Beaune

Beaune wine is produced in the commune of Beaune in the Côte de Beaune subregion of Burgundy. The appellation d’origine contrôlée (AOC) Beaune may be used for red and white wine with respectively Pinot noir and Chardonnay as the main grape variety. The production consists of slightly over 85 percent red wine, and slightly less than 15 percent white wine. While there are no Grand cru vineyards within Beaune, there are several well-known and highly regarded Premier cru vineyards, including some that are owned by the large négociant houses in Beaune and produce some of their “flagship” wines at the Premier cru level. The AOC was created in 1936.

In 2008, there was 411.7 hectares (1,017 acres) of vineyard surface in production for Beaune wine at village and Premier cru level, making Beaune the largest village-named appellation of the Côte d’Or, just ahead of Gevrey-Chambertin AOC in vineyard size. A total of 15,652 hectolitres of wine were produced in 2008, of which 13,319 hectolitres were red wine and 2,333 hectolitres white wine.Some 357.06 hectares (882.3 acres) of this area was used for the red wines in 2007. The total amount produced corresponds to almost 2.1 million bottles, which included almost 1.8 million bottles of red wine and a little over 300,000 bottles of white wine.

For white wines, the AOC regulations allow both Chardonnay and Pinot blanc to be used, but most wines are 100% Chardonnay. The AOC regulations also allow up to 15 percent total of Chardonnay, Pinot blanc and Pinot gris as accessory grapes in the red wines, but this is not practised very often. The allowed base yield is 40 hectoliters per hectare of red wine and 45 hectoliters per hectare for white wine. The grapes must reach a maturity of at least 10.5 percent potential alcohol for village-level red wine, 11.0 percent for village-level white wine and Premier Cru red wine, and 11.5 percent for Premier cru white wine.

Beaune is also the centre of the Burgundy wine business, with most of the largest négociants located in the town, as well as the Hospices de Beaune, which annually holds a charity wine auction.