The Mâconnais wine region in the south of Burgundy is centred around – and named after – the provincial town of Mâcon. The area produces a considerable quantity of wine, specializing in white wines made from Chardonnay and a smaller number of red wines made from Pinot Noir and Gamay. The Mâcon title covers white, red and rose wines from across the area. A number of communes within the appellation’s catchment area have been recognized as sources of higher-quality wines and may append their names to that of the appellation; for example, Mâcon Lugny.
In 1999, Viré and Clessé, formerly named villages of the Mâcon title, were granted their own appellation, Viré-Clessé, specifically for their high-quality Chardonnay-based wines. The new title joined the longer-established white wine appellations of Pouilly-Vinzelles, Pouilly-Loché and Pouilly-Fuissé, and the larger Saint-Véran appellation – introduced in 1971 to cover many wines previously labelled as Beaujolais Blanc.
The Chalonnaise lies between the Côte de Beaune to the north and the Mâconnais, just to the south. There is a clear division between these two areas, conveniently marked by the boundary between the Côte d’Or and Saône-et-Loire administrative departments.
The Côte Chalonnaise is made up of five key communes, separated from one another by only a few miles. From north to south, these are; Bouzeron, Rully, Mercurey, Givry and Montagny. It takes its name from the commune of Chalon-sur-Saône.
2022 has produced some lovely wines from the Mâconnais & Côte Chalonnaise, though thanks to drier conditions down there, yields were a fair bit lower. With prices continuing to rise throughout the Côte d’Or, don’t overlook the amazing value and exceptional quality to be found from top growers in the Mâconnais and the Côte Chalonnaise.