Burgundy’s friendly southern reaches
Situated immediately south of the Côte Chalonnaise, the Maconnais comprises a series of rolling limestone hills devoted primarily to Chardonnay, although some reds are produced here as well. More polycultural than the vine-dominated Côte d’Or, the Maconnais is home to numerous appellations of renown: Pouilly-Fuissé (whose recent adopting of a cru system was the first such designation in this part of Burgundy), Pouilly-Loché, Pouilly-Vinzelles, Saint-Véran, and Viré-Clessé. Certain villages whose vineyards are particularly prized are also allowed to append their name to the Macon-Villages appellation, e.g., Macon-Pierreclos, Macon-Loché, Macon-Solutré-Pouilly, etc. Chardonnay from the Maconnais tends to be more straightforward and rounder than that of the Côte de Beaune or the Côte Chalonnaise, and produced with less of an emphasis on oak, but the Maconnais’ top sites can easily rival more prestigious appellations to the north.