In regards to the issues surrounding wine events during this pandemic, a mighty fat bummer was the cancellation of Grands Jours du Bourgogne, a week-long event that takes places over the various subregions of Burgundy, France.
Besides the fact that it’s on the hallowed grounds of Burgundy, what makes it truly impressive is that it’s only for trade, is only every other year, and is really the only way to readily taste a huge swath of the wines from Burgundy ranging from Chablis all the way down to Mâcon. I’ll fully admit that the first time I went, I did so with certain preconceptions of Burgundy and all its Grand Cru-iness. Through this event I came out with a new understanding of the region not to mention a deep-seated frustration in regards to the more affordable, yet high-quality wines from the region being hard to find outside of France save for but a few large négociants.
So, the cancellation was a serious let down (amongst many…), especially as I couldn’t go in 2018. On a positive note however, they’re planning to hold Grands Jours next year barring any virus surge, which sadly, is seemingly unavoidable. So we shall wait, see, and if things take a better turn globally, be prepared to boogie woogie in Burgundy next spring.
But, given how we’re all holed up at home in one way or another, this is a perfect moment to draw attention to the online Bourgogne Maps that have been put together by the Bureau Interprofessionnel des Vins de Bourgogne (BIVB) and launched just this past March. Here you can zip around the entire region via your browser, zooming in and out and looking at individual vineyard classification levels, climats/lieux-dits, and all villages. Also listed are all the producers. That is pretty phenomenal and they give anyone open rights to use the maps for their own work.
For a massive map geek like myself, this is fantastic. For anyone doing wine studies, I’d think it to be even more fantastic given that the long, north-south orientation of the region has led to books such as the World Atlas of Wine running their maps west-east in order to optimize page space. Loving maps as I do, I’m decidedly not a fan of this and seeing everything in its actual layout, is priceless.
Here in the Bourgogne Maps, you can really get a feel for the true orientation of the region to help lock it in your mind. Obviously, the best thing is to go there, but short of that, this isn’t a terrible substitute, you can access it from wherever, and… it’s free!