This far south, the Burgundy region takes on a guise that is different from Chablis and the famous Côtes to the north.
The climate here is considerably warmer and conducive to larger and less variable harvests, whilst the River Saône is wide and deep enough to have allowed for easy southbound transportation of as much wine as could be produced. But the Mâconnais, especially around Pouilly-Fuissé and St-Véran, is still capable of crafting very fine winesRead More
The Mâconnais is predominantly white wine territory and Chardonnay is the grape that it uses. Modern winemaking embraces vinification in stainless-steel or glass-lined vats as well as oak and so the styles are varied. Pinot Noir is grown for the reds, but it is this far south that it begins to give way to Gamay.
Several specific village appellations exist, such as for Pouilly-Fuissé and St-Véran, and, though these are very much in the minority, they are generally a good guide to the best wines to be found. Mâcon-Villages covers 43 named villages and represents a large collection of good quality wines. Below these are Mâcon Supérieur and Mâcon wines, the only difference between the two being that the former has 1% more alcohol than the latter.
The comparative warmth of the region gives the wines a fuller body and higher alcohol content than most of those produced to the north. The limestone that Chardonnay favours runs through the Mâconnais, but the marl loved by Pinot Noir has run out. Sand and granite are found instead and these are more suited to Gamay.