Glossary : definition of terms used to talk about Bourgogne wines beginning with C.


Select the first letter of the word whose definition you wish to obtain.

# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W Y 

Or use the search function

Bourgogne wines Glossary

Main branch left on a vine-stock after winter pruning. It carries the buds (generally 6 in Burgundy) or spurs from which the new year's growth will spring. In Guyot pruning, common in Burgundy, one 6-bud cane is left for the coming year's growth (tied in to a support wire), and one spur with 2 buds which will be the main cane the following year.
Related words Tying-down, Sarments
Training technique employed on Chardonnay vines in the Mâconnais. Bending down the main branch encourages fruiting while inhibiting excessive growth.
Related words Sarments


Mass of solids (stalks, skins, pips) which forms on the surface of the wine during fermentation in vats. It has to be regularly re-mixed with the liquid either by pumping-over or by cap-punching in order to ensure extraction of colour and tannins.
Related words Cap-punching
Breaking up the cap and re-mixing it with the liquid content of the vat. May be done mechanically or by hand with a special tool.
Related words Cap
A disorder of wine showing as change of colour and cloudy appearance. Due either to botrytis organisms (brown casse) or an excess of iron (blue or white casse), or copper. There is no real remedy.
Related words Turbid

Measure of the aromatic persistence or "length" of a wine in the mouth after tasting. Expressed in seconds. A "short" wine will score 2-4 caudalies, a great burgundy 8-12 caudalies or even more.

Related words Persistence / Persistency
Responsible for serving a restaurant's wines and managing the wine stocks.

Bring to room temperature (14°-16°C). But not, of course, if room is already overheated.

Addition of sugar to the must in order to raise potential alcohol. 1.7 g/l of sugar raises alcohol content by 1 degree. Process named after French chemist and politician Jean-Antoine Chaptal (1756-1832).



(tast.) Class of odours including alcohol, acetic compounds, "medical" odours, iodine, chlorine, plastic ...
(tast.) (1) Aroma found in certain red burgundies. (2) Medium-intensity red colour leaning slightly towards orange.
Related words Aroma / Odour, Colour

(tast.) Description applied to the consistency of wine experienced in the mouth.

Yellowing of the leaves caused by impaired uptake of iron in calcium-rich soils.
Cinnamon : (tast.) Aroma of the "spice" group.
Related words Aroma / Odour

Monks of the abbey of Cîteaux near Nuits-Saint-Georges whose daughter-foundations spread throughout Christendom in the Middle Ages. They were skilful wine-growers and wine-makers and established a number of vineyards among which the most famous is probably the Clos de Vougeot.

(tast.) Aromas of citrus fruit are characteristic of white wines fermented at low temperatures (17°-20°C). They disappear after a few months' ageing.
Related words Aroma / Odour
Centre Interprofessionnel Technique des Vins de Bourgogne. Technical branch of the BIVB, Member of the CRECEP.
(tast.) Animal-type aroma found in old wines made from the Pinot Noir grape.
Related words Aroma / Odour
Red wine that has been subjected to only a short maceration. The appellation Bourgogne Clairet exists but is little used.
Restoring the limpidity of a wine which has become cloudy by removing suspended solids (e.g. by filtration). Not to be confused with stabilisation which is designed to achieve durable limpidity.
Cleaning-up young grafts by suppressing roots which have formed on the scion rather than the stock.

Named and delimited parcel of vine-growing land with recognised and long-established properties which distinguish it from its neighbours and which are reflected in the wine grown on it. A key word and a key concept in Burgundy.

Offspring of a single parent, genetically identical with that parent and with each other. Clonal material used in viticulture is usually the product of multiplication by bud-grafting. Established clonal lines are identified by number. E.g. Pinot Noir #115, Chardonnay #96.

Walled vineyard.

(tast.) Said of a wine which has lost its primary aromas and not yet developed secondary aromas. (See Aroma)

(tast.) Spice aroma found in certain wines.
Co-operative : Co-operative wineries, of which there are some 20 in Burgundy (mostly in Saône-et-Loire) , vinify and commercialise the grapes produced by their member growers. Cellar :
(tast.) Wine lacking in refinement, delicacy.
(tast.) Agreeable aroma sometimes found in older red burgundies.
Related words Aroma / Odour
(tast.) Aroma found in older red burgundies which have been partly aged in new wood. (Cf.. Mocha)
Related words Aroma / Odour
(tast.) The colour (robe) of a wine is assessed in terms of hue (golden, ruby, cherry, etc) and intensity (deep, pale, etc.) Other factors relevant to the appearance of a wine are limpidity and brilliance.
Related words White, Cherry

= Colour

Related words Brown
(tast.) Wine lacking in character.

(tast.) With a rich and varied assortment of aromas.

(tast.) Highly desirable quality of rich, powerful wines made from controlled yields of perfectly matured grapes.

Barrel-maker. Since about 1980 the practice of maturing wines in barrel has had a resurgence of popularity with the result that there are now numerous cooperage firms operating in Burgundy.

Wine-corks are made from the bark of the cork oak (Quercus suber). The trees are cropped every 9-12 years. The main sources are the Mediterranean countries (Spain Morocco) and, more especially, Portugal.

Cork is generally used for stoppers in Burgundy. There are two sizes 45x24mm and 49x24mm. Composite corks are less common. The use of other materials is under study.

(tast.) Wine which has a mouldy smell and taste due ostensibly to defective corks but sometimes caused by contamination from other sources such as improperly disinfected barrels.

Flower-drop. It is normal for a proportion of unfertilised vine-flowers to fall away without setting fruit but if this proportion exceeds 50%, yields will be down. (See also Millerandage)
Related words Abscission
Person whose function it is to buy wines or musts from the growers on behalf of a négociant.
Coordination des Recherches sur Chardonnay et Pinot Noir en Bourgogne. - Tel.: [0]3 80 39 69 80 - Fax: [0]3 80 39 69 81 - BP 27.877 21078 DIJON Cedex.


Literally "growth". Piece of ground producing wines of specific characteristics (cf climat), or the wines from those plots. Burgundy recognises two categories: Premier Cru and Grand Cru.

Mechanically bursting the skins of the grapes to release the pulp and juice.
Microscopic fungi responsible for diseases of the vine such as mildew and oïdium.

= Crystalline

Fraudulently mixing one wine with another. Not to be confused with legal blending.

Literally "vat-ful". A single "lot" of wine, i.e. grapes from a given plot harvested and vinified at one time.