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The Best of Wine Country

Wine country is an understatement…Burgundy is the mother land of vin, filling Bacchus’s cup since Roman times. The best terroir to grow a perfect Chardonnay and Pinot Noir (the area’s signature varietals) is packed in a sliver of mountain slopes 25 miles long and barely over a mile wide. This means charming villages, historic wineries and today’s culinary elite are all nestled into one petite region for your traveling ease and pleasure.

Where to Stay

Keep close to the heart of the vineyards

Hostellerie de Levernois

An historic country estate along the Bouzaize River and the vines of the Côte de Beaune, Hostellerie de Levernois was a shoo-in for Relais & Châteaux status. This hotel knows how to balance history with modernity, from design to cuisine to hospitality. As if one accolade weren’t enough, the restaurant has a Michelin star and one of the most impressive selections of Burgundy wines, with more than 1,000 bottles for your choosing.

Rue du Golf, 21200

What to Pack

dress1 Madewell

Bike-friendly dress

What would Amélie wear while biking the streets of Beaune? Quick-dry shorts? We think not. A knee-length dress that flows from the waist will give you coverage and breeze as you pedal, while looking très chic.

Madewell ($158)

cork Drop and Catch

Corkscrew Multi-Tool

Be picnic ready with a travel-sized wine opener. Its serrated foil cutter will offer a clean slice and even double as cheese knife in a pinch.

DROP AND CATCH ($20)

app1 Twenty20

ClimaVinea

A wildly comprehensive wine app made especially for Burgundy oenophiles (and those of us in training), it offers a wine encyclopedia, the who’s who of the 132 elite estates, vineyard stats and a GPS to find and track your wineries of choice.

iTunes ($24.99)

Where to Eat

The culinary haunts of winemakers, monks and hipsters 

21 Boulevard

Under the stone arches of a 15th-century wine cellar, you’ll find Beaune’s hottest new restaurant. Trendy without trying too hard, 21 Boulevard serves the French classics with a twist--at surprisingly good prices. Four courses for 34 euros, and no cover for the the late-night DJ? Oui, oui!

21 Boulevard Saint Jacques

bussiere Abbaye de la Bussière

Abbaye de la Bussière

Forget the museum and learn about the history of Cistercian winemaking over a bottle of Premier Cru at this 12th-century monastery. Choose either of the abbey turned hotel’s two medieval dining rooms; both are run by a Un des Meilleurs Ouvriers chef (aka a gold medalist in France’s foodie Olympics).

Route départementale 33

cabotte @macsond/Instagram

La Cabotte

Named after the vineyard huts where winemakers would take their afternoon breaks, Cabotte still offers that perfect respite. The region’s winemakers head to this intimate Nuit-Saint-Georges bistro for jambon persille or beef bourguignon and any bottle from La Cabotte’s in-the-know wine list.

24 Grande Rue

What to Do

Take a crash course in oenology

vineyard big Patrick Aventurier/Getty Images

Burgundy Discovery

Unlike the wineries of California, where you can just pop in for a tasting, Burgundy’s vintners keep their secret sauce behind closed doors and rarely open them for guests without a guide or appointment. Burgundy Discovery’s day tour offers an excellent intro to this complex wine culture, and gives you access to at least three family-owned domains.

picnic Twenty20

Bike Picnic

Pedal the idyllic streets of Beaune, stopping at Fromagerie Hess followed by Charcuterie Traiteur Moron to assemble the perfect French picnic. Continue into the surrounding vineyards and find a shady tree for a petit dejeuner.

drouhlin Joseph Drouhin/Facebook

Maison Drouhin

Go deep into the ancient cellars of the Burgundy Parliament for a diverse tasting of terroirs and a tour of this storied building dating back to Roman times. Once home to the duke of Burgundy and king of France, the maison has been in Drouhin family of winemakers for over a century.

What to Skip

COUNTERINTUITIVE BUT TRUE

Wine Bars

This is a pretty Americanized concept that’s caught on in recent decades, but the real Bourgogne drinking experience is still among the bistros, cellars and picnic blankets. If you see the word “tapas”…run.