Or today’s truth anyway 🙂
I have often previously written that I was personally of the view that name Côte d’Or was derived from ‘east-facing’ – mainly given the number of old maps inscribed with côte d’orient – this, as opposed to the view that the name was derived from golden slope – something which lasts no-more than a couple of weeks – and not every year. Well, this month, the BIVB have weighed in with their own, currently, definitive version:
“Did you know?
Two uses and two origins for a single name!
Winegrowers chose the name of the Bourgogne Côte d’Or appellation as a reference to the orientation of the winegrowing hillsides. The Côte d’Or in this case represents a contraction of “Côte d’Orient”, meaning oriented to the east. A symbol of the Côte de Beaune and Côte de Nuits, this favorable aspect goes a long way to explain the excellence of its wines, which benefit from the warming rays of the rising sun.
The Côte-d’Or département (with a hyphen), for its part, was named by the National Assembly in the 19th century for a much more bucolic reason. The name refers to the magnificent golden color that cloaks the vines just after the harvests.”
Or maybe they are just referring to the new appellation of Bourgogne Côte d’Or – watch this space…