Monday, 12 September 2011

Exploring the Maĉonnais

Welcome back to Hugo's Reserve after the August break.  We spend two weeks in France, the first in Touraine in the Central Loire (that's another story) and the second in the Maĉonnais, in Southern Burgundy.

As you can see from my rather fetching hand-drawn map, when travelling south through Burgundy, the Maĉonnais is the last wine zone you get to (before the vineyards merge seamlessly into Beaujolais).  There's plenty of Maĉon Rouge, usually from Gamay (the same grape variety as Beaujolais) and a fair amount of Bourgogne Rouge, made from Pinot Noir, but overwhelmingly it's white wine country here, with white Burgundy from Chardonnay (as usual), made in a wide range of qualities and price points.

Up to about ten years ago, the Maĉonnais was very much the poor relation of the other Burgundian sub-regions.  In recent years however there have been huge improvements in both vineyard and winery, resulting in the Maĉonnais being the most exciting hunting ground in Burgundy for high quality white wines at a good price.