A white grape that is grown in small proportions in Burgundy. Small amounts are grown in the Côte d'Or and it is also grown in the Côte Chalonnaise. Some winemakers will ship a Bourgogne Aligoté.

Appellation Côntrolée

This is a system developed in France that controls the geographically based names of wines. It also specifies the production area, the vine varieties, the ripeness of the grapes and the yields. The alcoholic strength of the wine is also specified.


This is a white grape variety planted extensively in the Alsace. It is often blended into wines labelled Pinot Blanc and is used to add substance to the wine


Auxey-Duresses is an appellation in the Côte de Beaune that produces both red and white wines. Its near neighbours include Meursault and Volnay. The Pinot Noir vines are located on the sides of the valley and they often received cool winds. The white wines are located on vineyards adjacent to Meursault.


Grape variety eg chardonnay


A Climat is a precisely delimited plot of land that enjoys specific climatic conditions which, when combined with human effort and translated through the varietals of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, has given rise to an exceptional patchwork of wines, classified according to quality.

The notion of a “Climat” is the ultimate expression of terroir in Bourgogne..


In Burgundy, a "clos" is a climat that is enclosed, generally by a wall. A clos may be shared by a number of owners eg Clos Vougeot.


Condrieu is an appellation in the Northern Rhône with white wine made exclusively from Viognier. It is located just south of Côte Rôtie.

Côte d'Or

This is the term for the principal Burgundy vineyards and encompasses both Côte de Nuits and Côte de Beaune.

Côte de Nuits-Villages

This is a village appellation that has no climats classed as premier cru. The communes that make up this appellation are spread over a broad area including Fixin in the north and Comblanchien Brochon, Preeaux and Corgoloin.


This is a specialist term for a vineyard that is officially recognized of superior quality.

In Burgundy, the highest rated vineyards are designated "Grand Cru" and the next level as "Premier Cru".

In Bordeaux, the wines were classified in 1855 with 5 levels in the Grand Cru Classé and then Crus Bourgeois.

In the Rhône, there are 16 appellations designated as Crus, the highest level of quality. These include Cornas, Saint Joseph, Chateauneuf-du-Pap and Lirac.


Dosage is a sweet portion of liquid made of wine and sugar syrup that is added to the Champagne after disgorgement. It is used to balance the final flavour of the wine prior to consumption. The amount of liquid added is at the wine-maker’s discretion.


This is a business structure in France that can be used by an agricultural company. It is often used by a single farmer (or winemaker) their business assets from their private assets. It also enables participation by other family members including a spouse and children.


A crumbly combination of limestone and clay.


Meursault is an important and prosperous village in the Côte de Beaune district of Burgundy. It is famous for producing white wines from Chardonnay. There are no Grand Cru vineyards in Meursault but there are many famous Premier Cru’s. Some of the finest vineyards are “Les Charmes”, Les Perrières” and “Les Genevrières”.


A vineyard in Burgundy that is in single ownership.


Muscadet is a dry French white wine made from the Melon de Bourgogne grape. Muscadet-Sèvre et Maine is the most important of the appellations in the Loire that produces this wine. Many of the wines are made "sur lie" which means they are kept on the yeast lees for a period of time to add flavour and complexity.


This is an appelation that covers the entire Burgundy region. The wines are composed of at least one third Pinot Noir and up to two thirds Gamay. Most wine of this type comes from the Cote Chalonnaise.


This is one of the most famous wines from the Loire Valley in France. It produces only white wine made from Sauvignon Blanc.


This is a highly regarded appellation in the Mâconnais. It has no climats classed as premier cru.It produces white wine only grown from Chardonnay.

Residual Sugar

Residual sugar in wine is measured in grams per litre (g/l). It typically refers to the sugar left after fermentation stops (or is stopped.) How sweet a wine tastes is determined by the levels of acidity, alcohol, tannin and sugar. High levels of acidity can balance residual sugar to make wine that tastes dry. Most people cannot detect residual sugar at levels below 7 g/l. Any wine with 45 g/l or more is classified as sweet.

The following table shows the European Union regulations for terms to indicate the sweetness of wines:

Dry Medium dry Medium Sweet
Sweetness up to 4 g/l up to 12 g/l up to 45 g/l more than 45 g/l
If balanced with suitable acidity up to 8 g/l up to 16 g/l


This is a dry white wine from the from the Veneto region of North East Italy. The law allows it to be made from a minimum 70% Gargenega and up to 30% Trebianno, Chardonnay or Pinot Bianco.

Sweetness of Sparkling Wine

According to European Union regulations, sparkling wine can be classified as shown on the table below. These ratings are widely used in Champagne.

Rating Sugar content (g/l)
Brut Nature 0-3
Extra Brut 0-6
Brut 0-12
Extra Dry 12-17
Dry 17-32
Demi-Sec 32-50
Doux 50+

The sugar level may not differ by more that 3 g/l from that which appears on the label.