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H.A. 430 Introduction to Wines Burgundy The Region - The People - The Wine Location: Eastern France (Chablis is 100 miles South of Paris) Burgundy History: Wine production most likely predates the arrival of Romans in 51 BC Climate: (vintage variation) Continental with potential for frost, hail, and heavy rains at the wrong time of year. This causes big differences in vintage quality from year to year and even from village to village. Grape Varieties: WhiteRedChardonnay Pinot Noir Aligoté Gamay and Pinot Noir -- Passe-tout-grain Gamay -- In Beaujolais Burgundy comes under the Appellation d'Origine Controlee (A.O.C.) laws of France which originated in 1935. Burgundy's classification of wines is based on a rating of the vineyards. Classification System or Ranking of Burgundy:• Over hundreds of years Burgundians have identified certain “climats” (or vineyard sites) that consistently yield grapes which produce great wines. These "best vineyard sites" have been labeled Grand Cru(great growth). • Other vineyards have been identified as producing excellent wines well above the average for a commune (village), these have been rated as Premier Cru(first growth). • The next level of the classification are Communeorvillagewines which will vary more in quality but should provide enjoyable wines which possess the characteristics associated with the village they come from. • The lowest level of classification within Burgundy is a simple regionalwine. The more specific the region the more specific the characteristics of the wine e.g., a wine labeled Côte de Nuits Villagescan only be made from grapes grown in the geographic area of the Côte de Nuits (the northern part of Burgundy) as compared to AOC Bourgognewhich can be made from grapes coming from any and all parts of Burgundy.
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