As the leaves turn brown, the roads of Burgundy are filled with the scent of undergrowth. Autumn is the season that best suits the Burgundy terroir. We followed three major wine routes and stopped here and there to have a drink with the winegrowers

The Yonne vineyard route

The vineyards of the Yonne take vine stocks and roots in the very north of Burgundy. Between bocage and vineyards, rivers and canals, the road of the four vineyards of the Yonne passes through rural villages that remind us of rural France.

The Jovinien vineyard and its route from 30 kilomètres introduces the wine circuit around Joigny via Paroy, Senan, Champvallon and Chamvres. The region is distinguished by a unique vintage wine in its genre : le bourgogne-côte-saint-jacques. Produced from pinot gris and pinot noir, this fresh and fruity wine is suitable for all tables, from a simple aperitif accompanied by gougères to the double-starred table of La Côte-Saint-Jacques, orchestrated by Jean-Michel Lorain. Between two tables, don't miss the Champvallon slaughter press which, despite its great age - almost ten centuries - remains as valiant as ever at each harvest. Going further south, you enter the Auxerrois vineyard which stretches over nearly 80 kilomètres. The showcase of the appellations of the Grand Auxerrois preserves in its undergrowth an abundance of truffles. The Burgundian black diamond has recently regained its letters of nobility thanks to fervent defenders, including the chef Jean-Luc Barnabet. During the Truffle Days, between mid-September and mid-December, he offers initiations-tastings of choice. A small glass of irancy and we go back to visit the Bailly cellars, in Saint-Bris-le-Vineux, where the winegrowers elaborate the astonishing crémant de Bourgogne in underground quarries dating fromXIIe siècle.A stone's throw away is the Maison du Vignoble auxerrois, which lists a representative sample of the department's appellations. Also not to be missed at secteur : the Museum of the Old Press and Vines in Coulanges-la-Vineuse and the Ecomuseum of Vines and Wine in Quenne. These are all instructive interludes that put the palate to rest before setting off again to conquer the seven Grands Crus of Chablis... First stop in Chablis, and in particular at the Maison des Vins, which has all the information on the entire vineyard, then visit La Chablisienne, THE institution not to be missed. Continuing westward, we arrive in the vineyards of the Tonnerrois, which was, in its time, privileged of the kings of France. Among the good Tonnerrois vintages, the Burgundy-Spineuil particularly stands out. And if you are there between the end of November and the beginning of December, don't miss the great truffle market of Noyers. Head south towards the Vézelien vineyard, the smallest, but also the most surprising in the region thanks to the extremely rare melon grape variety and its production of burgundy-white wine. Vézelay, with its Romanesque basilica classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is the highlight of the wine tour

The road of the great vintages

The Route des Grands Crus begins in Dijon, capital of the Dukes of Burgundy who bequeathed here the architectural jewel of the Côte-d'Or : the Palace of the Dukes and States. As soon as you leave the city, you will see the hillsides that make the vineyards of Bourgogne  famous: the Côte de Nuits, followed by the Côte de Beaune. You can't miss Gevrey-Chambertin, where the " Champs-Élysées de Bourgogne "  start: 26 Premiers Crus and 9 Grands Crus that impose an admiring silence all the way to Vougeot. The village is flattered by the prestigious Château de la région : le Clos de Vougeot. We continue to Vosne-Romanée, in other words to the holy land where the mythical Romanesque reigns -conti ! As the production does not exceed 5 000 bouteilles per year, we have little chance to taste it, so we will be comforted with a small glass of "échézeaux". We take the road again in the direction of Beaune " capitale from bourgogne ", which has very good tables. Pious devotees of the local crus will not miss the Burgundy Wine Museum, installed in the former palace of the Dukes of Burgundy. Pommard is located at 3 kilomètres de Beaune. You have to rush into the vaulted cellars of its castle, dating fromXVIIIe siècle, to marvel at the 400 000 bouteilles of great wines. After Volnay and Monthelie, the route des Grands Crus splits in two parties : let's take the southern section which passes through Meursault, well known by white wine lovers, but also by movie lovers, its castle having been used as a setting for La Grande Vadrouille ! Finally, Santenay bows down to the hills of Beaune and already, in the distance, you can see the attractive Côte Chalonnaise hills in the distance.

The road of great wines

The Route des Grands Vins is the natural extension of the Route des Grands Crus : it winds its way through hills and valleys entirely covered with vines at 100 kilomètres

The Great Wines seem to be sculpted in tune with the terroirs of Saône-et-Loire and Bresse, regions of Charolais meat and patriotic poultry

The Côtes Chalonnaises start in Chagny where you can enjoy a plate of judru (sausage) accompanied by a small white wine. One thus joyfully leaves again to Bouzeron to taste some vintage wines of aligoté. Not convaincu ? Then go to the village of Rully, known certainly for its two castles, but above all for the subtlety and finesse of its wines, both white and red. We continue on to Mercurey, a wine-producing village par excellence, then to Givry, an ancient fortified town which has preserved many monuments fromXVIIIe sièclealthough it owes its titles of nobility to its Premiers Crus. We take the road again to Buxy and Montagny, which share the Montagny appellation, which is mainly made up of Chardonnay. The whites of Montagny, particularly mineral, go perfectly with freshwater fish dishes. The Route des Grands Vins ends in the rural and good-natured atmosphere of the last villages viticoles : Saint-Boil, Saules, Santilly and Sercy. And the farewells are in the medieval town of Saint-Gengoux-le-National. You are now a quarter of an hour away from Cluny, in other words a few kilometres from the Mâconnais-Beaujolais wine route. And a new page is being written...

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When? At harvest time (September-October), when Burgundy is at its best jour : the climate is mild, the sky is bright and the vegetation is resplendent.

Getting there. By car, from Paris : A5 direction Troyes, then Dijon, or A6 direction Lyon. The TGV serves Dijon, Beaune, Chalon-sur-Saône, Mâcon..

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