Learning French wine villages

Any tips on memorizing the various villages of Burgundy/Bordeaux. It’s one thing to know the various wine regions but the various villages and chateaus are giving me a major headache. French wine labels are somewhat frustrating for me and I think memorizing would help with interpretation. I have books as resources, but I don’t always have them handy when out. As many of you know, the very informative wine books (especially ones containing info on French wines) are pretty cumbersome. [pwn.gif]

You’re right, they are confusing and hard to remember sometimes. I would recommend some books, but books won’t help you if you’re out and about. It’ll just take some time. I usually reference back to maps of the region, but some of the smaller climats are difficult to remember. This intellectual exercise and discovery is actually one of the reasons I love Burgundy…well that and I love the wines. The different producers and vineyards will come with more tastings and experience, it sounds like you’re already enjoying the journey. [cheers.gif]

A witty, clever overview:

A fun way to learn:

Cheers to that! That’s the only reason I am racking my brain trying to learn about it. Maps seem like a good idea too. I have a few. I love Andrea Immer’s climate map (though that doesn’t help for the French wine region memorization).

Super useful! Thanks. [cheers.gif]


the jeux-geographiques game is extremely addictive!!!


Just remember Vosne and Chambolle, they are the 2 “Sexy” burgundy regions, and you’ll be fine…

I think you have two choices. Work out some meaningles mnemonic, or put in the effort to really understand the villages through maps, images and reading. By far the best way, though a little easier for someone my side of the Atlantic, is to go and visit! Then they suddenly become more than abstract names.

For the major Cotes de Nuits villages from north to south, I remember GMC VaN.
Morey St. Denis
Nuits St. Georges

Best advice. Someone has to do it

Yes, visiting would be ideal…and it is something I plan to do eventually. I’m much more of a hands on learner anyway.

Vosne and Chambolle sexy…I can remember that!

And how! Not only that, it’s damned hard. So many vineyard names…

Well, I’m up to a score of 44,000. Don’t ask how many times I played. Fun, but full of obscure vineyards I never heard of, never mind tasted the wines. Great way to waste time!!

In Burgundy, looking at maps helped me a lot, but I simply remember a lot better areas I’ve really looked into (like Côte de Nuits villages) rather than areas I wasn’t so motivated about (e.g. Côte de Beaune: I’m sure I could work out from memory where Volnay, Pommard and Meursault are relative to each other, but I just don’t care all that much).

In Bordeaux, start by remembering what’s right bank (St-Emilion, Pomerol) and what’s left bank (Pauillac, Margaux, Graves/Pessac-Léognan, St-Julien, St-Estèphe), then the major châteaux in each appellation, etc. It comes with time. As usual, practice makes perfect :slight_smile:

I’ve printed some maps to hopefully put to memory when I get the chance. The villages are getting easier, but the chateaux are a project!

just try to remember the ones you can afford and it’ll suddenly become a lot easier [whistle.gif]

Yeah Guillaume, that actually really narrows it down for ME!! haha…

For me too. Valuable memory space is being used up by names of châteaux I’ll never drink again :slight_smile:

That subway map is great, for some reason having it laid out like that makes it a lot easier to commit to memory. Thanks!

Hi Robert,

You’re welcome, and