Long regarded as the poor relation of the Côte d'Or just to the north, the Côte Chalonnaise has recently come to prominence for its improving and affordable red and white wines.
It is a district where viticulture shares the land with agriculture and, for better or worse, it lacks the great names to be found elsewhere in Burgundy.Read More
Red wines dominate and all are made from the Pinot Noir grape. Chardonnay accounts for the majority of whites, but the unsung Aligoté vine has made a comeback in the Bouzeron AOC. It makes an approachable, refreshing and inexpensive wine.
There are no grand crus in the Côte Chalonnaise, but Rully and Mercurey have several premier crus and all vineyards in Montagny (as long as they hit 11.5% alcohol) are eligible for that status. Below these are the village AOCs (Bouzeron, Rully, Mercurey, Givry and Montagny) and, at the bottom, the Côte Chalonnaise AOC.
Limestone and marl, key soils behind the wines of the Côte d'Or, are predominant here as well but the topography is not as favourable as its exalted neighbour to the north. There are areas where slope and exposure are ideal, but these are not at all the norm and so the wines here, in what is effectively marginal vinicultural land, have not hit the heights of elsewhere in Burgundy.