Burgundy is a region in France that produces some of the finest wines that you can buy. This unique region has created wines that are very expensive, and for a good reason. In this article, we take a look at why burgundy wines are sought after and what makes them so expensive.
Size of the vineyards
The grapes used for burgundy wines are grown in the region of burgundy, which is very small compared to other growing areas. The whole area that produces the grapes is around 25,000 hectares of land, which, compared to other growing regions, is just a fraction of the size. It's just over 20% of the size of the vineyards in Bordeaux. The small size of the vineyards means the amount of bottles of wine that can be produced from the grapes is limited. When there is a limited amount of supply for a sought-after product, the price is always much higher as demand outweighs supply, and therefore the price increases to balance supply and demand. Getting hold of a fine bottle of burgundy wine is much more challenging than a good quality Bordeaux wine, which is reflected in their price points.
Quality of the land
The main reason that Burgundy wine is such good quality is down to the land where the grapes are grown. It is known as the best land in the world for growing Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes; these are used for making Burgundy wines. Even though the grapes are used for creating Pinot Noir and Chardonnay wine, Burgundy wine is substantially better in quality because of the land where the grapes are grown. In the Burgundy region, the soil has unique qualities that help to produce this fine wine. Even within the Burgundy region, there are different classifications of quality. The highest classification is the Grand Cru, which accounts for around 2% of the vineyards. The second classification is the Premier Cru, which is around 12% of the vineyards. Village Wines are the third classification which accounts for 36% of the vineyards. The lowest category is Regional Wines, which accounts for around 50% of the vineyards in the Burgundy region. Each classification can be found on the bottle label. For the highest quality Burgundy wine, choose Grand Cru or Premier Cru.
The wine-making process
In addition to the quality of the land, the wine-making process also contributes to the exceptional grade and price of Burgundy wines. Many wines are produced in large batches using industrial equipment for each part of the process. Conversely, numerous Burgundy wines are produced by small, often family-run operations that use more traditional methods. However, this does vary between the estates as some have upgraded from manual harvesting to machine-based methods. Staying to the traditional methods and keeping the winemaking process within the family contributes to the unique flavour and high quality of wine from the Burgundy region.
The weather conditions
The vineyards in the Burgundy region are very exposed to the weather; a bad frost or unexpected turn in the weather can be catastrophic for the grapes and may impact the whole harvest. This vulnerability to the weather conditions makes producing wine in the Burgundy region even more challenging, and it can significantly reduce the amount available if there are bad weather conditions. However, full exposure to the sun and the weather in the region also contributes to the excellent taste of the wine produced from Burgundy grapes. So what could be catastrophic for the farmers is also one factor that makes Burgundy wines so special and expensive. A particularly bad harvest that reduces the supply of the wine further can make that vintage even more difficult to obtain and more expensive when it is found for sale.
There are many factors that influence the quality and price of Burgundy wine; all of these factors combined make Burgundy wine one of the most expensive and difficult wines to find. If you want the most premium Burgundy wine, look for a Grand Cru classification or a Premier Cru, these are made from the top 14% of vineyards in the Burgundy region and are among the finest wines available to buy.