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Cote d'or, departement 21

The most famous wines of Burgundy come from this part of the region, based around the town of Beaune. The Meursault, Gevrey Chambertin, Romanée Conti vineyards, and many more, are renowned throughout the world, their wines fetching high prices on the market and much caché too. Beaune is prosperous with boutique shops and gourmet delights at every turn.

North of the vineyards is Dijon, the regional capital. Excellent shops and restaurants, a thriving food market, a lively university, and good museums are just some of the town’s attributes. Dijon mustard and pain d’epice are two local specialities, as are escargots and jambon persillé. The centre of town has stately buildings and half timbered houses but around the outside, as with most cities, less attractive urban sprawl has set in.

Further north still is the Châtillonnais, a region of forests, plains and valleys. Sparkling wine called Crémant de Bourgogne is produced here right on the border with their neighbours, the more expensive Champagne. This is an area which is developing fast with a new National Park in the process of development.

The Canal de Bourgogne passes through the Côte d’Or attracting canal cruisers and luxury barges. There are cycle paths, the Voies Vertes, along all the canals and in summer the scene is lively.