In today’s Best Wine Under $20 video, we take you on a tour of the Burgundy Region of France. We teach you all about how to read White Burgundy Wine Labels, what sub-regions there are, and how White Burgundy quality is classified. Fun Stuff!
Over the centuries, Burgundy has become known for being the best land in the world for producing both Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, and it is for this reason that Burgundy wines have received such acclaim. In fact, the quality of the land is considered to be so important to the creation of red and white Burgundy, that inside the Burgundy region, vineyards are classified by four levels, depending on how exceptional it is believed one’s plot of land is for growing the grapes. When buying a bottle of Burgundy, one of these four classifications will be labeled on the bottle:
GRAND CRU – THIS CLASSIFICATION IS RESERVED FOR THE BEST VINEYARDS. ONLY ABOUT 2 PERCENT OF ALL VINEYARDS IN BURGUNDY RECEIVE THIS CLASSIFICATION. WINES WITH THIS CLASSIFICATION RECEIVE THE HIGHEST PRICES AND ARE AGGRESSIVELY PURSUED BY WINE COLLECTORS.
PREMIER CRU – THESE WINES ARE PRODUCED FROM VINEYARDS THAT ARE STILL CONSIDERED TO BE OF STELLAR QUALITY, BUT JUST A SMALL STEP DOWN FROM GRAND CRU. THESE VINEYARDS MAKE UP ABOUT 12 PERCENT OF ALL VINEYARDS IN BURGUNDY AND CAN ALSO PRODUCE WINES THAT ARE QUITE EXPENSIVE.
VILLAGE WINES – THESE ARE BURGUNDIES THAT ARE PRODUCED FROM GRAPES SOURCED FROM SEVERAL VINEYARDS IN 1 OF THE 42 VILLAGES OF BURGUNDY. YOU WILL KNOW IT’S A VILLAGE WINE BECAUSE THE NAME OF THE VILLAGE WHERE THE GRAPES WERE SOURCED WILL BE LABELED ON THE BOTTLE. THESE WINES REPRESENT 36 PERCENT OF ALL BURGUNDY. VINEYARDS THAT PRODUCE VILLAGE WINES MAY BE RIGHT NEXT TO VINEYARDS CLASSIFIED AS PREMIER OR GRAND CRU, BUT FOR SOME REASON THEY DO NOT RECEIVE THE SAME CLASSIFICATION. DUE TO THIS, YOU CAN FIND EXCELLENT BANG FOR YOUR BUCK AMONG VILLAGE WINES.
REGIONAL WINES – FINALLY, REGIONAL WINES ARE CONSIDERED TO BE THE LOWEST LEVEL OF CLASSIFICATION. THESE ARE WINES THAT ARE CREATED FROM A COMBINATION OF VINEYARDS FROM A VARIETY OF VILLAGES WITHIN BURGUNDY, AS OPPOSED TO A SINGLE VILLAGE, LIKE VILLAGE WINES. AS SUCH, WINES OF THIS CLASSIFICATION WILL SIMPLY BE LABELED AS A WINE OF BOURGONE. THESE WINES REPRESENT 50 PERCENT OF ALL WINES PRODUCED IN BURGUNDY AND IN THIS CLASSIFICATION YOU WILL FIND EXCELLENT WINES MEANT TO BE DRUNK NOW.