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Tasting Cellars in Beaune

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Outside of the guidebooks, I am beginning to think from "real" people's comments that the Marche aux Vins in Beaune is actually cheesy and touristy with an inferior selection geared to tourists who "wouldn't know any better." Is this true?

Aside from that, are there any good wine shop/cave tasting locations in Beaune? I had seen mention of Caves Patriarche Père et Files and Caves de Couvent des Cordelier. Does anyone have an opinion on these?

Alternatively, would it simply be better to stick to the winery tasting rooms themselves such as Gevrey-Chambertin and Chateau du Clos-de-Vougeot?

On the one hand, we are rather serious, somewhat knowledgeable daily wine drinkers, but we are much less familiar with Burgundy as it's generally out of our price range. Our hope is to sample the widest range of Burgundy producers/vintages as economically as possible in a convenient location or two. If we stop at several individual wineries, we will encounter that obligation to buy at least one bottle from each. At $50-$300 or more a pop, that's just not feasible. Basically, I thought a local wine shop in Beaune might be the best way to do that, but am I way off base in my expectations? I realize France has a totally different approach to wine marketing than we do here in the U.S., but I note that there are many recommended cooperatives down in the Rhone area. I just can't seem to track down any in Burgundy. Is it because there are too many to mention, or too few?

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