O.W Loeb & Company Ltd - Burgundy

For anyone who finds Burgundy intimidating and therefore off-putting, the best advice they can be given is to get out there and tour the vineyards and restaurants as thoroughly as possible.

Burgundy is a way of lfe. Unlike Bordeaux, where men in suits sell other people's wine and pretend stock is limited when it comes from a 100 hectare château, Burgundy is very much a farming community that enjoys the simple pleasures of life; food and wine. The family is hugely important still and the pleasure winemakers feel when their offspring take over their domaines is heartfelt and tangible.

Geographically the core of Burgundy is relatively small but it stretches at either end to include Chablis 100 km to its north and the Maconnais almost the equivalent distance to the south. It is centred around the pretty town of Beaune.

the N74, whose every bump is known all too well to English wine merchants, racing up and down its length conects all the villages together and runs alongside the various slopes of the Côte,which lie to its right when driving south.

the vineyards hug the slopes lovingly. Some are small and enclosed by old walls; these tend to be called Clos and often enjoy their own microclimate. Others appear vast and undulating and consist of many parcels each owned by different vignerons (37.69ha of Echezeaux are shared between 46) making it a mystery how they remember exactly which are their rows of vines!

Most domaines have various parcels spread across different appellations, their portfolio of vineyards normally having been built up thanks to the efforts of previous generations.

“When I joined the wine trade in the 1960’s, O W Loeb, then specialising in Germany, Burgundy and the Rhone, was recognised as ‘the wine merchant’s wine merchant’. The same core specialities are still there in force and a lot more as well and Loeb is still the place to buy your wine.”

Steven Spurrier
Burgundy Map