Wine 101 - The Wines of Burgundy

Why this complex region is one of the world's best


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The Mâconnais

The Mâconnais picks up the Burgundy wine trail several kilometers after the Côte Chalonnaise peters out. Unlike in the Côte Chalonnaise, where both reds and whites abound, the Mâconnais is primarily Chardonnay country and in fact some of the most well-known white burgundies come from the southern Macon.

While there are no Premier Cru vineyards in the Macon, Pouilly-Fuissé is a near equivalent, though the name is no guarantee of quality. Additional villages that have become associated with the production of rather fine wines include Mâcon-Viré and Mâcon-Clessé in the north of the region as well as Saint-Véran, the most southerly portion of the appellation and in fact an only relatively recently created appellation that includes wines previously been referred to as Beaujolais Blanc.

This similarity to Beaujolais also extends to the small amount of red wines produced here. In addition to Pinot Noir, Gamay grapes are allowed in the red wines.

Map courtesy of Kobrand

Mentioned in this article


  • Hi Gregory. The map is too small. Could you create an image that could be enlarged if you click on it?

    Nov 24, 2010 at 6:17 PM

  • Snooth User: japiok
    558329 2

    Jullie vergeten de Santenay. Smaakt beter dan de Côtes.

    Nov 24, 2010 at 10:12 PM

  • Snooth User: Gregory Dal Piaz
    Hand of Snooth Voice of Snooth
    89065 229,335

    Hi Elinore,

    You can visit Kobrand's website to see the image in their full glory. We do not, at this time, have the systems in place that would allow enlarging the images.

    Thanks for your thoughts though, we will add this to or to do list!

    Nov 25, 2010 at 3:28 AM

  • The author Roald Dahl once wrote that "to drink a Romanée-Conti is like having an orgasm in the mouth and nose at the same time".

    Is that all we need to know?

    Nov 25, 2010 at 11:02 AM

  • A very nice overview but, as you allude to in the introduction, is really only scratching the surface of the complexity that is Burgundian wine; a complexity that can be very vexing to fans of the region that are not flush with cash. The fragmentation of the vineyards, and the vast cast of characters at work within them, means that there is a tremendous diversity of styles and quality within each commune, making it very difficult to really ascribe a particular character to a commune and, from the consumer's point of view, extremely difficult to make an informed buying decision. One thing is certain: there is no such thing as a good cheap Burgundy from the Beaunes or Nuits; there may well be plenty of not-so-good expensive ones though. Nonetheless, we forgive all such shortcomings upon opening a good one, for the rewards are beyond the narrow view of accounting.

    Nov 26, 2010 at 2:07 PM

  • Nodding in agreement with Aylwin Forbes here. For years I had same issue. Occasional beauty with real strawberry, tannin, oak balance, others smelling of damp cabbage, thin and acidic. Many just dull compared to more reliable Oregon, Russian River, US wines.
    I was only helped by going to tastings of the en primeur offerings.
    I would still recommend dumping any prejudices against new world pinot noirs, there are many fine ones coming out of NZ for instance.

    Feb 23, 2011 at 4:55 AM

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