Meursault VillageMeursault Village
©Meursault Village

The must-see villages of the Beaune region

To say the least, the Pays Beaunois offers visitors a mosaic of landscapes steeped in history, painting a picture that’s both bucolic and pictorial, enhanced by the meticulous work of vineyard craftsmen. Discover the must-see villages of the Pays Beaunois and escape to Burgundy …

01. Pommard

Between history and oenology

Located between Beaune and Volnay, Pommard is well known to architecture and wine enthusiasts. Let yourself be seduced by the charm of its old buildings alongside a myriad of vineyards with a thousand and one treasures. Among the family estates, son château viticole marks the Route des Grands Crus in Chassagne stone, lulled by the crystalline sound of the elegant fountain enthroned in the center of the courtyard of honor.

Don’t miss a visit to the village church during your stay in this characterful commune! Did you know thatthe church in Pommard, built in the 14th century, is the only one in the entire region to feature a square bell tower? Erected like a belfry, it can be seen from afar with its sculpted balcony and huge clock. Take a short detour to admire the Château de la Commaraine, a feudal castle that will soon become a high-end hotel with a gourmet restaurant, a new tourist mecca.


Needless to say, Pommard wouldn’t be what it is without its nectars, which inspired more than one epicurean! Victor Hugo, Flaubert and even Ronsard extolled the merits of these prestigious wines, which were a favorite at Louis XV’s table. The reason? With its hillside vineyards rising to an altitude of 300 meters, Pommard enjoys an oceanic climate, with marly limestone soil. Elaborated from Pinot Noir, the Appellation Pommard d’Origine Contrôlée is home to 28 premier crus, some of which are internationally renowned and have all the makings of grand crus such as, Les Rugiens and Les Epenots. A request to classify the Rugiens-Bas, Grands-Epenots and Petits Epenots climats as grands crus is on the agenda. Pommard is appreciated for its aromatic range revealing notes of black fruit and some leather, chocolate or spice.

Good to know

Château de Pommard offers tasting sessions in the company of trade professionals, to show off its prestigious vintages!

Discover all the villages of Pays Beaunois

2. Meursault

a well-known 7th art village

Film buffs in France and elsewhere will surely keep this image etched in their retinas: that of the Kommandantur (a military command structure of the German army) in La Grande Vadrouille ! The village’s town hall was transformed for the film, which was shown on canvas in 1966.

For the record, the fire staged in the film overtook reality, and Meursault’s firefighters had to extinguish the flames with real engines. Today, you can admire this monument clad in its typical polychrome roofing: Burgundy glazed tiles in shades of yellow, green and black, forming pretty wavelets. It was originally a 14th-century fortified castle, of which a remarkable part of the keep remains.

Your steps will surely lead you to the Château de Meursault, one of the village’s iconic buildings. With a history dating back thousands of years, it housessome cellars dating back to the 12th century, encapsulating the precision work of past generations. Today, nearly 700,000 bottles are stored here, encapsulating the wines prized by oenophiles.

As such, tastings take you into the château’s cellars, to discover the particularity of Meursault wines made from the Chardonnay grape. They are rooted in the Côte de Beaune terroir, which produces wines with complex aromas, fine minerality and great finesse. Younger wines in particular display freshness and airy notes, while older wines are more characterized by buttery, toasty aromas.


3. Savigny-lès-Beaune

Bastion of a passionate collector

Curled in the hollow of a combe bathed by the Rhoin River, between vineyards and forests, Savigny-lès-Beaune is renowned for its château where incredible collections slumber. Racing cars, motorcycles and squadrons of fighter planes are on display to the general public. Among the collection’s historic gems is the oldest motorized bicycle, dating back to 1898. These treasures are the brainchild of collector Michel Pont, a former racing champion with a passion for vehicles of all kinds, from petrol cars to vineyard tractors.

When visiting the château, take time to observe therelics of its medieval past, of which the corbels of the machicolations of two round towers remain. The facade, with its pierced and sculpted stonework, is a delight. You’ll notice that phrases are engraved all over the building and in the village: they were meant to make the inhabitants think. One of the most iconic remains the one at the entrance to the château: “Savigny wines are nourishing, theological and morbifuge”. It refers to the popes, who once greatly appreciated Savigny wines and considered them to ward off disease. Even today, Savigny wines, produced on the terroirs of the Côte de Beaune (in Chardonnay and Pinot Noir), delight gourmets.

Continue your visit by strolling through the narrow streets of Savigny. Here you’ll find many architectural nuggets, such as bourgeois houses taking on the air of mansions, the centuries-old porches of winegrowers’ houses, washhouses, old cabottes scattered among the vines, as well as a very pretty fountain sporting sculpted lions.

4. Puligny-Montrachet

and the world's greatest white wines

Puligny-Montrachet (pronounced without the “t”) is one of the great white terroirs of the Côte de Beaune, with 200 hectares of vines shaped by some 50 producers. Although its fame is international, this Côte d’Or village has fewer than 400 souls.

Fruits of the Chardonnay grape variety, Puligny wines are known the world over for their mineral power, with decidedly crystalline and floral structures. Montrachet Grand Cru, Chevalier-Montrachet Grand Cru, Bâtard-Montrachet Grand Cru, Bienvenues-Bâtard-Montrachet Grand Cru with Aloxe Corton, Corton blanc Grand Cru are ranked among the most sought-after wines in the world. Each has its own identity, linked to its history, climate, soil, exposure and the way in which the vines are worked and the wine made. In fact, it’s not uncommon to see plots ploughed by horse, to avoid stressing the vines. This adds a bucolic note to Puligny-Montrachet’s magnificent landscapes!

5. Santenay

Thermal baths at the edge of the vineyards

If the town of Santenay is renowned for its fine nectars, it’s also famous for its thermal baths, known since Antiquity. This prestige is due to the high lithium content of its waters, which provide numerous health benefits. Enjoy the regenerating effect of the hammam, sauna, caldarium, jacuzzi and hot thermal water pool at the centre of Santenay: a true ode to well-being.

At the same time, don’t miss a visit to the town. The latter conceals some historic gems, such as the 13th-century church of Saint-Jean-de-Narosse, classified as a Monument Historique. Its architecture spans the ages, from Romanesque (as evidenced by its elegant nave) to Gothic, illustrated by a magnificent ribbed crossing and a bell dating from the 15th century!

Wine-wise, the terroir de Santenay generates some very fine white and red wines. The first category is characterized by a fresh, generous minerality, while the second is more tonic, fleshy and nervous, with a good tannic structure. If Santenay wines have long been relegated to bistro status, they are now regaining their letters of nobility, thanks to the attentive work of its winemakers.

Good to know

Guided tours are available all year round on request. Continue your epic journey at Notre-Dame-de-Rosaire church, to admire its admirable slate-clad spire, seemingly piercing the sky.

6. Nolay

Its medieval heritage

Nolay has retained all the charm of its medieval architecture, as evidenced by the superb half-timbered houses, but also the halles, which represented a mecca for commerce in the 14th century. Covering an area of over 400 m2, the halles are topped by a magnificent chestnut and oak framework, similar to the hull of a ship covered with lava (limestone slabs) weighing an average of 600 kg per m². Traders from the Morvan and the Plaine used to meet here to trade their wares.

A visit to Nolay is a plunge back into the Middle Ages: half-timbered houses, the church of Saint-Martin and its jacquemarts. The halles de Nolay, still very much alive today, host events every year, such as De Cep en verre.

At Nolay, we also honor the Hautes-Côtes de Beaune and discover wonders… The winemakers have appellations that are well known to oenophiles, as they have land on the Côte de Beaune and love to show off the wines of the Hautes-Côtes.

Before leaving Nolay, make your way to the birthplace of Lazare Carnot. The town’s history is marked by the imprint of the great Carnot family.

7. Chagny

An escape to the water's edge

Chagny is a popular commune for contemplation, with its marina and canal between vineyards, meadows and beautiful heritage. Come aboard a barge and cruise through the waters, admiring Burgundy’s nature in slow-motion! On land, the riverbanks, formerly towpaths, are also ideal for strolling: you can walk or cycle along them, surrounded by greenery. A greenway links Chagny to Chalon-sur-Saône and Chagny to Saint-Léger-sur-Dheune. It’s highly recommended that you pedal to the Chagny forest, for a cool ride.

It’s time to pack up and head to the Pays Beaunois, for an escape through the ages, at the heart of Burgundian culture…

Discover the canal du centre

Good to know

If you’re heading to Chagny this weekend, you should know that the town hosts a Sunday market in the colors of the region. On offer: fabulous local produce made in Burgundy, including the finest local cuvées. Côteaux Bourguignons, Bourgogne aligoté, Rully, Bouzeron and other vineyard treasures are all great to taste.

In search of

the best aromas

After this brief overview, you’ll soon realize that there’s not just one Burgundy, but many. Allow yourself to make discoveries, stroll through unspoilt countryside and be surprised by encounters with winegrowers, cultural gems and fine products to taste. There’s so much more to experience in the Pays Beaunois!