The history of the land and the knowledge of wine growing and wine making combine to form the special religion of Burgundy.
We will never master its nuances, but we did have a wonderful day touring the vineyards around Beaune. Each plot has its own appellation, and it changes from one side of the road to the other, from the plains to the middle of the hill, to the top. So what you label and charge for your wine depends entirely on the quality of wine it has been determined that your plot will produce, all extremely carefully controlled and regulated.
But whether or not you know your grapes, it is possible to just drink in the beauty of this area and admire the complexity and antiquity of the wine culture.
We also had a tasting at a small family vineyard, and even got to sample a Grand Cru. It was well beyond our usual wine budget, but nowhere near the price of the nearby Romanée Conti, which seems to be the most expensive Grand Cru in the world. Its wine have been considered the best for over 300 years. (Bit of a stereotype to find Japanese tourists standing in awe outside its walls.) What a wonderful thing wine is…
And just two days later, the New York Times with the latest news, which we did hear about on our tour: