Cote de Nuits

The Côte de Nuits is the northern half of the Cote d'Or wine region in Burgundy (the southern half being the Côte de Beaune). It specializes in red wines made predominantly from Pinot Noir, the most famous and expensive of which come from the grand cru vineyards of Vosne-Romanée and Chambolle-Musigny.

Roughly 95 percent of all wine produced in the Cote de Nuits comes from a single variety: Pinot Noir. The district is widely viewed as the spiritual home of Pinot Noir, a reputation strongly reinforced by such stellar wines as Romanée-Conti Grand Cru.

The remaining 5 percent of Côte de Nuits wines are white, and made from Burgundy's other star grape variety, Chardonnay. The district is not known for its white wines – the Cote de Beaune is Burgundy's white wine mecca – but the few that are made here tend to be of very high quality. The finest of are made under the Vougeot Premier Cru appellation, but a tiny number come from the Musigny Grand Cru vineyard.

While the Côte de Beaune, to the south, is larger and more prolific, the Côte de Nuits favours quality over quantity. It is home to some of the finest red-wine vineyards in the world and includes 24 of Burgundy's 33 grand cru appellations.

The principal town is Nuits-Saint-Georges, known as Nuits until it adopted the name of its most-favoured vineyard, Les Saint-Georges, in the late 19th Century. Although located at the southern end of the cote, Nuits-Saint-Georges is less than 10 miles (16km) from the most-northerly Côte de Nuits vineyards in Marsannay – demonstrating the small size of the area in question. Tracing the calcareous spine of the Côte d'Or escarpment, the Côte de Nuits is long and thin, measuring only 15 miles (24km) from end to end and two miles (3.2km) across at its widest point.

On the upper and lower mid-slopes of the Côte d'Or, the Côte de Nuits is also home to some 135 premier cru sites

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