Côte de Beaune is the southern half of the Côte d’Or. The Côte de Beaune includes 16 villages and appellations. Among the most famous communes are Santenay, Chassagne-Montrachet, Puligny-Montrachet, Meursault, Volnay, Pommard, Beaune and Aloxe-Corton. Three of the communes include Grand Cru vineyards and there are numerous Premier Cru vineyards. Though Côte de Beaune produces outstanding red and white wines, it is especially renowned for its Chardonnays, which are considered the best in the world. The prestigious Grand Cru Chardonnays from the vineyards Corton-Charlemagne, Montrachet, Batard-Montrachet, Chevalier-Montrachet and Bienvenues-Batard-Montrachet are always in high demand. The region takes its name from the village of Beaune, the unofficial capital of Burgundy. Beaune is home to many of Burgundy’s best negociants, including Joseph Drouhin, Louis Jadot and Bouchard Pere et Fils. Beaune is also home to the historic Hospices de Beaune wine auction, an annual event held by local producers for the benefit of a Beaune hospital built in the 15th century.
This red wine is relatively light and can pair with a wide variety of foods. The grape prefers cooler climates and the wine is most often associated with Burgundy, Champagne and the U.S. west coast. Regional differences make it nearly as fickle as it is flexible.