Grapevines and great wines - While Burgundy's wine-making tradition goes back to the monks of Cluny and Cîteaux, its roots can be traced back to geological formations some 60 million years ago. The vineyard locations here enjoy near-perfect climatic conditions for grape growing, while the unique chemical combinations of the soils – which can vary from one small field to the next – give each wine its distinctive quality and flavour, its personality. For example, the chardonnay grape used for Chablis wines has a strong flinty taste, mixed with fresh fruit and white flower scents in the Petit Chablis and Chablis Appellation Controlée, but grilled almond, acacia and honey in the Chablis Premier and Grands Crus. Although that may sound rather far-fetched for the lay wineperson, a Burgundian wine-grower is quite capable of telling you not only which village a liquid comes from, but which side of the village and if pushed, the name of the climat, or vineyard, as well. Wine has shaped Burgundy's destiny and left its imprint on the region's way of life, its countryside and its architecture - vat rooms and wine cellars were the builder's priorities, with living accomodation coming second. Good wine is convivial magic, and hundreds of years of cultivators' conjuring accounts for the party-spirit that springs from the bottle once the cork has been, carefully, drawn. Burgundians are always on the lookout for an excuse to celebrate and the wine-growers have their own round of festivities which have now become the envy of connaisseurs the world over – belonging to a Confrérie, a Wine Fraternity, is a much sought-after privilege. Magnificent banquets are held seventeen times a year by the Confrérie des Chevaliers du Tastevin at the "temple of wine cellars", Clos de Vougeot, the fraternity's chapterhouse. The Chevaliers are today Burgundy's, and its wine's, most prestigious international ambassadors.
© by Datatravel Srl