Map of Burgundy - vineyard areas shaded in pink
Today, Burgundy is one of the administrative regions of France, lying
astride the main lines of communication between Paris and Lyon; anyone
travelling by train or on the French motorway network between Paris or
north-east France, and Lyon and the south of France, must pass through
Burgundy. The region is bordered by the river Loire, in the west, and
by the Franche-Comté
regions in the
east. To the south it is bordered by the Rhone
The Burgundy region is made
up of four
French departments. Northern Burgundy comprises the department of the Yonne
(89), capital Auxerre
, a rolling
agricultural area bordering on the outer fringes of the Paris region.
In the west, the Nièvre
(58), capital Nevers, is a hilly department that includes the highest
peak of the Morvan
hills (Le Haut Folin, 903 m), and a large part of the Morvan
regional nature park. The Côte-d'O
department (21), around Dijon, is hilly in the north west, and flat in
the south east; finally the department of Saône
(71) in the south of the region stretches from the banks of the Loire
in the west to the foothills of the Jura in the east, and includes
large flat expanses of the Saône valley.
The historic and modern capital of the
Burgundy region is Dijon
(population 150,000), a thriving administrative and cultural centre,
which is also a major communications and freight-distribution hub. The
city is just 1hr. 40 mins. from Paris by direct TGV high-speed train
service. Dijon has a historic city centre, with old narrow
streets, and houses built in the local pale honey-coloured stone; of
particular interest to visitors are the Palace of the Dukes of
Burgundy, and the gothic Cathedral of Saint Bénigne.
The world-famous Burgundy
produce some of the most prestigious and expensive wines in the world.
The top wines are mostly produced on a narrow strip of land running
from Dijon, on the western fringe of the Saône
plain, in the Côtes de Nuits and the Côtes de
vineyard areas. These include names such as Gevrey-Chambertin,
Vosne-Romanée, Pommard, Volnay and Clos Vougeot.
the top vineyards, which are quite small, are protected behind stone
walls and iron gates, so valuable are the grapes that they produce.
to reach the Burgundy area :
By TGV train from
, or from Lille; train from many cities, motorway from
Paris, Lille, Strasbourg, Nancy, Lyon, Geneva.
is currently no commercial airport in the Burgundy area operating
regular international flights. The north of the region is
accessible from the Paris airports
the south of the region is closer to Lyon St