• Why Burgundy wines are expensive?

    The production of the Burgundy (Bourgogne in French) wine region is 20% of that of Bordeaux yet it has 3 times as much appellations. The vineyards are tiny - the smallest is La Romanee with only 0.845 ha. Annual output will always be limited while the world demand is tilting in it's favour.

    There is a trend that the Chinese wine taste is spreading from Bordeaux to Burgundy. In April last year at a Christie's fine wine auction in Hong Kong, the most expensive lot sold was that of La Romanee-Conti at US$27,000 per bottle.  

    Also in last year one domain in Gevrey-Chambertin was sold to a Chinese company. It created a patriotic uproar in France. While over the past 5 years the Chinese have bought so many chateaux in Bordeaux and yet nobody ever raised a pip.

    All red Burgundies are made from one grape only, the Pinot Noir, which is the most difficult varietal to grow. Often it refuses to ripen if the climate does not agree. In the New World vineyards this is the Holy Grail, in search of producing the best Pinot Noir possible (check out an enjoyable film called 'Sideways'). New Zealand is the most successful so far. Luckily for France the Pinot Noir calls Burgundy home and the best Pinot Noir in the world are produced there.

    And there you have it if you wonder why Burgundies are so expensive - scrumptious wine; finicky to produce; limited output; increasing demand. Expect to pay even more next year. A freak storm in the Summer of 2013 in Burgundy ruined a large part of that year's crop.

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