Course: Understanding Wine

Class 5: Old World Model: France



Tiny Vineyards, Varietal Wines

Stretching from the region of Chablis in the north all the way down to Beaujolais, 130 miles to the south, Burgundy produces wines at every level of quality, from simple, everyday quaffers to some of the world's most complex and ethereal wines.


Burgundian Grape Varieties

Most wines are made from one of three varieties:

  • Chardonnay for the whites
  • Pinot Noir for the reds (except in Beaujolais)
  • Gamay, the grape of Beaujolais

Since each grape variety has been carefully matched to local conditions, most Burgundian wines are named after the district, village or even vineyard where the grapes were grown.

The grape variety rarely appears on the label.


Tiny Vineyards

In Burgundy, inheritance laws dictate that property be divided...

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