France: Burgundy

Côte Chalonnaise

The wines of Bouzeron, Rully, Mercurey, Givry and Montagny
By Jean-Pierre Renard and Wink Lorch

This Guide was last updated on 10 August 2010
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Main appellations

There are no Grands Crus in this area of Burgundy, only Premiers Crus in certain villages, mentioned in the Village appellations below (listed north to south).


Only white wines from the Aligoté grape are made under this appellation. They are dry with high acidity and it was this wine to which Canon Kir added crème de cassis (blackcurrant liqueur) to make the eponymous aperitif.


About two-thirds white and one-third red is produced including 23 Premiers Crus. The vineyards, which are also in the village of Chagny, are on the south and south-east facing slopes at a height of between 230 and 300 metres. Soils vary from brown or limey with a little clay, which favour Pinot Noir, and clay-limestone which suits Chardonnay better.


In the heart of the Côte Chalonnaise, Mercurey is the largest Village appellation in this micro-region of Burgundy, producing predominantly red wines, with just 11% white from about 655ha of vineyards. The vineyards are tucked away on hillsides at 230 to 320 metres altitude on a variety of soils from chalky-marls in the east, changing to Jurassic limestone overlaid with gravel in the west. There are 32 Premiers Crus.


Most of the vines are planted facing east-south-east or due south at altitudes between 240 and 280 metres, on brown soils derived from the breakdown of Jurassic and clay limestones. Most is red with 17% white and there are 28 Premiers Crus.


Only white wines produced. Confusingly the 51 Premier Cru vineyards cover about two-thirds of the main Village appellation boundaries, so Montagny and Montagny Premier Cru (with vineyard name stated sometimes) are used almost interchangeably. Montagny Premier Cru is obliged to have a slightly higher minimum alcohol. The village of Buxy, home to an important cooperative wine cellar (see ‘Producers’ below) is within this appellation.

Bourgogne Côte Chalonnaise

Regional appellation used for red, white and a little rosé wine produced in the villages of Buxy, Chagny, Givry and Mont-Saint-Vincent.


Generic appellation for basic Burgundy red, white and rosé from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay whose vineyards are often adjacent to the Village appellations and located along the foot of the wine-growing slopes on limestone soils mixed with some clays and marls. The soils are stony, rocky even, and quick-draining. Rosé is made in some of the red wine areas. May also be called Bourgogne Grand-Ordinaire. The appellation Bourgogne Aligoté is specific to that grape variety.

Bourgogne Passe-Tout-Grains

Appellation covering the whole Burgundy region (but especially the Mâconnais) for reds and a very few rosés producing early-drinking wines from a blend of Pinot Noir (minimum one-third) with Gamay.

Crémant de Bourgogne

This appellation was created in 1975 for white and rosé to replace the unglamorous Mousseux de Bourgogne AC (now used only for red sparkling) and the quality continues to improve as more producers are cultivating grapes especially for sparkling wine. The wines must be made by the Traditional Method and aged on lees for minimum 12 months. This appellation is particularly important in the Côte Chalonnaise district of Burgundy.

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