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Discover Burgundy. Santenay - the artisan wines of Côte de Beaune

I´m often asked what is my favourite wine region and I always refuse to answer. Every wine trip is a new love story with wine being the main guy. Santenay is not a celebrity wine region, have you heard of it at all? Do you often find it at a local wine store? Well, I'd highly recommend you to find this little village on the map of Burgundy, go there and understand why was I so much enchanted.

A view over Santenay's Pinot Noir vineyards during my Burgundy wine study trip
French countryside, vineyards, medieval architecture, cosy restaurants - what else to wish for?

Santenay - a great value just a step away from the Route des Grand Crus

Santenay is a Village & Premier Cru appellation within the terroir-diverse Burgundy. It's the southernmost part of Côte de Beaune. Harvest here is the earliest and this is one of the rare places where you find dominance of red wines in the Côte.*

Map of Burgundy vineyards, Cote d'Or - Cote de Nuits and Cote de Beaune
*A basic way to look at Côte d'Or is that Côte de Beaune is for whites, Côte de Nuits is for reds.

Being after all a typical Burgundian village, you'll find here a castle, a windmill, lots of vineyards on the hills and ... thermal waters. Yes, Santenay is home to two favourite liquids of mine - wine and water. And while I was there, the construction of the new thermal spa was in process, so see you in the pools of Santenay next year! There are 12 Premier Cru climats in Santenay. The label will therefore show Santenay Premier Cru + name of the climat (if it's a single vineyard wine):

  • La Comme

  • Les Gravières

  • Clos de Tavannes

  • Beauregard

  • Clos Faubard

  • Clos des Mouches

  • Beaurepaire

  • Passe temps

  • La Maladière

  • Grand Clos Rousseau

  • Clos Rousseau

  • Les Gravières-Clos de Tavannes


Biodyversity in vineyards of Burgundy, a vineyard with generous grass cover in Santenay
A jungle-like grass cover is what we all should look for in the vineyards!

I tasted some of these climats (I wish I could stay longer and taste all of them). See my Santenay tasting notes below, after we talk a bit about soil and winemaking in this village.

the origin of the soils dates back 60 million years to the Jurassic period