Check out Burgbit for bits of Burgundy info from our French and Burgundy wine specialist Kurt Eckert. Get familiar with easy-to-digest and uncommon facts about the complex wine region of Burgundy, France – home of world-class Pinot Noir and Chardonnay wines – and you’ll be a Burgundy enthusiast in no time.

For centuries, Burgundy’s fame rested upon a narrow strip of vineyards and villages running for 37 miles from Dijon to Chagny. These vineyards all lie on slopes facing east and on a fault line created over 30 million years ago. When a 1790 departmental reorganization began updating names of the various zones, this area likely should have been called either “Haute-Seine” or “Seine et Saone,” referencing those rivers. However, André-Remy Arnoult, a bureaucrat in Dijon, instead proposed the name “Côte d’Orient” ostensibly since the slopes all faced to the east. The clever part is that this name would evolve and eventually shorten to “Côte d’Or,” or “golden slope.” Accident? Or visionary marketing?


Kurt Eckert has worked as a sommelier in top NYC restaurants, leading the opening team at Jean-Georges and immediately achieving 4-star recognition from the NY Times and 3 stars from the Michelin Guide. In addition to the flagship restaurant, he managed the wine programs at four more NYC restaurants in the group and contributed to still more Jean-Georges projects around the world. While managing these wine programs he created his own boutique label for handcrafted wines, employing classic old-world techniques in the emerging vineyards on the East End of Long Island. After leaving the restaurant scene in 2002 he became US Brand Director for Champagne Krug, and developed an effective strategy for success in the US market for this reference-point, iconic Champagne brand. The next step was as Director of Fine Wines for Frederick Wildman & Sons, with a renewed emphasis upon Burgundy as well as other prestigious French & Italian producers. Eventually in 2009 Marathon Selections was launched with a highly specialized focus upon emerging small domaines in Burgundy. Having built several of these producers to a level where they were ready for larger and more widespread distribution in the US, it became time to move to the next challenge with Kobrand and the venerable Maison Louis Jadot. Here we find the opportunity to work across nearly the entire range of Burgundian terroirs, with viticulture and winemaking skills which are unparalleled. Authenticity and sense of place assume center stage for an on-going conversation about the unique mystery and fascinating diversity within the region, firmly anchored to a centuries-old tradition of quality.

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