Aligoté is a white wine grape variety that has its origins in Burgundy, France. Here is a detailed description covering various aspects of Aligoté:

History of Origin:

Aligoté has a long history that dates back to the Burgundy region in eastern France. Its exact origins are not well-documented, but it is believed to have been cultivated for several centuries. The grape is considered a sibling of Chardonnay, another prominent white wine grape from Burgundy.

Region of Origin:

Burgundy, particularly the Côte d’Or region, is the primary and historical home of Aligoté. It is one of the key grape varieties grown alongside Chardonnay and Pinot Noir in this prestigious wine region. Over the years, Aligoté has also found its way to other parts of France and beyond.

Origin of Name:

The name “Aligoté” is thought to be derived from the word “Aligote,” meaning “incline” or “slope” in the Burgundian dialect. This may be a reference to the grape’s ability to thrive on the hilly terrains of the Burgundy vineyards.

Cultivation Regions:

Apart from Burgundy, Aligoté is cultivated in various wine regions around the world. It has found a home in Eastern Europe, particularly in countries like Russia, where it is known as “Sovinon Blanc” or “Aligote.” Some plantings can also be found in other parts of France, such as the Jura and Savoie regions.

Characteristics of the Variety:

  • Viticulture: Aligoté is known for its adaptability to different soil types and climates. It thrives in limestone-rich soils common in Burgundy but can also do well in other soil compositions.
  • Growth: The grapevine typically produces compact clusters of small, round berries. It is known for its early bud break, which can make it susceptible to spring frosts.

Characteristics of the Wine:

  • Flavor Profile: Aligoté wines are known for their crisp acidity and fresh, citrusy flavors. They often exhibit notes of green apples, lemons, and a mineral character.
  • Aging Potential: While Aligoté wines are usually consumed young to preserve their vibrant acidity, some producers experiment with aging in oak barrels, resulting in a more complex and textured wine.
  • Alcohol Content: Aligoté wines typically have moderate alcohol levels, making them refreshing and easy to drink.
  • Food Pairing: Due to its lively acidity, Aligoté pairs well with a variety of foods. It is often enjoyed with seafood, shellfish, salads, and goat cheese.


Aligoté, though sometimes overshadowed by its more famous Burgundian counterparts, has its own unique charm and characteristics. Its refreshing acidity and versatility make it a delightful choice for those seeking a white wine with a distinctive personality. Whether enjoyed on its own or paired with food, Aligoté offers a taste of Burgundy’s winemaking heritage.

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