Côte de Beaune
The Côte de Beaune, running from the city to the southern border of the Côte d’Or département, is another spectacular drive with fine vineyard and chateau views. It includes Puligny-Montrachet, Meursault, Château de Pommard and Corton Charlemagne, all of them household names.
A complete tour of the Cote de Beaune starts just to the north of the city and takes in Pernand-Vergelesses, Aloxe-Corton and Savigny-les-Beaunes (see Côte de Nuits). This Côte is especially famed for its magnificent white wines.
From Beaune heading south, the first big name you will encounter is Pommard, once the site of a Roman temple to Pomona, the Roman goddess of the orchard, from whom it gets its name. Unusually for this white wine region, Pommard is made exclusively from Pinot Noir. The château offers a wide range of tastings and other wine-related experiences.
You will pass the vineyards and villages of Volnay and Tuscan-like Monthélie (both praised for their crus) en route for Meursault, which, with its charming village and magnificent château, merits a decent stop for exploration, tastings, and just soaking up the atmosphere of fine wine country.
From Meursault, you could also take a short and rather lovely diversion to the pretty little wine village of Auxey-Duresses, where numerous small producers open their cellars for tastings and sales.
The main route, however, takes you on, with magnificent views, from Meursault to the twin villages of Puligny-Montrachet and Chassange-Montrachet. Under their shared name, they make Burgundy’s southernmost Grand Cru, acclaimed as of the finest dry white wines in the world. Some prefer the more mineral, floral Puligny; others the weightier, fruity Montrachet. Chassange used to be better known for its red wines, and still produces a deep Pinot Noir, but its best whites are both powerful and good value, which appeals to many. This is a very good place to end a tour, allowing plenty of time to make a decision for yourself.
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