Hello there! I'm Dr. Vinifera, but you can call me Vinny. Ask me your toughest wine questions, from the fine points of etiquette to the science of winemaking. And don't worry, I'm no wine snob—you can also ask me those "dumb questions" you're too embarrased to ask your wine geek friends! I hope you find my answers educational, empowering and even amusing. And don't forget to check out my most asked questions and my full archives for all my Q&A classics.
Dear Dr. Vinny,
Are Pinot Noir and Chardonnay the only grapes permitted in Burgundy?
Robbie, Adelaide, Australia
No, but Pinot Noir and Chardonnay are certainly the most famous, popular, widely planted and well-known grapes of Burgundy. For the most part, when someone refers to "red Burgundy" they mean Pinot Noir, and "white Burgundy" usually means Chardonnay.
But it's never that simple, is it? Even though those two grapes dominate the landscape, there are other grapes grown, perhaps most important being Gamay, which is grown in the Beaujolais region of Burgundy. Aligoté is a white grape that you'll find in some value-priced wines from Burgundy, and in the small appellation of St.-Bris, near Chablis, Sauvignon Blanc is the primary grape.