Burgundy is a region I visit and taste in regularly, and while others might have more aesthetic appeal, it is the place for which I most look forward to packing my bags. It’s familiar, yes, and I have a lot of its signature grapes – pinot noir and chardonnay – in my cellar, but Burgundy has seeped into me no like no other region. There’s its robust cuisine rooted in satisfying the hungry worker, its long and famous vinous history, and a patchwork of vineyards that produce an endless variety of tastes across a small geographic area.
Despite their fame, the people who run the estates are remarkably humble. Bottles worth hundreds of pounds are poured, discussed then drunk with pleasure rather than reverence. And yet bottles, and indeed land, now fetch prices that would have been laughed at a decade ago. Consumer demand means I can no longer afford to buy the wines I once could. But while I can’t drink much Chambolle-musigny, this is made up for by the rise in standards across the region – so I can consume far better Santenay or Marsannay than was previously possible.