The city in the Côte de Beaune area, the southern part of the Côte d'Or, is considered the wine capital of French Burgundy (the political capital is Dijon). The city was already founded by Julius Caesar (100-44 BC) as a Roman camp and was the seat of the kings of Burgundy until the 13th century. Under Duke Philip the Good (1396-1467), Nicolas Rolin (1376-1462) founded the world-famous "Hôtel Dieu" (Hotel of God) in 1443, the Christian Hospices de Beaune, which was used as a hospital until 1971. The annual auction (sale) of wines for charitable purposes held here is now a world event.
In the 18th century, the first great wine trading houses were established in the town, such as Champy (1720) and Bouchard (1721). The town is still surrounded by walls and undercut by numerous wine cellars. The Beaune appellation of the same name covers 414 hectares of vineyards, 90% of which produce red wines from Pinot Noir with percentages of Pinot Gris and Pinot Liébault. The few white wines are made from Chardonnay with shares of Pinot Blanc. There are no Grands Crus. The more than 40 Premiers Crus cover 322 hectares of vineyards; the most famous are Avaux, Bressandes, Cent Vignes, Champs Pimont, Clos des Mouches, Clos du Roy, Fèves, Gréves, Marconetts, Teurons and Vignes Franches. Well-known producers are André, Besancenot-Mathouillet, Bichot, Bouchard Père et Fils, Hospices de Beaune, Jadot, Joseph Drouhin, Latour Louis, Morot and Tollot-Beaut. A nearby appellation is Côte de Beaune.