If you like Burgundy wine but don't always like the high price tags, Cote d’Or might be for you.
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For casual wine drinkers, buying Burgundy wines can be a real headache—even before you drink too much of them. Though most people understand that wine from Burgundy can be some of the best in the world, inexpensive bottles carrying the broad Bourgogne label can be a crapshoot as far as quality is concerned; but then once you get into the smaller village AOCs, the pricing often rapidly increases.

France, Bourgogne-Franche-Comte, Burgundy, Cote-d'Or, Santenay. Windmill and vineyards.
Credit: © Marco Bottigelli/Getty Images

However, in 2017, casual Burgundy drinkers got a potential new best friend: Cote d’Or—a freshly anointed geographical denomination that’s more specific than the generic Bourgogne, but large enough to encompass 40 villages. Specifically, many people say that the best Burgundy wines come from Cote de Nuits and Cote de Beaune (Chablis is the only other Burgundy region that produces Grand Cru), and simply put, Cote d’Or is a single AOC that covers the combined territory of those two areas. Beyond hailing from these prestigious AOCs, the rules for Cote d’Or are also stricter than those for receiving a simple Bourgogne designation—hopefully making it a subtle but significant step up in quality without a massive price increase.

Still, when the new AOC was introduced, one of the questions was would these expectations for the new denomination hold true. Well, new numbers from the Bourgogne Wine Board (BIVB) reportedly suggest that, yes, Cote d’Or is catching on. According to Decanter, BIVB said that the production of red Cote d’Or wines jumped to about 1.6 million bottles for the 2018 vintage, an increase of about 20 percent from the first vintage the year before. Meanwhile, white Cote d’Or wine production was up even more, rising 55 percent to approximately 920,000 bottles in 2018. These numbers include offerings from some of Burgundy’s best-known producers including Louis Jadot (a red) and Maison Latour (both a white and a red).

Long story short, an increasing number of Cote d’Or wines are being produced—and by recognizable producers—meaning you’re more likely to start seeing the Cote d’Or denomination when purchasing Burgundy wines. Decanter suggests you’ll only pay a premium of about 20 percent for a Cote d’Or compared to a plain Bourgogne—so depending on your budget, these wines may be worth a closer look.