One of the most popular ways to discover the vineyards and villages of southern Burgundy is to follow the 'route des Grands Crus'. This route follows a quiet road (the D122), largely between Beaune and Dijon but also continuing south to Santenay, that passes many of the most famous wine chateaux of the region.
Passing through a landscape dominated by the famous vineyards, the entire route stretches about 60km - allow plenty of time to stop off and explore the villages and towns and to visit some of the vineyards.
Among the most famous of the wine villages along the route are Gevrey-Chambertin, Nuits-Saint-Georges, Vougeot and Meursault. Beaune itself also of course produces a very highly renowned wine.
As you follow the route you will see a great deal of wine caves and chateaux signposted where you can sample and purchase the local wines - some of the larger towns also have wine shops offering a good selection of the wines.
The two main 'regions' you pass through along the route des Grands Crus' are
- Cote de Nuits: with Fixin, Gevrey-Chambertin, Chambolle-Musigny, Vougeot, Nuits-Saint-Georges (among others, heading direction south from Dijon)
Cote de Beaune: including Beaune, Pommard, Volnay and Meursault
Another highlight along the Burgundy wine route is the Chateau du Close de Vougeot, a castle and listed historic monument in the village of Vougeot that is open to the public.
Most of the villages along the route are quite small with limited facilities, although most have one or two picturesque highlights - it is perhaps the overall impression of the region that will stay with you afterwards, rather than any particular village.