Each Climat has its own personality, which is shaped as much by its cultural history, spanning over a thousand years, as it is by the natural conditions of its soil, sub-soil, exposure and microclimate. Climat wines each have their own distinct flavour, which is why a single grape variety is used to make them (Pinot Noir for red wines, Chardonnay for white wines). Each of the wines also has its own place in the Burgundy wine classification system.
The Climats have featured on the UNESCO World Heritage List since 6 July 2015. There are 1,247 varieties, from Dijon to Maranges. Unique and fragile, the Climats are considered to be an important heritage site that must be protected and passed on through generations. A commitment has been made before the United Nations to respect and preserve the “outstanding universal value” of the Climats as a “combined work of nature and man”.
For 2,000 years, communities have cultivated the vines, driven by a desire to create increasingly close connections between the wines and the areas where they are produced and also to identify each wine by its origin. From the first traces of vine cultivation dating back to the first century to the adoption of the AOC certification for protected designation of origin in 1936, the Climats of Burgundy have been shaped, marked out, protected and promoted in turn by monks, dukes, kings and winemakers. This work has created an extraordinary mosaic of over 1,000 Climats, making Burgundy the global benchmark for terroir-based viticulture. This cultivation of vineyards has led to the gradual creation of another unique and diverse legacy: the dwellings of the winemakers, which are characterised by low walls and small huts known as cabottes.