Bordered by the River Saône to the east and the River Loire to the west, Burgundy is an agricultural region famed for its wines: The major growing areas are Chablis, Côte de Nuits, Côte de Beaune, Côte Chalonnaise, and Mâconnais. Needless to say, good food plays a large part, too. Cistercian monasteries and medieval churches mark the landscape, along with centuries-old honey-colored villages. Burgundy is crossed by several canals, making it a popular destination for water-based holidays, while walkers and cyclists can explore miles of towpaths and routes through the vines. From 1032 until 1477, when it was annexed by France, the Duchy of Burgundy was an independent province whose territory included Luxembourg, Belgium, and the Netherlands; its legacy is a rich cultural heritage.
The Côte d’Or evokes mythical Premier Cru appellations such as Richebourg and Vosne-Romanée, while the region’s grassy agricultural plains are home to mouth-watering offerings such as Charolais beef, garlic-infused snails, and pungent Epoisses cheese. Sleepy historic towns and villages have been awoken by the appeal of Michelin-starred restaurants: L’Espérance in Vézelay, Le Relais Bernard Loiseau in Saulieu, and Maison Lameloise in Chagny. Today Burgundy offers many opportunities for wine tourism, from free tastings to private tours.