The church in Sampigny-lès-Maranges.

his is the end of the Côte d'Or. But also the beginning of Saône et Loire. When it comes to wine the three villages of Maranges – Cheilly, Dezize and Sampigny – are usually included with the Côte d'Or, but administratively they are part of the department of Saône et Loire.

Unfortunately this is still very much unknown territory to me. The three villages are grouped around the Maranges vineyards. Dezize-lès-Maranges is just a few hundred metres north of Sampigny-lès-Maranges, while you find Cheilly-lès-Maranges 1.5 km to the southeast.

These beautiful, rolling hills produce mainly red wine. Only some three percent of the output is white. Maranges is also the youngest appellation along the Côte d'Or. It was in 1989 that the three villages were granted an appellation – Maranges – of their own. But it was almost 100 years earlier that the suffix "lès-Maranges" was attached to their names. In 1895 Dezize was the first to apply for the name change, as they did not want get confused with the town of Decize in the Nièvre. But it was turned down by the authorities since Cheilly pointed out that the largest part of the Maranges vineyards was within their boundaries. Two years later Cheilly was asked to reconsider and the authorities decided to approve if both villages added the suffix. On September 4, 1898, both villages changed their names. Sampigny then followed on October 29, 1899, and became Sampigny-lès-Maranges.

Dezize-lès-Maranges, Burgundy.Of the three villages Dezize-lès-Maranges is the one highest up on the slope. The church is from the 11th century and the Mont de Sène (also known as Montagne des Trois Croix because the three crosses there) offers a splendid view over the vineyards, the Saône valley, the Jura, The Alps and the Morvan. Downhill is Sampigny-lès-Maranges which origins can be found in an old settlement by monks by the river, la Cozanne. Earlier in history the village was called Simpiniacum, Simponiacum, Solempiacum and Sampiniacum. The church dates back to the 15th century and has a wooden bell tower. Cheilly-lès-Maranges is more than twice the size of its siblings and this is where la Cozanne joins la Dheune. Nearby is also the Canal du Centre.

Maranges is the youngest of the Côte d'Or appellations. Up until 1989 the wines here were sold as Côte de Beaune-Villages. Since then there has been Maranges on both village and premier cru level, with seven climats entitled to the latter.

© 2013 Ola Bergman