THE HISTORIC AREA OF BURGUNDY
Burgundy is a historical territory and a former administrative region of east-central France. Since 1 January 2016, it is part of the new region Bourgogne-Franche-Comté. Burgundy comprises the following four departments: Côte-d’Or, Saône-et-Loire, Yonne and Nièvre.
The historic and modern capital of the Burgundy region is Dijon (population 150,000), a thriving administrative and cultural centre, which is also a major communications and freight-distribution hub.
The city is just 1hr. 40 mins. from Paris by direct TGV high-speed train service. Dijon has a historic city centre, with old narrow streets, and houses built in the local pale honey-coloured stone; of particular interest to visitors are the Palace of the Dukes of Burgundy, and the gothic Cathedral of Saint Bénigne.
The world-famous Burgundy vineyards produce some of the most prestigious and expensive wines in the world. The top wines are mostly produced on a narrow strip of land running south from Dijon, on the western fringe of the Saône plain, in the Côtes de Nuits and the Côtes de Beaune vineyard areas. These include names such as Gevrey-Chambertin, Vosne-Romanée, Pommard, Volnay and Clos Vougeot. Some of the top vineyards, which are quite small, are protected behind stone walls and iron gates, so valuable are the grapes that they produce.
Beaune (French pronunciation: [bon]) is the wine capital of Burgundy in the Côte d’Or department in eastern France. It is located between Paris and Geneva. Beaune is one of the key wine centres in France and the annual wine auction of the Hospices de Beaune is the primary wine auction in France.
The town is surrounded by some of the world’s most famous wine villages, while the facilities and cellars of many producers, large and small, are situated in Beaune itself. With a rich historical and architectural heritage, Beaune is considered the “Capital of Burgundy wines”.
It is an ancient and historic town on a plain by the hills of the Côte d’Or, with features remaining from the pre-Roman and Roman eras, through the medieval and renaissance periods and up to recent history and modern times.
Beaune is a walled city, with about half of the battlements, ramparts, and the moat, having survived and in good condition, and the central “old town” is extensive. Historically Beaune is intimately connected with the Dukes of Burgundy.
Landmarks in Beaune include the old market (les Halles), the 15th-century Hospices, the Beffroi (clock tower), and the collegiate church of Notre Dame.