Do you want to plan a trip to the Burgundy wine region to discover the famous Route des Grands Crus? Whether you’ve visited this beautiful wine region of France in the past or this is your very first time, Winalist is here to help you plan an unforgettable Burgundy trip of wine tasting, vineyards, history, and more.
Winalist’s passionate wine-enthusiasts have come up with the best itinerary for you to make the most of your upcoming wine-trip!
Located in central-eastern France less than 3 hours from Paris by train, the Burgundy Wine Route is perfect for a long 2-day stay and promises to offer you a prestigious getaway between Beaune and Dijon.
Reed more to be immersed in the region’s wine culture and discover the history of its beautiful villages and prestigious cities, starting with Dijon.
What is the Route des Grands Crus?
Whether you are a wine-expert or not, experiencing a Burgundy wine regions should absolutely be included in your to-do list while exploring the famous Grands Crus region. Our advice : Drive up the 60km touristic route to go through all the best villages!
When it was created, this French wine route aimed to develop the region’ potential: marketing of Burgundy wines, tourism and more specifically wine tourism. Each year, the Burgundy Wine Route attracts thousands of visitors, whether seasoned wine lovers or professionals.
This narrow road crosses part of the Burgundy vineyard, i.e. not less than 38 wine-growing incredibly charming villages.
How to get on the Route des Grands Crus
The Grands Crus Route is accessible to all and very easy to travel along. As soon as you leave Dijon, the starting point of your route, you will find brown colored signs all along the road that indicate the route. Thanks to these, it is impossible to miss the two wine-growing sub-regions of the Burgundy vineyard.
Wineries to visit in the Burgundy wine region
Côte de Nuits
Firstly, the Côte de Nuits and its renowned terroirs and villages: Gevrey-Chambertin, Vosne-Romanée or Nuits-Saint- George. The inhabitants have renamed this place “the Champs-Elysées of Burgundy” for its emblematic wines but also because this region does not exceed, in places, 300 meters in width!
Secondly, in the heart of Nuits-Saint-Georges, the Domaine Faiveley welcomes you for a guided tour of the estate followed by a tasting of five wines in their “le 38” winery.
Côte de Beaune
Then you will enter the Côte de Beaune. It is there that you will taste delicious Meursault, Aloxe-Corton or Chassagne-Montrachet. You will pass by emblematic places of the region and will have the opportunity to admire sumptuous landscapes of the Burgundy vineyard.
Along your route you will also find the renowned Château de Pommard, where you will be delighted to taste five wines from the estate and meet the Carabello-Baum family.
Not far from there, the Maison Champy awaits you to discover its cellars dating back to the 15th century. Obviously, a tasting of five wines classified as Villages and Premiers Crus from Maison Champy is planned at the end of the visit.
These mythical wine tourism places can also be discovered by bike ; a very nice way to make the most of this natural region! And everything is planned: a marked route called the Véloroute offers a breathtaking view of the Burgundy vineyard and crosses most of the famous cote de nuit villages such as Pommard, Volant, Chambolle-Musigny and many others.
This exceptional itinerary will take you to meet some of the most prestigious Burgundian appellations and France wineries : not to be missed under any circumstances!
What villages not to miss? Ideal itinerary
Visit Dijon, first sop of your Burgundy wine trip
Let’s go to Dijon, this French town located in the Côte-d’Or department and historic capital of the Duchy of Burgundy. Called by many “the city of a hundred steeples” because of its large number of churches, Dijon attracts tourists for the gastronomy of its highly renowned region. Gingerbread, Crème de Cassis, kir or even Dijon mustard, the city’s culinary traditions have never disappointed anyone.
During your stay in the Burgundian capital, visit the Palace of the Dukes of Burgundy which is the essential building of the city. Encompassing the old medieval ducal residence and the palace of the Estates of Burgundy from the 17th century, the Palace aimed to highlight the power of the king.
Then take a trip to the Museum of Fine Arts of Dijon located in the heart of the city, which is one of the oldest and most important museums in France. Then, stroll through the Botanical Garden of Arquebuse which covers around 3,500 species of botanical plants from Burgundy and around the world spread over more than 5 hectares.
Famous for its wines, the small town of Nuits-Saint-Georges (5,000 inhabitants) is home to several renowned estates such as Domaine Leroy, Henri Gouges and Domaine Dominique Laurent.
Winalist invites you to book a visit to one of the winegrowers who cultivate this exceptional terroir in just a few clicks: the Faiveley estate.
Visit of the Faiveley estate
Among the great Burgundian estates, this one is among the largest with its 120 hectares dedicated to the production of Grands Crus. Installed for more than 7 generations, the Faiveley family perpetuates a know-how which gives birth to wines combining power, finesse and elegance.
If you go to Nuits-Saint-Georges, it would be a shame to deprive you of a visit and tasting at the Faiveley estate.
Next stop: Beaune
Head to Beaune, your third stop on the Grands Crus route, a flowery town located south of Dijon, a half hour away by train, and north of Lyon (about a 2-hour train ride). This charming town in Burgundy benefits from a rich architectural and historical heritage which brings many visitors each year. At present, Beaune is considered the capital of Burgundy wines, this vineyard which extends over 250 kilometers from the north of Chablis to the south of the Mâconnais.
During your trip to Beaune, go to the Hôtel-Dieu Museum, also known as “the Hospices de Beaune”. Founded in the 15th century by the Chancellor of the Dukes of Burgundy, this Hôtel-Dieu stands out for its Gothic style and its glazed Burgundy tile roof. You can also admire the Notre-Dame de Beaune basilica, which is one of the last great Romanesque churches in the region. Dating back to the second half of the 12th century, the basilica is classified as a Historic Monument of France.
To conclude your visit, take some fresh air in the Parc de la Bouzaize in the English architectural style where you can discover a small animal park. You can also take a boat trip in the waters of the park!
Château de Pommard in Pommard village
Founded in 1726, Château de Pommard is one of the major wine estates near Meursault. Its emblematic cuvées are the fruit of 300 years of know-how, which you can taste during several activities offered by the Carabello-Baum family:
- Tasting Route des Grands Crus
- Oenological experience and lunch around truffles
- Hot air balloon flight over the famous Climats of the Pommard estate
- Tasting of Clos Marey-Monge vintages
Land of chardonnay and excellent white wines, Meursault is a village known for having served as the setting for a few scenes from the film “La Grande Vadrouille”. Passing tourists often enjoy a guided tour in the footsteps of Bourvil and Louis de Funès, memorable actors in a masterpiece of French cinema.
History and architecture enthusiasts will also be delighted by visiting the many castles located in the middle of the landscape of vineyards as far as the eye can see.
Idea for a family outing : the botanical path of Saint-Christophe, to find the most beautiful viewpoints over the village and its surroundings.
Founded in 1118 by Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, this Cistercian abbey is the oldest of its kind as well preserved in the world. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1981, it is an exception in Burgundy. It is an exceptional heritage that attracts more than 100,000 visitors each year, who come to admire this architecture that has been impeccably maintained for 900 years. A guided tour gives you access to this place of calm and spirituality, true testimony to the rich heritage of religious buildings still visible in France.
About Growing Wine in Burgundy
The Burgundy vineyard extends over 250 kilometers from the north of Chablis to the south of the Mâconnais. It includes 84 controlled designations of origin (AOC), 33 “Grands Crus” designations, 45 “village” designations and 6 “regional” designations. The climats of this vineyard have been on the UNESCO World Heritage List since 2015. In Burgundy, the climate is a specific term to designate the wine-growing region. The boundaries of the latter have existed for centuries and have hardly ever been modified. Each climat is a parcel of vines which has its own history, name, taste and place in the hierarchy of crus.
Burgundy produces red and rosé wines (31.5%) as well as white wines (60.5%) and crémant (8%). As for red wines, we will find pinot noir which is a very old grape variety as well as gamay. As for white wines, we will find Chardonnay, which is a French white grape variety that has become an international grape variety, as well as Aligoté.
The surface area of Burgundy vines represents 29,500 hectares, including 25,000 hectares under the controlled designation of origin. Production amounts to 1,500,000 hectoliters of wine, or approximately 200,000,000 bottles.
Are you ready for this breathtaking trip in Burgundy? Change of scenery, discovery, know-how and authenticity.
Find out more about the Burgundy vineyard on the Winalist website, partner of your wine routes and don’t hesitate to explore other vineyard regions in Europe with Winalist!
FAQ & Useful resources
What to do during a weekend in Beaune?
– Visit the Hospices de Beaune
– Get lost in the narrow streets of the historic center
– Stroll on the ramparts
– Learn all about Climats
– Tasting Burgundy wines
– Visit the Fallot mustard factory
– Relax in the Bouzaize park
– Marvel at the lights of Beaune
– Visit the Côte de Beaune and the Côte de Nuit
– Fly over the Route des Grands Crus in a hot air balloon
What to visit in Côte de Beaune and Côte de Nuits?
On the Côte de Beaune, we particularly recommend that you visit:
– The castle of Savigny les Beaune and its eccentric collection of cars, motorcycles, planes and other machines…
– The Veuve Ambal site in Montagny les Beaune where you will learn all the secrets of making Crémant de Bourgogne. The route through the heart of the production site is very interesting and fun. The visit ends with a tasting of the different crémants of the house: prestige cuvée, rosé, blanc de blancs, blanc de noirs, oak barrels…
– The village of Meursault.
– The Château de Pommard for a tour of the vineyard, the estate and a tasting.
On the Côte de Nuits, do not miss:
– The castle of Clos de Vougeot.
– Le Cassissium to know everything about crème de cassis.
– The village of Nuits Saint Georges.
– The Gaugry cheese dairy to taste all our good regional cheeses!
Visit Beaune: Practical information
– To prepare your stay: Pays Beaunois tourist office.
– A guide ? We recommend the Burgundy Michelin Green Guide to prepare your stay in Burgundy.
– Access: Beaune is easily accessible by train. Count 2h30 from Paris, 1h30 from Lyon, 20min from Dijon. – You can also rent a car if you want to take advantage of your weekend in Beaune to discover the Route des Grands Crus.
– When to visit Beaune? Beaune can be visited all year round but the landscapes of the vineyards will be more beautiful from April to November!
Visit Burgundy in 1 weekend: what to see?
– The Route of the Grands Crus
– The hospices of Beaune
– Cluny Abbey
– The Morvan regional natural park
– The medieval site of Guédelon
– Fontenay Abbey
– Flavigny sur Ozerain
– The castle of Bussy Rabutin
– The MuseoParc of Alesia
What’s The Route des Grands Crus ?
The Route des Grands Crus – the ‘road of great wines’ – is one of the oldest and most celebrated wine routes in France and takes in the best of Burgundy wines and landscapes. Running north-south between Dijon and Santenay, it gives you the chance to try some of the best wines in the world and experience life and culture within the vineyards.
Wine events on the Route des Grands Crus ?
Events in Burgundy naturally centre around wine with a year-round calendar of celebrations and festivities all with a vin theme. The main events on the Route des Grand Crus are:
– Le Mois des Climats – a full month of celebrating the vineyards with walks, guided tours, tastings, exhibitions… running from June into July
– Musique et Vin – this week-long festival during the last week of June brings wine and classical music together. Occurring since 2007, events have their base in Clos Vougeot and include choral recitals with wine tastings and chamber music followed by a gala dinner.
– Jazz à Couches – centred around the tiny village of Couches, the 4-day festival brings together some of the world’s best jazz musicians who play against a backdrop of vineyards. Early July.
– Grape harvest – actual dates vary from year to year depending on the weather, but the Côte de Nuits and Côte de Beaune generally bring their grapes in during the first two weeks of September. If you’re in the area during this time, ask at the local tourist office for details of specific events.
– Hospices de Beaune Wine Auction – this event takes place in November each year at the Hôtel Dieu in Beaune. The auction has been an annual feature since 1860. Christie’s runs the auction, attended by the world’s top wine connoisseurs who bid for their own cellars and for charity.
Proceeds from the Hospices de Beaune ‘lot’ (300 bottles) go to a local charity.
– Festivities – street performances, crafts markets, live music, wine tastings and a half-marathon – take place in the town too.
– Fête des Grand Vins – coinciding with the Hospices de Beaune Wine Auction, this giant wine fair showcases the best of the region’s produce. And there is a lot: more than 3,000 Burgundy wines vie for centre stage in Beaune.
– Dijon International Gastronomy Fair – celebrating Burgundy food and wine, this giant food fair has been happening since the 1930s. It ranks among the biggest food fairs in France and takes place in November.