Classification Levels of Burgundy Wines : The AOCs
The AOCs system in Burgundy is a very specific one. Unique in the country.
There are basicly 4 different levels of quality. From the lowest to the highest:
- Appellation Bourgogne means the wine is from the whole region of Burgundy but we don’t know exactly where. It can be a blend of several fields in the region, classified in “Appellation Bourgogne”. On the label we can only see the name of the region.
- Appellation Villages means the wine is from one or several plots classified in “Villages” in the region. On the label the name of a specific town is to be mentioned. (For instance: Gevrey Chambertin, Marsannay,…) Here we notice the classification gets more specific, so we go higher in terms of the quality.
- Appellation 1er Cru means the wine is from one or several plots classified in “1er Cru” in the region. For this type of wines, the name of the town + “1er cru”, are ALWAYS to be seen on the label.
- Appellation Grand Cru is the pride of Burgundy Wines. They are the rarest and generaly the best wines we produce in the region. The amount of the Grand Cru production is only 1.5 % of the TOTAL production of Burgundy.
On the label of these wines, the name of the PLOT is the only location appearing. Even if a Grand Cru wine is always from a specific town, we do not mention it on the label. For instance in Chambolle Musigny, we produce TWO grands crus: Les Bonnes Mares andLe Musigny. Only the name of the plot is written followed by the words “Grand Cru”
In total, around 150 separate AOCs are used in Burgundy, including those of Chablis and Beaujolais.