Beaune is a commune in eastern France, a sub-prefecture of department 21, the Cote-d'Or department, in the Burgundy region. Situated in the heart of prestigious vineyards, like Pommard, Corton-Charlemagne, La Romanee-Conti whose names make wine lovers’ eyes sparkle, Beaune is also a city of art with the master element of the town’s heritage: the Hotel-Dieu (Hospices de Beaune) and its multi-coloured roofs.
Beaune is one of the key wine centres in France and the annual wine auction of the Hospices de Beaune is the primary wine auction in France. With a rich historical and architectural heritage, Beaune is considered the “Capital of Burgundy wines”, i.e. wine produced in the Burgundy region of France, primarily from Pinot Noir grapes and Chardonnay grapes.
It is an ancient and historic town on a plain by the hills of the Cote d’Or, with features remaining from the pre-Roman and Roman eras, through the medieval and renaissance periods and up to recent history and modern times. Beaune is a walled city, with about half of the battlements, ramparts, and the moat (remnants of the 100 Years’ War), having survived and in good condition, and the central “old town” is extensive. The town and its surrounding areas are known for their climatically unique semi-continental weather along with oceanic influences characterized by considerable seasonal temperature differences and frequent rains throughout each season. Approximately 30,000 people call Beaune home.
Although it is primarily centred around the wine industry and its related services, Beaune has developed a flourishing tourism industry and attracts a large number of tourists from around the world. Wine festivals, the very finest in French cuisine, fine-food markets, flea markets, cultural and film events etc. ensure the inclusion of Beaune in any culinary connoisseur’s trip to France. It is one of the first stops in the Route des Grands Crus (roughly, the road of great wines), which is a wine pilgrimage of sorts. Thus, for the wine-lover, the foodie, the history buff or simply the born traveller, Beaune is one those places you must visit at least once in your life.