The classification of wines in Burgundy is relatively simple, especially compared to the various classifications of bordeaux.
- Principle 1 : in Burgundy it is the vineyard that are demarcated by appellation areas. It is, therefore, a geographical principle that dominates it in the first place, even if this is not the only one.
- The 2nd principle :
In Burgundy, there are just 4 levels of appellation :
- The regional appellations, the less expensive, which represent about half of the wine production in Burgundy. This first level, the lower priced wines, includes all wines that contain the word "Bourgogne" on the label. Examples : Bourgogne Hautes Côtes de Nuits, Burgundy Côte Chalonnaise, Bourgogne Aligoté, Bourgogne Passetougrain, Crémant de Bourgogne, etc.... But also the Mâcon Villages and other exceptions.
- The village appellations (or communal), which represent approximately 40% of the production.
The number of 44, they have necessarily a name of a village on the bottle : Chablis, Gevrey-Chambertin, Mercurey, Vosne-Romanée, Meursault, Pommard...
- The appellations Premiers Crus, which account for approximately 10 % of the wine in Burgundy.
Always related to a name of a village (example Pommard 1er Cru, Chablis 1er Cru, Nuits Saint Georges 1er Cru....), this are plots located within the village appellations and identified as being superior in quality.
- And finally the famous Grand Crus of Burgundy, the fourth and ultimate level of appellation in Burgundy.The Great Wines of Burgundy represent only 1 % of wine production
The number of 33, they will have each a proper name : Corton Charlemagne, Montrachet, Chablis Grand Cru, Charmes-Chambertin, Romanée-Conti, for example.
Chablis grand cru (Blanchot, Bougros, Les Clos, Grenouilles, Preuses, Valmur and Vaudésir) ;
Coast of Nights :
Ruchottes-chambertin, mazis-chambertin, chambertin-clos-de-bèze, chapelle-chambertin, chambertin, charmes-chambertin, griotte-chambertin, latricières-chambertin and mazoyères-chambertin, clos-de-la-roche, clos-saint-denis, clos-des-lambrays, clos-de-tart , bonnes-mares and musigny, clos-de-vougeot , échezeaux and grands-échezeaux ,richebourg, la romanée, romanée-conti, romanée-saint-vivant, the-high-street-and-task
Côte de Beaune :
Corton and corton-charlemagne, bâtard-montrachet, welcome-bastard-montrachet, montrachet and chevalier-montrachet, criots-bâtard-montrachet and montrachet
This is the pyramid of the ranking of the wines of Burgundy (source: BIVB) :