Burgundy may be at a crossroads. Will everything be the same after 2021 and 2022?

Traveling through Burgundy, a region so rich in history that even the vines have stories to tell, is an adventure for the senses, especially when it comes to wine. As you stroll through the picturesque landscapes, you could almost think that the vines are whispering the secrets of perfect Burgundy to you. But something has changed in recent years; it feels like Burgundy is at a historical crossroads, almost as dramatic as a Shakespearean drama, only with more wine and fewer monologues.

The wine world of Burgundy is in a state of metamorphosis, much like a teenager finding out that he actually has royal blood in his veins – an exciting but also rather complicated discovery. The region, once known for its down-to-earth winemakers, is now attracting investors so rich that even Scrooge McDuck would turn pale with envy. And with the entry of giants like LVMH, you’d think Burgundy was getting ready to roll out the red carpet should Hollywood decide to make “The Grapes of Wrath 2”.

The historic grands crus, such as Clos de Tart and Clos des Lambrays, are now under the stewardship of these new wine aristocrats who are bringing more glitter to the region than glitter on a disco ball ever could. The takeovers and strategic shifts, such as those of Bouchard Père & Fils or Chablis William Fèvre, could almost serve as the script for a thriller involving power, intrigue and, of course, excellent wine.

The land in Burgundy, especially in the top communes, is now so valuable that you would almost expect to find nuggets of gold among the vines. The price of a hectare of land can make you nostalgic for the days when “just” one million euros was considered rich. These developments have meant that the small family domains that have been growing wine for generations are now faced with the reality that they may have to search for directions to their own vineyards in a Porsche sat nav.

The weather also plays a leading role in Burgundy, almost as if Mother Nature had decided to try her hand at dramaturgy. The 2021 and 2022 vintages could not be more different in terms of weather conditions, providing enough material for a mini-series. The year 2021, with its rainy, cooler character, could be seen as the “back to the roots” year, a kind of nostalgic return to the classic, fresh and structured Burgundies reminiscent of the cooler profiles of decades past.

“The 2021 whites are much more successful than those produced in Burgundy’s last vintage defined by frost, 2016.” William Kelly

On the other hand, 2022 is considered the “hottest ticket in town”, at least in terms of temperatures. It was so hot that even the grapes were sweating. But as with any good story, there’s a twist – despite the extreme differences in climatic conditions, the flavor profiles of the 2021 and 2022 vintages are more similar than you’d think possible. This could be proof that Burgundy not only produces excellent wine, but also performs small miracles.

The 2021 wines remind us why we fell in love with Burgundy: their heady freshness, vibrant acidity and crystal-clear transparency that expresses the terroir in such an elegant way. The Pinot Noirs are so light and dancing that you’d almost expect to see them on “Dancing with the Stars”. And the Chardonnays? They are so citrusy and minty that they could almost pass for a summer cocktail.

2022, on the other hand, presents wines that score with power and intensity, almost as if they had done push-ups during the heat. But despite the differences, both vintages share an unmistakable characteristic: they are a feast for Burgundy lovers and proof that the region continues to produce wines of exceptional quality in the midst of changes and challenges.

The 2021 reds are supple, fleshy and perfumed, at their best uniting the concentration of low yields and surprisingly good phenolic maturity with the vibrant, perfumed profiles of a cooler vintage. William Kelly

In conclusion, it can be said that Burgundy is not only at a historical crossroads, but also at the beginning of a new chapter that is just as exciting as the previous ones. With a blend of tradition and innovation, Burgundy is navigating the challenges of the modern wine world. And for us wine lovers, this means that the journey continues, with a glass of excellent Burgundy in hand, ready to discover every new twist and turn that this legendary wine region has in store for us.