Burgundy: A Wine As Well As A Place Since the Middle Ages, Burgundy has produced some of the finest and most expensive wines in the world: wines that are steeped in tradition as well as skullduggery, wines that are as often savored as grossly misunderstood. In reality, Burgundy is more than a single wine; it is the produce of six major regions: Chablis, and the Auxerrois, the Cotes Nuits, the Cote de Beaune, the Cote Chalonnaise, the Maconnais and Beaujolais. The name, Burgundy, alone conjures an image of a deep, dark, sometimes course potion that bears little or no resemblance to French Burgundy - the one and only real Burgundy. Burgundy is grown exclusively in central-eastern France, on the right bank of the Soane River. This is hardly the ideal climate for producing consistently great wines; and due no doubt to the frequent inclemency of the weather, pruning for high yields (which dilutes the wine), and a relatively short vatting time (the length of time the fermenting must is left on the skins to draw color and extract), Burgundy usually produces a light, delicate wine that bears no affinity to its image or to the old-fashioned domestic blends that bore the "Burgundy" name. And, what may still come, as a surprise to some is that some of Burgundy's finest wines are white as well as red. To further complicate matters, Burgundy also produces vast amounts of sparkling wine and rose, too. For the best red Burgundies, Pinot Noir is the only legal red grape, while Chardonnay (occasionally mixed with Pinot Blanc) is the flagship white varietal. Clearly, Burgundy is much more than a single wine or one great vineyard; it is a special place, a land almost entirely devoted to wine in one fashion or another. It is also the ancient realm of the Dukes of Burgundy, hallowed ground that has produced some of the world's greatest wines for over two thousand years. Although no one knows who planted the first vines in Burgundy, or whether they were indigenous, it is clear that the Romans found vines being cultivated the in the first century A.D.; and they quickly set about matching soil and climate conditions to individual grape varieties. By the time of Louis XIV and until the French Revolution, Burgundy was the preferred beverage of the Kings of France. Louis XIV, as well as Fagan, his less than adept physician, were great admirers of the suave, savory wines of Burgundy. It goes to show you, no one is all bad. After the Revolution, the great vineyards of Burgundy were sold by the state, often piecemeal. Thus, single vineyards may still exist, but they have dozens, sometimes hundreds of individual growers, producing wines of widely varying quality. What makes Goubard's Mont Avril so special is that it remains intact, primarily under one name, which has become synonymous with quality, value and honesty. A votre sante!