Burgundy is one of France’s most famous wine regions, its vineyards having been acknowledged by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. There is no more exciting time to visit Burgundy than during the annual grape harvest, the climax of the grape-growing year. Here’s how you can make the most out of a harvest-time visit.
When to Go
The grape harvest in Burgundy typically takes place in September, but can begin as early as late August and continue until late September or, in rare cases, early October, depending on that year’s weather conditions.
Where to Go
The harvest can be experienced in any of Burgundy’s appellations, from Chablis to Beaujolais and beyond. Among the best places to be for the harvest is the Côte d’Or, which includes the Côte de Nuits and Côte de Beaune wine regions, where the majority of Burgundy’s Grand Cru vineyards are located.
How to Go
If you want to get your hands dirty, some wineries allow visitors to participate in the harvest for the day, picking and sorting grapes and sipping samples from the fermentation tanks. You can also join a wine tour of the region and observe the harvest in action, learning about pressing, running off, and other processes as well as sampling wines at various Burgundy cellars. Dijon and Beaune are popular jumping-off points for Burgundy wine tours, which range from a couple of hours to a full day.