Vines have been cultivated in Burgundy since at least the 3rd century, largely due to the influence of the Church and its monasteries. Popularised by the French Revolution, the Burgundy vineyards contain some of the most famous appellations in France. Chardonnay and Pinot-noir wines from this area remain unsurpassed elsewhere. Chablis is synonymous with quality dry whites, while the Côte de Nuits is famous for its red Grands Crus. The Côte de Beaune features the star appellations of Meursault and Montrachet, not forgetting Pommard and Volnay, while further south, the Côte Châlonaise and the Mâconais produce a fabulous range of sun-ripened wines. Closer to Lyon, popular Beaujolais made from Gamay grapes enlivens social occasions the world over.