The Cote d'Or, which loosely translates to “Golden Slopes”, is a narrow, 35 mile, region in the heart of Burgundy, France.
The Cote d'Or consists of two primary sections. Firstly there is the northerly Côte de Nuits, which grows mainly Pinot Noir and other red grape varieties. This half is named for the village Nuits-Saint-Georges, and is a mere 12 miles by 1 mile. Secondly, the southerly Côte de Beaune, which while well known for its whites, actually grows both Chardonnay and red Pinot Noir grapes. The land in the Cote de Beaune is mostly limestone, which produces high quality wines. One of the most famous villages in the Côte de Beaune is Pommard, which is best known for its heavy, full-bodied reds. The Cote d'Or is the home to some of the most famous, and expensive, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir based wines in the world producing 32 of the 33 Grand Crus.
The Cote d'Or area was originally settled by the Celts. The Romans first introduced viticulture to the area sometime in the 3rd century AD during their settlement of Gaul. The Romans broke away from traditional styles of planting near rivers and planted vines on the narrow strip of land which would later be known as the Cote d'Or.
By the middle ages the area came under the influence of the Benedictines and Cistercians. The Dukes of Burgundy and Valois did much to promote the unique and distinctive wines of the area, and by the 15th century vineyards in the Cote d'Or had reputations that set them apart from other growing areas in the Burgundy region. Since then the legendary status of wines produced in the Cote d'Or region has grown, along with the quality and price!