Mâconnais, Burgundy, France
As one makes one’s way south through the Chardonnay-growing heartlands of the south of Burgundy, just before the border with Beaujolais one reaches the Mâconnais. Covering the communes of Chaintré, Fuissé, Solutré-Pouilly and Vergisson, Pouilly-Fuissé is the most celebrated appellation within the Mâconnais region. It is dominated by the topographical landmark of La Roche de Solutre, an isolated limestone ridge which overlooks the vineyards in the heart of the appellation.
Pouilly-Fuissé covers 800ha vineyards which are planted on clay-limestone soils (the sub-soil here is composed of limestone, as further north, though with areas of granite and even schist). The Chardonnay wines produced here tend to be full-bodied with ripe, buttery fruits and notes of almond, and white and yellow flowers.
Increasingly, the Chardonnay wines of this appellation are challenging the dominance of the most famous white wine areas of the Côte d’Or – to the extent that, since 2020, Pouilly-Fuissé has been granted 22 Premiers Crus, becoming the first appellation in the Mâconnais to have the superior quality of its vineyards thus recognised.