France Travel Planner by Tom Brosnahan & Jane Fisher   Côte de Beaune Excursion, France
Including Beaune and wine villages to the south, it's a charming day trip!




The Route des Grands Crus is the major route through the famous vineyards of Burgundy. It follows the Côte d'Or escarpment, the area where most of the most famous Burgundy grapes are grown. Covering about 60 kilometers and starting just south of Dijon, it consists of two major segments: the Côte de Nuits in the north and the Côte de Beaune in the south.

The Côte de Beaune wine region starts just south of Nuits-St-Georges (map) and extends to just south of Santenay to Cheilly-les-Maranges. Although there are plenty of red wines in the Côte de Beaune, the region is best known for its white wines, particularly chardonnays. Most of the Burgundy grand cru white wines come from the Côte de Beaune.

The Côte de Beaune also includes the lovely town of Beaune, well worth a visit for its own merits. Its Wine Museum, market, and Hôtel-Dieu all attest to the importance of wine to this region. More...

South of Beaune are several charming wine villages that are fun to visit. Pommard, known for its château and its red wine, is only 5 kilometers (3 miles) southwest of Beaune.

From Pommard continue driving through the vineyards to the lovely village of Meursault, a hill top town famous for its white wines. Meursault is home to 17 premier cru wines, both white and red. You can drive up in the hills behind the village and get some lovely views.

Meursault, Burgundy, France

The steeple is that of the Church of St-Nicolas, which Frogier de Meursault gave to the abbots of Cluny in 1094—another reminder of the long history of the area. It was rebuilt after a fire in 1480. The Hôtel de Ville, or town hall, is also lovely with its tile roof.

Continuing farther south from Meursault another 10 kilometers/6 miles or so you'll come to the MontrachetsPuligny-Montrachet and Chassagne-Montrachet . The Montrachet vineyards, which lend their name to these towns, produce some of the best white wines in France. Châteaux and small villages dedicated to growing grapes and producing wine attest to the importance of the industry, tradition, and culture of wine in this region.

From the vineyards, you can continue your excursion by driving along a winding road through the lovely countryside to the nearby Château La Rochepot (about 11 kilometers/7 miles from Chassagne-Montrachet). This feudal castle, which is privately owned, boasts a striking clifftop location and beautiful tile roofs. More...

This excursion makes a wonderful day trip from Beaune and will give you a good sense of the Côte d'Or and the extent of the grape growing in Burgundy. Pack a lunch (we bought some delicious mini quiches, pastries, and drinks at a small patisserie in Pommard) and picnic among the vines!


Excursions in Burgundy

About Beaune

About Dijon

Côte de Nuits

About Burgundy

Burgundy Food & Drink

Burgundy Wines


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Chateau de Pommard, France

Above, Château de Pommard, famous for its red wines.

Below, Statue of grape pickers in Puligny-Montrachet.


Statue of grape pickers, Puligny-Montrachet, France

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