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A quaint dirt road between vineyards in Marsannay, Burgundy, France.
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Marsannay

As you drive south out of Dijon and through the suburban sprawl, you come to Marsannay. Off to the right, in the distance on the hillside, you catch a first glimpse of the vineyards of the Côte d’Or. Here begin the ‘golden slopes’, the heartland of Burgundy wine production. And from here until you hit the limestone quarries at Corgoloin about 15 miles further south, you will traverse arguably the most famous vineyards on the planet. This is the Côte de Nuits, the northern half of the Côte d’Or, and your itinerary will read like a world-class wine list. Marsannay wines are high quality, accessible wines from the Cote de Nuits. Interestingly, no other village appellation other than Marsannay produces wines in all three standard colors of white, red and rosé. In style, the wines of Marsannay bear close similarities to some neighbouring appellations, such as Gevrey-Chambertin and Fixin.

White Wines

These are citrussy, fruity wines with hints of white flowers (think acacia, hawthorn). You will notice how full these wines are in the mouth, but they add another layer of complexity with their excellent minerality. Pork, veal and poultry will all find a superb partner in these white wines, as will Asian cuisine such as sushi. These more exotic dishes do a great job of bringing out the delicate fragrances of the Chardonnay grape. The vines here are situated from North to South in the most ideal parts of the hill slopes. The soils are a diverse mixture in composition, and are located above rock from the mid-Jurassic period. Roughly 40 hectares of land here are given over to the cultivation of white grapes.

Red Wines

Again, these are fruity wines, this time with notes of strawberry and cherry, along with blackberry and blueberry. They have a powerful attack and a long finish, and are intensely colored. Drink them with almost any red meat you choose, or alternatively they offer a fine match with freshwater fish and any one of your favorite Burgundy cheeses (though full-flavored ones such as Époisses or Munster go best). Around 180 hectares of land produce red wine grapes here (and 17 hectares for rosé).

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