French Wine Holidays Burgundy, France

Everybody who loves their wine should go to Burgundy.  It's ideally located -  2 1/2  hours' drive south of Paris and only 2 hours from Paris's Orly Airport.

The beautiful rolling countryside is some of the prettiest in France, and the town that sits at the centre of this wine region is the Bourgogne capital of Beaune, full of history and wine lovers.

Burgundy's cool climate produces great red wines. The church owned the vineyards of Burgundy for nearly a thousand years until the French Revolution in 1780, when the vineyards were sold to workers who had tended them.

Burgundy wine village
Medieval village of Blanot

If you like a little history with your wine, you must visit the ancient village of Gevrey-Chambertin, renowned for its quality wine since the 8th century. Chambertin gets its name from a peasant named Bertan who owned the famous vineyard and sold grapes to the monks.

Napoleon loved Chambertin so much that his troops saluted the vineyard as they passed by.  Legend has it that Napoleon always took a swig of Chambertin wine before going into battle.

A famous white wine area in Burgundy is Corton-Charlemagne, named after King Charlemagne.   He first planted the white grapes here because his wife wasn't happy about the stains on his beard while drinking red.

Here in Burgundy, Chardonnay is the primary grape for whites, and Pinot Noir and Gamay for reds.

Burgundy wine

The annual wine auction in the typical French town of Beaune is "magnifique" and the restaurants you'll find by walking down its little streets and alleyways are full of flavoursome food.

For memorable accommodation near Beaune, try the wonderul Hostellerie de Levernois, only a few minutes out of town.  This is a Relais and Chateaux property run by the former French head of Relais and Chateaux, Jean-Louis Bottigliero and his wife Susanne.

Hostellerie De Levernois
Photo courtesy of Hostellerie de Levernois

Hostellerie de Levernois is set on a beautiful property with grounds, manicured lawns and the accommodation is pure quality without being astronomically pricey.

Levernois has just opened its lunch bistro Le Bistrot in an historic outbuilding, and the dinners in the main building at night are so mouthwatering you'll be hard-pressed to find anything more memorable.

Try the langoustins, a little like a cross between a lobster and a prawn, for a traditional French taste treat.

The quirky thing you'll notice in this restaurant with its Mercedes and Ferraris parked outside is that some of the well-heeled have their well-behaved dogs - and some them are big - under their tables.

As for the wineries, many are more production-orientated than the gracious restaurant set-ups you'll find in Australia, New Zealand and the Napa Valley.

Spend at least a few days in this gorgeous region you won't forget