Understanding Bourgogne doesn’t happen overnight. It is a journey of spirit and soul.

What is it about Bourgogne that makes it so compelling? The region is diverse and varied. So much so that it can be a grand undertaking to absorb all the region has to offer. I’ve traveled to Bourgogne several times over the last few years and am always discovering new things I didn’t know before. To learn from the comfort of my home during these trying times was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up. Attending the Bourgogne Wine Board Master Class was a gift! Learning about wine, winemaking or regions, especially those with a vast and complex history can be quite rewarding. Particularly Bourgogne, a region so steeped in history, tradition and protocol. So to have a few more doors opened was truly beautiful. Take for one the topic of Climat. Initially one may assume, at first glance, it refers to climate. Climate is just one component of the term. It boils down to the precise location of the vineyards. And the specific characteristics of the plot. The word has origins that go back to the middle ages. The Climats are very specifically named for the hydrometry, geological make up and exposure to the elements. Climat is next of kin with “lieux-dits” (a small geographical area. Certainly with very strict rules and requirements for growing and processing wine. Very different from the single descriptor or limited information we are used to in the US. Next there are the 84 appellations. This is more than 23% of all the AOCs (Appellations d’Origine Contrôlée) within the Bourgogne region. Each is under the guidance and strict system of qualifications and certifications of the AOC. With so many food-friendly wines in Bourgogne, many often spend time coveting the most expensive or the most well known, when in fact there are numerous more affordable and equally tasty wines from the Mâcon AOC. Mâconnais is the district of the Mâcon AOC and is almost 100% Chardonnay. Located just west of the Saône River, the name comes from the town of Mâcon. This includes Mâcon-Villages (a step up in quality from Mâcon). They are known for their dry white wine, primarily unoaked Chardonnay and also for the Mâcon plus geographical denominations (27 in total). Mâcon-Uchizy was created in 2005 and covers 46 hectares. I had the opportunity to taste Mâcon-Uchizy from Domaine Giroud it was rich, flavorful, well balanced, solid structure and with a complexity you don’t see in wine in this price range at just $13 US. If I’d seen it on the shelf in a wine store, I might have been hesitant to try it. After my experience with the wine of Bourgogne and the many clarifications and examples of the many terms and categories, I will go forth with more confidence and choose wine which are labelled with the name of a unique village or a Bourgogne / Mâcon plus a geographical denomination , instead of simply looking for a Premier or Grand Cru. There is a wealth of excellent wine out there. Incredible quality, taste and balance at incredibly affordable prices all waiting to be discovered by you!