The Climats of Burgundy cover an area of 60 km long, from Dijon to Maranges, extending over the départments (counties) of Cote-d’Or and Saône-et-Loire. The Climats of Burgundy are the archetype of terroir vineyards, still active today, whose specificity is to link the tasting qualities of their production to the plot of land where it is produced.
In Burgundy, the identification of the wine to its place of origin is practiced to the highest possible degree since the early Middle Ages, under the impetus of the Benedictine and Cistercian monastic orders and the dukes Valois de Bourgogne. This has created an exceptionally precisely chiselled territory, forming a mosaic on which two single varietals (pinot noir and chardonnay) are grown to produce wines, or crus, which express its extreme diversity. The 1,247 different Climats (including the most renowned Chambertin, Romanée or Montrachet) are plots of land whose limits are precisely determined to reflect their geological, hydrographic and atmospheric characteristics. They are laid out on the Côte de Nuits and Côte de Beaune, a hillside whose extremely diverse subsoil is made of clay and limestone, and are organised in the official hierarchy of the Appellations d’Origine contrôlée (AOC) system. The Climats are born from exceptional natural conditions combined with human experience and savoir-faire accumulated over two millenniums. Their very longstanding limits sometimes take the form of hedgerows, stone walls, stone piles or dirt paths. The regulatory system and economic life of the site were organised under the impetus of the cities of Dijon and Beaune, where political, cultural, religious and commercial power sat.
The dukes palace in Dijon, the hospices of Beaune and the château du Clos de Vougeot are tangible evidence of these powers. A coherent and still active geo-system has thus progressively set itself up, based on three complementary elements: the vineyard itself and the villages; Dijon, the political and regulatory capital, and a technical and scientific centre; and Beaune, the wine trading centre. Today, the Climats are a unique and active conservatory of ancient traditions, expressing the diversity of its terroirs and producing world famous wines.
Criterion (III): The fragmented geo-system that makes up the Climats of the Burgundy winegrowing region, in conjunction with the villages of the Côte-d’Or and the cities of Dijon and Beaune, is a remarkable example of a historic wine-producing site whose authenticity has remained undisputed throughout the centuries, and whose activity is more vibrant today than ever before.
Criterion (V): The Climats of Burgundy represent the historical construction of a wine territory made up of clearly-delimited individual plots forming a precisely chiselled territory. The Climats perfectly express how the local community has chosen to identify the place of origin (a Climat) and the year of production (the vintage) as markers of quality and of the diversity of a highly recognised production that is the result of high potential natural conditions combined with the work of man. They are intimately linked to wine production areas and to the living environment of those invested in local viticulture. 2,000 years of human perseverance coupled with unique natural conditions have turned this site into the exemplary crucible of terroir winemaking, so singularly captured by the Climats.