If you have the oenologist’s dream of a unique experience unveiling the secrets of the wines of Burgundy, then head for Château de Marsannay! At the heart of the vineyards at the gates to Dijon, this wine estate proposes a guided tour of the cellars followed by a tasting session.

The Château de Marsannay vineyard

If you’re a wine enthusiast but a novice when it comes to Burgundy wines, then you’ll enjoy our “discovery” tour which includes a visit to the cellars followed by a tasting of six wines from Côte-d’Or.

Château de Marsannay is the closest vineyard to the Burgundy capital. So we were able to get there by taking the tram, then a bus from the old part of Dijon.

We were greeted by Catherine, our contact for the first stage of Grand Cru itinerary. The vines of this Château cover 28 hectares which are classified as AOC Marsannay. This designation is a rising star among the Côte de Nuits wines.

Tour of the Château’s wine cellars

The tour began with an overview of Burgundy and the dukes, and the monks who shaped the vineyard, before our immersion in the world of Château de Marsannay.

Catherine led us to the Cistercian-style double-vaulted cellars which she said were designed along the lines of the cellars of Château de Meursault. This is where the wines mature in barrels alongside bottles of still wine that are patiently ageing in their “stacks”.

We studied a large backlit map of a hundred or so appellations stretching from the north to the south of Burgundy. This helped us to visualise the patchwork of terroirs. Here, they call them Climates.

We could make out the contours of the Côte de Nuits vineyard which stretches between Nuits-Saint-Georges in Chenôve all the way to the south of Dijon. Marsannay is the southernmost appellation of the Côte de Nuits vineyard.

The tour also presents cross-sections of the 14 different soil types found in Marsannay. These gave us insight into the diversity of clay soils to be found in the vineyard.

Tasting the wines of Côte-d’Or

Our visit ended in the tasting cellar where we enjoyed the superb view over the Clos de Jeu vineyard.

Then it was time for the serious business of tasting the wines of the Château! One by one, Catherine proposed six different Côte de Nuits wines, all from the star grape variety of Burgundy, Pinor Noir. We tasted three Marsannay wines – a rosé, a red and a white – as well as three other great Burgundy wines, including a beautifully shiny Beaune made from the wines of the Hospices de Dijon estate.

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A trip to the vineyard

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Wine tasting at Château de Marsannay