Thanks again for taking the Burgundy Expert quiz. As promised, below are the full results, with a more detailed explanation for each answer.
Question 1 : Which of the appellation below is NOT part of the Côte de Beaune?
- Aloxe Corton
The correct answer is Gevrey-Chambertin, which is a sub region located in the north part of the Côte de Nuits, as shown on the map below.
Question 2: Which of the below monk orders was influential in laying the groundwork for the Cru system in Burgundy?
- The Cistercians
- The Franciscans
- The Jesuits
- The Dominicans
The monks had a huge influence in the development of Burgundy wines throughout the medieval time (from circa 600 to the 18th century). They owned large amounts of land, and produced wines for the Church and for the Kings, and were very meticulous in their analysis of the terroirs, identifying small differences in taste, maturity, quality of the vines across sometimes very small areas of the same plot of land. Throughout the centuries, they refined their approach, and much of the classifications established today were laid down by the Benedictine monks, and then later by the Cistercians monks (named after the Abbeye of Citeaux).
Question 3: True or False: The Côte Chalonnaise counts more Grand Crus than the Côte de Beaune?
The correct answer here was “False”. And it is a little bit of a trick question, because one of the specificities of the Côte Chalonnaise is that it does not have any Grand Cru wines, only regional, village and Premier Crus.
Question 4: What is a clos?
- It’s a winemaking technique where the fermenting vats are sealed
- It comes from the word “clone” and indicates the specific strand of Chardonnay used in Burgundy
- It is the word used to call the small parcels of vineyards used to make the wines
- It is the name of a group of growers coming together to produce a wine
The correct answer is that a Clos is a parcel of vineyard, in fact it is a walled vineyard. This practice goes back to the time when the monks used to build walls around the vineyard, to both protect it from theft, as well as improving the micro climate of that specific vineyard.
Question 5: “Bougros”, “Les Clos”, “Grenouilles”, “Preuses”, these names are all … What?
- Côte de Nuits Grand Cru climats
- Chablis Grand Cru climats
- Côte Chalonnaise Grand Cru climats
- Côte de Beaune Grand Cru climats
The correct answer is Chablis “Grand Cru” climats. In total, there are 7 Grand Cru in Chablis, and their names are:
- Les Preuses
- Les Clos
There are a further 24 “Grand Cru” in Côte de Nuits, and a further 8 “Grand Cru” in Cote de Beaune.
Question 6: True or False: The Côte de Nuits produces more white wines than it does red wines.
The correct answer is False. The split is around 5% white wine, 95% red wine in Cote de Nuits, so as you can see white wine production is actually marginal. As a general rule of thumb, the more South you travel in Burgundy, the more the balance tips towards white wine production, and typically in the Mâconnais (the Southern-most region) the split is roughly 85% white to 15% red.
Question 7: Which of the below grape variety is not grown in Burgundy
- Sauvignon Blanc
The correct answer is Semillion. Chardonnay and Aligoté are of course the two key white grapes of Burgundy, so it’s down to Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon. Sauvignon Blanc is not very common in Burgundy (it’s of course the star of the neighboring region of the Loire Valley) but it is planted in small amounts near Saint Brie, in the North of Burgundy. Semillon, a key grape in the Bordeaux region, is not found in Burgundy however.
Question 8: Chablis is situated next to which major city?
The correct answer here is Auxerre. If you go back to the Burgundy wine map above, you’ll notice that Chablis is actually quite fare from the “rest of Burgundy”. So if you ever plan a tour of Burgundy complete with vineyards visit, be mindful that you will struggle to see the Cote de Nuits vineyards and the Chablis vineyards in the same day!
Coming back to Chablis, is is wrapped around the small town of Chablis, but it’s also very very close to Auxerre, and that link is an important one, as the city was a major point in the commerce route of Chablis wines, and the easy connection to Paris contributed to the fame of Chablis wines.
Question 9: Which of the below aromas would not be typically associated with Chablis?
- Green Apple
- Green pepper
Well done if you said Green Pepper, and aroma that is typical of the Sauvignon Blanc grape variety, and not really an aromas associated with Chardonnay at all.
Question 10: if a label shows the term “Maison .. ” as shown on the image below, what does that indicate?
- The wine was produced by a grower
- The wine was produced by a negociant
The correct answer is “the wine is produced by a negociant. Burgundy is a very bizarre region, where, due to inheritance rules, some vineyards are very very small indeed (some people own no more than a row of vines). As a result, negociant, who buy wines (or grapes) from several owners, and produce their own wines. Sometime, a negociant will also own some land, and can therefore be an owner at the same time as a negociant, which can make things very confusing!
In any case, the labels will tell you if the wine was produced by an owner (someone who owns vineyards, harvest their own grapes and make their own wines) or a negociant. If the label says “Domaine …” it is produced by an owner. If it says “Maison ..” then it has been produced by a negociant.
Question 11: True or False: all the Chablis Grand Crus can be found on just one slope
The correct answer is True. Interesting fact really, that all the hype, all the amazing wines, and a huge part of the money is concentrated on a tiny area, on one slope, with the perfect orientation. Here is a map showing the area:
Question 12: What is the name of the sparkling wines produced in Burgundy?
- Blanc de Blanc
- Crémant de Bourgogne
- Blanquette de Limoux
- Champagne Chalonnais
And to finish, a word on Cremants de Bourgogne, a wine that in my view rivals some of the best Champagnes! As you know, only wines made in the region of Champagne can be called Champagne, so all the other sparkling produced in France use the word “Crémant” and then the name of the region they come from. Thus you can buy Crémant de Bourgogne, Crémant du Jura, Crémant d’Alsace, etc.
Certain small appellation exist that have their own individual names, such as blanquette de Limoux, a sparkling wine produced near the town of Limoux in the SouthWest of France. Fun fact, Blanquette de Limoux pre-dates Champagne and is thought to be the first sparkling wine ever produced!
And that’s it for the questions and answers, I hope you had fun taking this quiz, and of course don’t hesitate to share it on Social Media and challenge your friends to beat your score.