Ratafia de Bourgogne

Not only wine filled the alcohol world of Burgundy. If you ask locals what to try specifically Burgundian, they tell you about Ratafia.

In the world, the word Ratafia is used for two different things. Actually, for three, but the third one is biscuit and is not related to the subject of this topic.

However, two of them are alcohol products.

One ratafia is a type of liqueur that is made by maceration of ingredients such as fruits, nuts, herbs, spices and so on in a pre-distilled spirit with sugar. It produces mainly in Span and Italy and in some other countries. But this story is not about this ratafia.

Today we are talking about Ratafia de Bourgogne. In Burgundy, it is a very popular aperitif that technically can be described as fortified wine.

Burgundy produces good wine. A lot of wine. The winemaking process gives plenty of marc (skins of grapes, pipes, etc.) that remains after the pressing of the grapes. The goods shouldn’t be wasted, so marc is used for the production of Marc de Bourgogne, the spirit like grappa. The product of marc fermentation is distilled in copper still pots and aged in oak barrels for at least two years.

Burgundy also makes Fine de Bourgogne (brandy) from wine and lees. The distillation and ageing are the same as for Marc de Bourgogne.

Burgundy is famous for its liqueurs, that is based on Marc de Bourgogne and Fine de Bourgogne, and we will talk about some of them.

Also, Marc de Bourgogne and Fine de Bourgogne are used for Ratafia de Bourgogne production. For this, they are mixed with unfermented grape juice in proportion 1:2 and aged in oak ballers for several years. Result – naturally sweet drink 17-18 % abv with very grapey taste. Ratafia can be made from both red and white grapes.

Almost every winery makes ratafia, at least in North Burgundy. Anyway, all that we visited. Very popular thing.

Traditionally, ratafia is drunk as an aperitif (cool to 7C). Sometimes at the end of the meal, after coffee, instead of sweet liqueur. Nowadays it is popular to drink it with sparkling water in the middle of the day.

It is a good pair for foie gras and blue cheese.

Also, it is used for cooking.

Ratafia de Bourgogne has the brother – Ratafia de Champagne. It is made in the Champagne region in the same way as Ratafia de Bourgogne.

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