BURGUNDY BUZZWORDS

Negociant-Eleveur – A merchant who buys wines from growers, ages them,in his cellars until they are ready to blend and bottle, bottles them, and sells them under his own label. The negociant part is the buying and selling part and the eleveur part is the aging blending and bottling part.

Domaine – An estate consisting of vineyards and a winery. To be called estate bottled or domaine bottled, the wine must be from vineyards the domaine owns or has under long term lease and the wine must be made, aged, and bottled at the domaine.

Monopole – A whole delimited vineyard owned by one owner only. Monopoles are quite rare in Burgundy.

Premier Cru – literally “first growth.” Premier cru vineyards are recognized vineyards of high quality thata re a step above “village” vineyards and a step below “grand cru” Premier cru vineyards in the Cote d’Or include both the village and the vineyard name on the label as well as the words “premier cru” or “1er cru”. A blend of multiple 1er cru vineyards from one village will be labeled with the name of the village and the 1er cru notation (for example “Beaune 1er Cru”).

Grand Cru – literally “great growth.” These are the best vineyards in Burgundy. The wines are labeled only with the names of the vineyards and not with the village name. Depending on whose list you are using and how you count, there are 30 something grand crus in Burgundy. The wines sometimes say “grand cru” on the label but it is not required. Grand cru wines declassify to a premier cru with a village name but no vineyard name.

Village – a wine from the area of the village that is not entitled to a fancier appellation . From negociants, these wines are often blends from several growers, although there are domaine-bottled single-vineyard village wiines.

Lieux Diets – a named vineyard in the village appellation. One well known Lieux Diet is Meursault Narvaux.

Pigeage – the traditional bugundian way of managing the cap of skins in the fermentation tank by punching the cap down with paddles either mechanically or manually.

Bourgogne Rouge, Bourgogne Blanc – the most basic regional appellations for red and white Burgundy. These wines can be blends of wines grown anywhere in Burgundy.

Climate – (pronounced klee-maht) a single site that exhibits a certain terroir character.

Terroir – (pronounced tear-wahr) the combination of soils, slope, exposure, weather, and regional tradtion that shapes the wine from a given site. The best wines in the world generally allow you to taste the terroir from which they come.

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