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?