communale »
– « Appellation Régionale »
These valuable bottles, that represent only 1.5% of the Burgundy vineyard (but still 3 million bottles a year), are exclusively produced in 12 villages, or “communes” of the 3 sub-regions of Burgundy: Cote de Nuits, Côte de Beaune and Chablis. The Great Growth wines are mainly made of Chardonnay for white wines like Chablis, and Pinot Black for red wines. The quality of these wines can be explained by the fact that this vineyard benefits from particular exposure, soils and slopes, as well as very specific microclimates – thus defining a “climat”. Typical from Burgundy, the term “climat” refers to plots of land defined with precision, and enjoying good weather and geological conditions, combined with human expertise.
Noting that local AOC are named after a town or a village (eg AOC Pouilly-Fuissé), First Growth (“1er Cru”) AOC are named after a town or a village followed by the name of the classified 1er Cru “climat” (for instance: Santenay “The Maladière” First Growth), whereas the Grand Cru AOC are directly named after a classified Grand Cru “climat” (see below).
There is an exception for Chablis since it is written Chablis Great Growth on the label, followed by the names of the seven Great Growth “climats” of Chablis, instead of the name of the “climat” directly (eg. Chablis Grand Cru “Blanchot”).
Below is a table of the Burgundy great growth wines:
Feel free to contact us if you are interested by Great Growth wines from Burgundy, from the French Wine Paradox selection, as shown below:
- C. Charton Fils, Corton Grand Cru
- C. Charton Fils, Chassagne-Montrachet Grand C
- C. Charton Fils, Echezeaux Grand Cru
But also, the First Growth:
- C. Charton Fils, Santenay 1er Cru « La Maladière »
Or the « AOC Communale » :
- C. Charton Fils Mercurey “Les Grandes Vignes”