Dijon–a city that sits like a jewel in the crown of France’s Burgundy region, famously renowned for its mustard, but let’s not overlook its true liquid gold: wine. This isn’t your run-of-the-mill supermarket variety, my friends. We’re talking about some of the world’s most celebrated bottles that have graced the tables of emperors, kings, and anyone who knows a thing or two about good wine.
Whether you’re a casual wine drinker or a certified oenophile, the wine-tasting scene in Dijon is nothing short of a vinicultural pilgrimage. From rustic cellars to state-of-the-art tasting rooms, the city invites you to embark on a sensorial journey through its storied terroirs. So let your taste buds take the lead and let’s dive into the intoxicating world of Dijon’s wine culture.
Why Dijon Wines?
Dijon might be overshadowed by other Parisian cities, but it’s a wine lover’s paradise in its own right. Here’s why you should consider exploring Dijon wine tastings:
- Gateway to Burgundy vineyards: Dijon is strategically located at the heart of the prestigious Burgundy wine region, providing easy access to renowned vineyards like Côtes de Nuits and Mâconnais.
- Distinctive wines: You can savor a wide range of wines in Dijon, from classic Pinot Noirs to the more affordable Bourgogne Rouge, ensuring you’ll find a new favorite.
- UNESCO World Heritage recognition: In 2015, the Climats of Burgundy vineyards were listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site, signifying their global significance and influence on wine growing practices.
Evaluating Dijon Wines
Influence of Terroir
When it comes to Dijon wines, terroir, or the specific environmental factors and growing conditions of a region, plays a crucial role in shaping their unique characteristics. The soils, climate, and even topography of the vineyards around Dijon contribute to crafting wines with complex flavors and great depth. You’ll notice how limestone-rich soils impart a lovely minerality, while the varying climate conditions influence the wine’s aromas and acidity levels.
Popularity of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay
Dijon and the surrounding Burgundy region are best known for their outstanding Pinot Noir and Chardonnay wines. You’re sure to fall in love with these exceptional varietals, as they showcase the region’s finest attributes. Pinot Noir, a red grape, stars in delightful red wines full of elegance and finesse, while Chardonnay, a white grape, shines in both crisp and buttery white wines with fragrant and fruity notes.
Ranking: Grand Cru and Premier Cru
During your wine tastings in Dijon, you’ll come across two important rankings: Grand Cru and Premier Cru. These classifications indicate the quality and prestige of a wine within the Burgundy region. Here’s a quick breakdown:
- Grand Cru: Representing the crème de la crème of Burgundy wines, these vineyards produce some of the most highly sought-after wines in the world. With limited production and exceptional characteristics, Grand Cru wines are a real treat for any wine lover.
- Premier Cru: A step below Grand Cru, these vineyards still produce spectacular wines with complex flavors and impressive aging potential. You won’t be disappointed by the wide variety of Premier Cru wines available for tasting in Dijon.
As you explore Dijon and its wine scene, remember to savor each sip, taking note of the incredible influence of terroir, the popularity of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, and the distinct rankings of Grand Cru and Premier Cru.
Before Your Dijon Wine Tasting
Keys to Dijon Wine Tasting
Dijon wine tastings are your ticket to exploring exquisite Burgundy wines and learning about their unique characteristics. When tasting wines, pay attention to the following elements:
- Color: Observe the wine’s color and intensity, which can reveal its age and quality.
- Aroma: Swirl the wine in your glass to release its aroma, then take a sniff to identify notes of fruit, spice, or oak.
- Taste: Sip the wine and roll it around your mouth to identify flavors, acidity, tannins, and the overall balance of the wine.
- Finish: Swallow the wine and notice the lingering flavors and sensations in your mouth, known as the finish.
Etiquette of Tasting
To get the most out of your Dijon wine tasting experience, adhere to these basic etiquette tips:
- Know your limits: Moderation is key, so don’t overindulge and make a fool of yourself.
- Use a spittoon: It’s okay to spit out wine after tasting – that’s what spittoons are for.
- Ask questions: Don’t be afraid to engage with the sommelier or winemaker to learn more about the wines.
- Take notes: Jot down your impressions of each wine, which can be helpful for recalling your favorites later on.
Burgundy Region Vineyards
Vineyards in Côte de Nuits
The Burgundy region is home to some stellar vineyards, and Côte de Nuits is where you’ll find some of the best. This area is famous for its stellar Pinot Noir wines, and you won’t be disappointed when you visit.
One winery you should definitely check out is Caveau Moillard in Nuits Saint Georges. This historical house offers fascinating commented tastings and a range of wines. Another recommendation is Domaine d’Ardhuy, a highly-rated wine estate in Côtes-de-Nuits-Villages. It’s well-known for its excellent Burgundian wines and picturesque landscapes.
Vineyards in Côte de Beaune
Heading over to Côte de Beaune, you’ll find more breathtaking wineries. This sub-region is particularly known for its top-notch Chardonnay selections.
Start your wine tour with a visit to the renowned Domaine Quivy in Gevrey-Chambertin. This family-owned vineyard produces exceptional wines, and you’ll get up close and personal with the winemaking process. Don’t forget to try the local Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, which are truly delicious.
Jaffelin is a must-visit in the historic center of Beaune. It’s one of the smallest big Burgundy Houses and has a truly magical atmosphere.
Do not miss Château de Marsannay, just outside the Dijon city limits. This locale offers wine tastings that introduce you to the amazing flavors of the Burgundy region.
While exploring Côte de Beaune, one last stop is La Cave du Palais, where you can experience a traditional Burgundy wine tasting. Reserve your spot and indulge in the wonderful flavors of six different wines.
Making the Most of Your Visit
Wine Tours: Availability and Free Cancellation
Burgundy wine tours are an amazing way to experience and appreciate the majestic vineyards and iconic wines of Dijon. Many wine lovers book their tours online, thanks to their wide availability and the free cancellation policies offered by some providers. This allows you to plan your wine tasting adventure with peace of mind, knowing that you can change your plans if need be.
Benefits of Small Group Tours
Dijon’s wine tourism scene offers a variety of guided tours, but if you truly want to make the most of your visit, consider going on a small group tour. These tours have several advantages over larger, more crowded offerings:
- Personalized attention: With fewer participants, your guide can focus on each person’s questions and interests, delivering a tailored experience.
- Flexibility: Smaller groups can often tweak their itinerary, allowing for spontaneous stops or extra time at your favorite spots.
- Deeper connections: Interacting with a small, intimate group promotes bonding and rich conversations about wine and local history.
- Exclusivity: Limited spaces mean lesser-known wine estates and vintages might accept your group, offering a unique flavor to your wine tasting journey.
As a wine enthusiast, you’re in for a treat when visiting Dijon. Customize your experience by choosing a wine tour with free cancellation options and embracing the perks of small group tours. This way, you can fully immerse yourself in the world of Burgundy wines and create unforgettable memories.
The Wine Tasting Atmosphere – Ancient Climates and Atmosphere
Dijon’s rich history and ancient atmosphere play a huge part in the wine tasting experience. Surrounded by UNESCO Heritage Sites and stunning architecture, you’ll be immersed in the history as you savor the flavors of Burgundy. The region’s unique climate has been fostering vineyards for centuries, giving you a taste of the past in every sip.
As you wander through Dijon, pay close attention to the charming, centuries-old streets and the traditional vaults hosting wine tastings. You’ll find that these atmospheric locations only enhance the indulgent experience, making for a truly unforgettable wine journey.