Dijon may be the official capital of Burgundy, but Beaune is considered the unofficial capital of its wine country. Situated at the centre of the Côte-d'Or region, this city offers tasting rooms of some of the area's most renowned vintners as well as a convenient base for exploring wine estates in the surrounding countryside.
Beaune is a premier place to experience French wine culture. Joseph Drouhin and Louis Jadot, for example, both run historic cellars beneath the city streets that stock some of the region's most prized Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays, while Bouchard Père operates out of a 15th-century château. Larger wine estates outside the city offer tastings in more traditional vineyard settings.
Once occupied by the Romans, Beaune still retains sections of its ancient ramparts, cobbled lanes and medieval architecture. The town's most impressive landmark is the Hôtel-Dieu de Beaune or Hospices de Beaune, a 15th-century former charity hospital turned museum that hosts an annual wine auction. Outside, you'll be able to take in its eye-catching gabled tile roof; inside, you can peruse treasures including medieval medical tools, tapestries and 'The Last Judgement' polyptych by Roger van der Weyden.
Nearby Dijon is famous for producing Dijon mustard, but you needn't venture outside Beaune for a taste of the spicy condiment. At La Moutarderie Fallot – Burgundy's last family-run mustard mill – you can learn about mustard's history and taste varieties for yourself.