Burgundy is in some ways the most 'terroir' oriented region in France, and possibly the most complicated. Immense attention is paid to the area of origin, and in which of the region's 400 types of soil grapes are grown.
As opposed to Bordeaux, where classifications are producer-driven and awarded to individual Chateaux, Burgundy classifications are geographically-focused. A specific vineyard or region will bear a given classification, regardless of the producer. This focus is shown on the wine's label where appellations are most prominent and producer's names often appear at the bottom in smaller text.
Burgundy is composed of thousands of small-scale growers, often with only tiny parcels of land, who may make a range of different wines, both red and white.
In total, there are around 150 separate AOC's in Burgundy, including those of Chablis and Beaujolais. While an impressive number, it does not include the several hundred named vineyards at the Village and Premier Cru level which may be displayed on the label, since at the Village and Premier Cru level, there is only one set of appellation rules per village. The total number of vineyard-differentiated AOC's that may be displayed is well in excess of 500.
Burgundy as a whole; Grands and Premiers Crus account for about 12% of all the wine produced. Village wines approx 23% and less prestigious Bourgogne Appellations account for the bulk at approx 65%.
About 600 vineyards merit the appellation 'Premier Cru'. The name of the village, followed by the vineyard name in the same lettering, appears on the label of a 'Premier Cru'.
Only 33 vineyards have the privilege of being agreed as 'Grand Cru'. They used to be called 'Tete de Cuvee'. They are the best among the best.
The Côte de Nuits home of the great red Burgundies. White is also produced, but the reds are the region's glory.
The Côte de Beaune known for both red and white wines, but the greatest white Burgundies (other than Chablis) are from here.