Tucked in France's eastern reaches, about two and half hours from Paris by train, Burgundy is considered the motherland of great pinot noir and chardonnay. The Romans are credited with bringing viticulture to the area in the early centuries A.D., though eventually the Catholic Church took over. Local abbeys and monasteries drove up the quality of grape growing and winemaking. Setting up in the towns at the base of the slope, they helped to demarcate Burgundy's planting sites and define the terroir, or sense of place, for which each would become known. Their legacy is a crazy quilt of diversity. The Côte d'Or is just a fraction of a region that also includes Chablis to the north and the Mâconnais, the Côte Chalonnaise, and Beaujolais to the south. But there are nearly 1,200 vineyards in just over 30 miles of narrow terrain. Grouped into more than 60 controlled areas, or appellations, Côte d'Or vineyards are classified in a hierarchy that runs from the lauded grands crus and nearly as revered premiers crus to village vines with less desirable clay soils and the catch-all regional designation.