Primarily made from Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes, wines from Meursault and the Côtes de Beaune area (Bourgogne or Burgundy wines) taste significantly different than wines made from the same varietals in the US or other countries. Meursault wine is known for it's smoothness, freshness, and length on the palette. The expert staff in the tasting rooms are happy to explain how wines vary in flavor depending on where they are grown within the region.
There are two types of tasting experiences in France: small private domaines and chateaux or larger domaine tours / experiences.
Smaller Domaines- For a more personal experience, stop in to a small tasting room for a single domaine. These intimate tasting rooms pepper Meursault and the nearby villages. A knowledgeable staff member, and maybe even a winemaker him or herself, will pour for you. In smaller tasting rooms, there is often no charge to taste, but they'd like you to buy a bottle. The tasting staff often talk with one customer at a time and the French are generally reserved during the tasting which can seem a bit aloof. Not to worry, they are happy you are there and enjoy sharing information about their wines. If you see a sign for "Caveau Ouvert" or "Dégustations Ouvert" it means a tasting room is open and you are welcome to stop in.
Tours / Chateaux- The chateaux offer tours of the cellars and guided tastings with groups. For those used to American-style tasting rooms, such as in Napa Valley, this experience is more what you’d be familiar with. You can enjoy tasting from a menu of wines for a fee, typically with a expert guide to explain each wine. Reservations are often required.
There are also many larger domaines you would recognize in and around Beaune (such as Domaine Drouhin, Bouchard Ainé et Fils) that are also in this style of tours / guided tastings for a fee. Find a list of larger domaine tasting rooms here.
Did you know the Climats de Bourgogne are a UNESCO World Heritage site? The climats of Burgundy were added to the UNESCO list in 2015 to preserve this unique, 2000-year old cultural heritage. As you explore Meursault and the villages nearby, or gaze at the rolling hills of vineyards, or taste the wine grown in tradition ways, you are participating in a world heritage activity. Learn more about the Climats de Bourgogne and their place on the World Heritage list.