Understanding Burgundy’s “regional” appellations

What is an appellation?
An appellation defines and protects geographically-named wines and is also the means to limit and control the types of grapes grown within an area as defined by the government or a governing authority.

How many regional appellations are there in Burgundy?

(“Bourgogne” is the French word for Burgundy)

There are 23 regional appellations which themselves can be divided into sub-categories.

Bourgogne  (Burgundy) regional
Bourgogne-Aligoté
Bourgogne mousseux
Bourgogne Passtoutgrains
Coteaux bourguignons -ex Bourgogne grand ordinaire
Crémant de Bourgogne

The next are called “sub-regional”
Cote de Nuits villages
Côte de Beaune villages
Maçon

Then AOC geographical district denominations
Bourgogne chitry
Bourgogne Côte Châlonnaise
Bourgogne Côte d’Auxerre
Bourgogne Côte du Couchois
Bôurgogne Cote saint Jacques
Bôurgogne Coulange la Vineuse
Bourgogne Epigneul
Bourgogne hautes Cotes de Beaune
Bourgogne hautes Cotes de Nuits
Bourgogne le Chapitre
Bourgogne la Chapelle Notre Dame
Bôurgogne Montrecul
Bourgogne Tonnerre
Bourgogne Vezelay

What is their position in Burgundy’s wine region classification?

Regional appellations account for 51% of Burgundy’s total production, that’s nearly 100 million bottles! They are found at the base of the AOC classification and their price range is from 8€ to 15€
This is what most Burgundians drink on an average basis and there are some excellent generic Pinots and Chardonnays around.

My advice: buy from a well-known estate as the quality will be high from Regional to Grand Crus. Best go for 2009, 2010 and 2012 vintages which will cellar for longer. Best to drink before 7 years of age, 5 years if they are of an inferior vintage like 2011 and 2013 (when it comes out).

Regional Appellation

Regional Appellation

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Sub-regional Appellation

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Geographical destrict appellations

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