Appears in
Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

  • About

Bourgogne, the French name for both the region of burgundy (La Bourgogne) and burgundy, the wines thereof (le bourgogne), which are red, white, and very occasionally rosé. In particular, Bourgogne refers to the most basic, generic category of appellations in Burgundy.

For white wines the generic appellations are bourgogne aligoté, Bourgogne Blanc (made from Chardonnay grapes, although Pinot Blanc and Pinot Gris are tolerated), and Coteaux bourguignons. For red wines the generic appellations are bourgogne passetoutgrains, Coteaux Bourguignons, and Bourgogne Rouge. The last is usually pure Pinot Noir, although it may technically include the César and Tressot once grown in the Yonne (Chablis country), and may be made from Gamay grapes if grown in one of the beaujolais crus. A small amount of pink wine is sold as Bourgogne Rosé, or Bourgogne Clairet. In practice this may be the result of a saignée of a red wine from a major vineyard in order to concentrate it—although by law this is not possible, since to declassify part of the crop into Bourgogne Rosé would necessitate declassifying the remainder into Bourgogne Rouge.