There have long been a number of great reasons to visit France’s Burgundy region—the wines are some of the best in the world, the food is fantastic, and it was once one of the most powerful independent Duchys in Europe, at least until Charles the Bold got his head cleaved in half and his body stuck through with spears back in 1477 (always a bummer). The other day, however, Burgundy gained a new reason for a visit: its climats are now a UNESCO world heritage site.
And what is a climat? It’s essentially a named vineyard site distinct because of its terroir, another French term that encompasses the soil, topography and climate of a place, and the character a wine derives from those elements. There are more than 1,200 different climats in the part of Burgundy (basically, the Côtes de Nuits and the Côtes de Beaune) that was granted world heritage status, from famed grand crus like Bonnes Mares to many lesser-known ones.
However, since not everyone’s summer travel plans are going to include a trip to Burgundy this year, here are a few terrific Burgundies to try while you contemplate future overseas excursions.