Living France - - DESTINATION -

One of France’s most fa­mous wine­mak­ing re­gions, Bur­gundy has been pro­duc­ing wine since the days of Charle­magne, so the lo­cals have had plenty of time to per­fect their art of mak­ing some of the world’s finest bot­tles of France’s drink of choice. UNESCO has recog­nised such re­gional ex­cel­lence, re­fer­ring to the vine­yard plots that cover the slopes of the Côte de Nuits and the Côte de Beaune as “an out­stand­ing ex­am­ple of grape cul­ti­va­tion and wine pro­duc­tion de­vel­oped since the High Middle Ages.”

Beaune, on the hills south of Di­jon, boasts the ma­jor­ity of vine­yards in the re­gion, so it’s no sur­prise the area is of­ten hailed as ‘the cap­i­tal of Bur­gundy wines’. Mak­ing, sell­ing and in­deed drink­ing lo­cal wine is at the heart of small-town life here and, with one of the world’s largest cel­lars ly­ing be­neath its quaint cob­bled-stone streets; an un­der­ground town in­hab­ited by wine casks and bot­tles, it’s clear that the lifeblood of the com­mu­nity runs deep.

But if you want to ex­plore the won­ders of this wine­mak­ing re­gion above ground, catch­ing the train touris­tique from the square out­side Hô­tel-Dieu is an en­chant­ing way to do so. As it makes its way around town and through the vine­yards, take the op­por­tu­nity to hop on and off, and stroll

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