Beaune is not the largest city in Burgundy. Dijon, Chalon-sur-Saône, Mâcon or Auxerre are ahead in this category. Forget its size, however, Beaune is the real CAPITAL OF THE WINES OF BURGUNDY. With the vineyards of Meursault, Montrachet, Vosnes-Romanée, Gevrey-Chambertin or Pommard at its doorstep, Beaune is at the heart of one of the most prestigious vineyards in the world. The Burgundians will even tell you in the heart of the most prestigious vineyard in the world! But we will not take part in this debate that has been tearing Burgundy and Bordeaux lovers apart since the dawn of time! One thing is for sure, appellations like Richebourg or Romanée-Conti make all wine lovers in the world salivate!
Small in size, Beaune is easily visited on foot. In half a day, you may have toured the city. However, expect a full day if you want to visit wineries and especially THE HOSPICES DE BEAUNE.
Winery visit to Beaune
During your walk in Beaune, you will have the opportunity to visit some cellars open to the public. The most spectacular cellars of Beaune are without a doubt the cellars of theMaison Patriarche. Their 5 kilometres of vaulted galleries running under the city of Beaune make them the largest wineries in Burgundy. Nothing less ! They are located on the site of an ancient convent and some date back to the 13th century. If, however, you want to taste and meet winemakers, give your preference to small estates. The reception will certainly be less professional, but more authentic. There are many areas around Beaune as well as some beautiful addresses in the city centre. Located in the ramparts of Beaune, the cellars of the Françoise André estate,for example, offer a pleasant tasting environment. You can enjoy some great Burgundy appellations. If your preference goes to these small areas, do not consider that they are open all day to the public. It is always best to call before you go to make an appointment or to check the availability of the winemaker.
The House of Climates of Burgundy
In Burgundy, when we talk about wine, we talk about Climates. Climates are these parcels of vine precisely demarcated for centuries and classified as UNESCO WORLD PATRIMOINE since 2015. To understand these climates, be sure to visit the House of Climates of Burgundy. Thanks to a film, a model of the vineyard and an exhibition embellished with augmented reality, the climates of Burgundy will no longer have any secrets for you. A playbook is provided for the children to make this visit fun.
Les Hospices de Beaune, jewel of Burgundy
Besides wine, the other reason to go to Beaune is its superb HOSPICES DE BEAUNE. These Hospices, whose glazed tile roofs are one of burgundy’s emblems, were created in the 15th century. This hospital, designed to accommodate the poor, is a masterpiece of flamboyant Gothic architecture. It testifies to the golden age of the Dukes of Burgundy. The Hospices de Beaune owns a winery whose wines are sold every year in November, on the occasion of the sale of the Hospices de Beaune which attracts to Burgundy the whole world of international wine. Perfectly preserved, these Hospices are now visited. You can admire the large room of the poors its impressive frame in overturned boat hull, its Gothic chapel, the kitchen or the beautiful apothecary. The highlight of the visit is the polyptych of the Last Judgment, a masterpiece of medieval religious art by the Flemish painter Rogier Van der Weyden.
A lively and gourmet city
In Beaune you will find a wide selection of wine bars and restaurants where you will enjoy discovering Burgundy cuisine. The right addresses are many. We particularly appreciate the Caves Madeleine restaurant. A nice address with very reasonable formulas for lunch. If you visit Beaune on Saturday morning, take the opportunity to take a short tour of the market held in the square opposite the Hospices de Beaune. The opportunity to discover the city in a different way, by tasting some Burgundy specialties on the colorful stalls.
To learn more about Beaune: www.beaune-tourisme.fr