My secret number two: the vineyards are very fragmented in Burgundy, and a winemaker can have properties, often land inherited from his forefathers, scattered among several appellations.
A great idea for Burgundy 1er cru wines offering good value for money
What does this mean in practical terms? A winemaker from Nolay can offer a tasting of Hautes Côtes at 9 euros a bottle on average. Which is normal, since we're in the Hautes-Côtes. But he can also offer you for tasting and sale Pommard, Meursault, Beaune, Maranges 1er
Cru etc at affordable prices, ie between 12 and 15 euros a bottle.
My secret number three: You want to impress your friends with a premium wine without breaking the bank? You dream of a Meursault, a Puligny ... but that’s all you can do … dream!
Until you can afford it, you can still enjoy your wine. Close to the aromas of a glass of Meursault white, a wine from the hillsides of the village next door, Monthélie will delight your taste buds.
Close to the aromas of a white wine from Chassagne or Puligny, a Saint-Aubin or a Saint-Roman will do just fine at your dinners.
I'm not saying here that they are the same wines, but their aromas are close, and a great second-best.
My secret number four: if you don't like a wine, don't jump to the conclusion that you don't like this appellation and that you'll never try it again...
The wine that suits you best, that really wins you over
, isn’t necessarily the same one that appeals most to my palate. I recently did a tasting for two, and my husband loved a slightly woody, fruity white wine, while a lively, honest, iodised, mineral white wine with final notes of grapefruit really did it for me. We came out with 3 bottles of each, which saved making a difficult choice...
If you don't like a winemaker's wines, feel free to change winemaker, as maybe the winemaking process wasn’t mature enough for you. You should know that throughout the cycle from the vine to the harvest, the winemaker makes choices that affect the wine. Winemaking
adds to this complexity. It’s unique to each winemaker.
I find that their work is a mix of craft and often pure art!
My secret number five: even if you choose to buy in a cellar because you’re in a hurry, take the time to visit a winemaker one day and you’ll come back. It's a unique moment of sharing!
In Burgundy, winemakers provide a simple, honest welcome.
If you ask, they’ll most certainly show you their vines. They’ll even tell you which vines produced the wine you’re tasting. The smells of the cellar, the atmosphere, the interaction … nothing beats human contact! Often, you have to pluck up the courage to ring their doorbell, but then the magic works!
In the places I’ve just mentioned, most tastings are still free, and if they’re not, the price of the tasting is often deducted from the cost of your purchases, if you buy one or more bottles. Don't hesitate to ask the winemaker if the tasting is free or otherwise.
If you still don't feel up to walking through the door, you can take an OeNolay Tour.
Every Saturday at 10.30 am, from April to early November, a winemaker will take you to his vineyards and explain the seasonal work. This special 1 hour 30 event costs 6 euros per person and includes the tasting of 4 wines.
You can also take a safari to discover the vines, wines and their secrets, accompanied by a professional. Safari Tours and Bacchus Wine Tours
offer excursions that introduce you to wines, vines and tasting.
So there you have it - you now know all about my little secrets of appellations that are well worth a visit. I hope you have an interesting and pleasant tasting that wakes up all your senses!