Burgundy

Transportation and Accommodations

Getting There

Burgundy is a well-known wine region about 200 miles southeast of Paris. From London, the easiest way to reach Burgundy is by train. Start by taking the Eurostar train from London to Paris, which takes about 2.5 hours and arrives in Gare du Nord. From Gare du Nord, you will need to go to a different train station called Gare de Lyon. Gare de Lyon is about a 30 minute drive from Gare du Nord so keep this in mind when booking your trains.

 

From Gare de Lyon, you can get direct trains to Dijon in under two hours, which is the capital city of Burgundy. Book these tickets in advance on trainline as these trains can and do fill up. Additionally, you will be assigned a seat on this train. Depending on where you choose to stay in Burgundy, you may continue onward to another town or stay in Dijon.

 

For those interested in staying in a smaller town than the capital of Dijon, Beaune is located another 20 minute train from Dijon. You will need to switch trains at the Dijon station and take a train from Dijon to Beaune. There are trains from Dijon to Beaune about every 20-30 minutes and you do not have an assigned seat on this train.

Getting Around

The town of Beaune is very small and walkable. In fact, walking is pretty much the only way you can get around the town itself. If you rent a car while visiting the region, you can drive to your accommodations, but you will not need a car while in the town itself.

 

Note that taxis can be challenging to find in Beaune. There are a variety of companies you can try calling, but you will not see them in excess around the town and sometimes you will find that a taxi is not interested in traveling a short distance.


Momo taxis is one of the more reliable taxi services in the area

Phone: +33 6 66 12 17 82

 

As you are likely visiting Burgundy for wine tastings, unless you have someone in the travel group who prefers not to drink, it is recommended to book wine tastings with a small group or private tour where a driver is provided to chauffeur you to different tasting locations.

Accommodations

When visiting Burgundy, there are a variety of options for where to stay. The capital city of Dijon is convenient for those who want to be a quick train ride away from Paris and prefer a larger city to explore.

Beaune is a smaller village outside of Dijon, sitting in Burgundy where you will feel like you are closer to the vineyards. The town can feel quite touristy, but provides a good home base destination when exploring Burgundy. When looking at accommodations, if arriving by train, consider needing to walk from the station to your accommodations as the availability of taxis is not a guarantee.

Another nice idea is to stay in a villa on a vineyard. This may provide less flexibility for meals and visiting towns, but offers a different type of experience. Domaine de Bellene has a lovely villa bookable here as an example for a nice winery villa.

Things to do and see

Wine Tour

When visiting Burgundy, taking a wine tour is a must to provide you the opportunity to try a variety of the wines produced in the region. Generally there are a variety of options for tours varying from size of group (private, small group, large group), multiple vineyard and wine tasting stops, lunch included vs. excluded, and stopping in small towns with time to explore.


For those staying in Beaune, I highly recommend taking this full day wine tour departing from Beaune. On this tour, the tour guide picks you up in Beaune at the tourist office. He provides a lot of information and is an excellent tour guide. The exact tour may differ by the day as there will be different wineries visited, but all in all, this is a great tour. Our tour included two wine tastings before lunch with the first at Domaine de Bellene and the second at Chateau Corton. Chateau Corton was an unscheduled stop where we looked at the property and vineyard grounds, and then had the opportunity to see the cellar. Following, we were offered a tasting of any bottles anyone in the group desired to purchase. Thus, we were able to try five more wines here.

 

From Chateau Corton, we drove to Nuits-Saint-George for lunch where we had a group lunch on a terrace at Hotel Bar de l'Etoile. Following lunch, we stopped into a wine store in town called Cavon de Bacchus and then headed out on our way to another unscheduled tasting. We stopped at Marchand - Tawse where we tasted a variety of their wines before heading to one more tasting at the wine shop and cellar for Caveau Moillard.

 

After all the wine tastings, we drove by Chateau du Clos de Vougeot and by Romanee Conti which is known as one of the best wine plots in the world, producing some of the most expensive wines.

 

Domaine de Bellene

Beautiful winery in Cote de Beaune

 

Chateau du Pommard

Located a 10 minute drive from the town of Beaune in the village of Pommard, this is a beautiful Chateau known for its Pommard wines. The Chateau offers a variety of experiences to book for a visit including a simple vs deluxe tour and tasting. It can be challenging to secure a taxi to Chateau du Pommard so plan some extra time around visiting this Chateau if also seeing others in the same day. The chateau provides a concierge service on their website who can help with booking taxis if struggling.

 

Wine tour and tasting options:

Musee de l’Hotel-Dieu 

A historical building with typical tile roofing of Burgundy. The monument was a hospital years ago and now has been restored to a museum. Visitors can take a 1 hour self-guided audio tour [12੬] to learn more about the history of the building.

 

This can be interesting for those who enjoy museums, but is not a "must see" when visiting Beaune.

 

Bouchard Ainé & Fils 

Visits/tours: Daily 10:30, 11:30, 13:00, 14:30, 16:00 17:30

Discovery Tour: [20੬/person] 45 minutes. 5 wines (2 whites, 3 reds - Village, Premier Cru and Gran Cru). 

One of the larger wineries in Beaune, booking a tour here includes an adventure with your senses. You are guided through the cellars and learn about the wine, while interacting with different senses (not just taste) as you explore the different wines.

 

Domaine Loubet-Dewailly 

Hours: 11am - 2pm, 4pm to 8pm stopping the tasting at 7:30 pm

Tasting [10੬/person] 5 wines. 30 minute


Located near the Basilica Notre Dame in Beaune, stop here for a short wine tasting. You can purchase a platter of charcuterie and / or local cheeses to enjoy with your tasting.

 

Patriarche Pere & Fils

Another large winery in the town of Beaune, with 5 km of vaulted galleries and over 2 million aging bottles which you can see in their tour. The tour takes about an hour and is available all days 09:30-11:15 & 14:00-17:15.

Wine & Tasting Freedom 2023 Tour [20੬/person] self-guided audio followed by tasting of 6 wines (red and white)


At the end of the self-guided tour, you will first taste white wines in one of the underground cellars and then move to the red wine tasting. When at the red wine tasting, you will be guided by a salesperson who will also talk you through how to purchase and ship their wines. Although this is helpful, it also felt very salesy and non-authentic

Food and Drinks

Dinner

La Buissonnière

Beaune

French restaurant with a great atmosphere. The menu is small, but authentic, and the service is excellent. With good food, a cozy feel and nice service, this restaurant is definitely one to book in advance if visiting Beaune.

Closed Saturday/Sunday


Caves Madeleine 

Beaune

French restaurant found near the outside of the main centre of Beaune. This restaurant is typical French, with a few small tables and one large long table. Depending on your party size, you may be seated at the long table, known as a communal table, among other dinner guests whom you do not know.

 

Le Cheval Noir

Beaune

French restaurant on the outskirts of the city centre with a modern décor. It is more expensive than other restaurants, but serves high quality food. They offer a la carte options as well as different tasting or multi-course menus. The beef bourgignon was excellent here for a traditional French, and even Burgundy dish.

Cafes & Boulangeries

Boulangerie place Monge - Marie Boucherot

Beaune

Great fresh bakery in the center of Beaune with freshly made breads including croissants, baguettes, and focaccia


Pâtisserie Chocolaterie Thomas Bouvart

Beaune

Cute little patisserie to sit down for a morning coffee and pastry or an afternoon dessert


Beyer Damien

Beaune

Bakery in the center of Beaune with a variety of bread and pastry options

Snacks

Alain Hess Cheese Shop

Beaune

Cheese shop in the center of Beaune serving wide variety of French cheeses. Stop in here to purchase some cheeses to enjoy for an afternoon snack while visiting Beaune

  

Charcuterie Raillard

Beaune

Charcuterie shop in the center of town. Grab some meats here to make your own afternoon snack after stopping by Alain Hess for cheese and crackers  

Wine Bars

La Maison du Colombier

Beaune

Closed Saturday/Sunday

Cute wine bar in the center of the town of Beaune. They have nice outdoor seating if the weather is nice and options inside as well. LONG wine list available! It is a gastro-bar, making it a good option for meals too.

 

L'Arche Des Vins - bar a vin - caviste

Beaune

Nice spot for an afternoon drink at a wine bar

 

Le Bistrot Bourguignon

Restaurant and wine bar in the center of town, good option for a pre-dinner drink

Other Notes

Weekends & Hours

Beaune is a quaint, small town. Although it is more touristy, it still follows the European ways where many shops and restaurants are closed on Sundays. In fact, even some of the restaurants are closed on both Saturday and Sunday. For this reason, it is definitely recommended to look at booking reservations, especially on the weekend in the busier season (mid May to September) to ensure you have a restaurant for dinner.


Duration

2 full days, 3 nights, is a perfect amount of time in Beaune. This allows you to plan a full day wine tour of the region, and a second day to visit wineries in the town of Beaune, while also exploring the small town itself. For those who would like to visit numerous wineries, you may require more time or should plan to move around to stay in the different tiny Burgundy towns. However, those just looking to enjoy time in Burgundy, taste and learn about the famous wines, and make the best of a weekend, then 2 days in Beaune is perfect.


Burgundy Wine

Burgundy is known for having some of the best wines in the world. The Burgundy region produces Chardonnay and Aligote for white wines, and Pinot Noir and Gamay for red wines. 61% of the production is white wine, 9% is sparkling wines (Cremant), and 30% is red wines.


Burgundy is split into five main regions:

  • Chablis
  • Côte de Nuits
  • Cote de Beaune
  • Cote Chalonnaise
  • Mâconnais

 

Within each region, there are numerous little towns and villages spread throughout Burgundy growing grapes for one of the four types of wine.


In Burgundy, there are four levels on how a wine can be classified. The simplest level is Regional (Bourgogone) - 50%, followed by the village - 36%, then Premier / 1st Cru - 12% and finally Grand Cru 2%. A wine is labeled one of these four based on where the grapes used to make the wine were grown. In Burgundy, the plots of land and soil are graded with one of these four appellations. These appellations were set many years ago, and are hardly ever altered.


Wine makers may grow their own grapes within the region or they may have agreements with farmers to purchase grapes from a specific plot of land. Regional wines will be cheapest and most affordable wines and will be labeled with Bourgogone on the bottle. The wines made in the next level will be labeled by the town or village they were produced in, with a few examples being Pommards, Nuits Saint-Georges, Beaunes, Meursaults, Aloxe Cortons, Vosnes Romanees, Santenays, and Volnays. Premier Cru, the second higheset grade, will specifically note "Premier Cru" or "1st Cru" on the bottle, similar to Grand Cru which will be stated explicitly too.


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Transportation and Accommodations

Things to do and see

Food and Drinks