Burgundy is renowned for its prestigious Appellations d’Origine Contrôlée (AOC). It enjoys an exceptional range of natural production conditions, thanks to which a highly diverse range of AOCs can be found today.
But what exactly is an AOC?
It is a symbol of quality, guaranteeing the product’s characteristics: the terroir of origin, which is used as the basis for the means of classification of the appellations, the production method, the history of the product, and the expertise of the producer.Each AOC is subjected to rigorous controls at all stages of production and marketing.
Bourgogne has 100 appellations, out of more than the 477 in France as a whole, and these are divided into 4 levels of appellation:
• Regional appellations: 23 in number, these are harvested throughout the Bourgogne wine-growing area (eg. Bourgogne Aligoté)
• Local appellations: there are 44 of these, produced in winegrowing villages which give them their name (eg. Chablis, Pommard)
• Premier Cru appellations: these wines are produced in precisely delimited plots within a village known as “climates”. Bourgogne has 635 climates. On the bottles, the name of the village is followed by the name of the plot from which the wine was produced (eg. Nuits-Saint-Georges Premier Cru Les Vaucrains)
• The Grand Cru appellations: these wines are grown on the best plots (climates) in the villages. There are 33 Grands Crus
They express and concentrate all the richness of their unique terroirs. Here, the name of the village disappears in favour of the name of the terroir only, which is often very limited (eg. Corton, Montrachet).These appellations are spread across the Bourgogne vineyard, which has a production area of 27,636 hectares (3% of all vineyards in France) :
• 61% are white wines
• 31% are red wines (or rosés)
• 8% are sparkling wines
For more detailed statistics, see the “Key figures” section (french only)