Love Cali Wines? Try the original Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from across the pond!

Many lovers of larger-than-life Pinot Noir and Chardonnay coming out of Sonoma or Carneros in California over the last two decades often aren’t aware of their original counterparts in the Old World. This is partly to do with the fact that French wine labels don’t name the varietal; instead, they identify the region of origin, so unless you know which grapes grow in a particular region, the labels have little meaning to the novice drinker.


Let’s set the record straight about these 2 classic Burgundian grapes…

Pinot Noir and Chardonnay originated in France — in Burgundy specifically. Not only that, but to this day all red wine from Burgundy is Pinot Noir and all white wine is Chardonnay. This is wonderful news for you because this means that some of the most stunning examples of these grapes are now on your radar.

Where to begin? First, Burgundy encompasses many different appellations, and each sub-region expresses a nuanced and identifiable character (the “terroir”, if you will). Red or white, these wines tend to be leaner and subtler in style than their New World counterparts.

So if your exemplar of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are heavy-hitters from Sonoma and Carneros, you may want to try something different but comparable to evolve your palate.


Image source: Decanter


A Chardonnay and A Pinot Noir from Burgundy We Recommend

Chardonnay: 2008 Henri de Villamont Macon-Mancey

“This wine shows a beautiful pale yellow colour with green reflections. Very floral nose with mineral aromas. Good freshness in mouth, very rich in complex aromas. Strong and delicate wine. A lot of minerality on the finish.”


Pinot Noir: 2012 HDV Savigny Les Beaune Le Village

“This wine shows a bright crimson colour with garnet reflections. Its pleasant nose displays a powerful bouquet of ripe fruit such as cherries and raspberries. Its delicate and fleshy mouth is enhanced by silky and generous tannins, soft acidity and roundness.”

It’s time to expand your palate. If you love California Pinot Noir and Chardonnay then try Burgundy on for size!


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