Chardonnay vines are grown on slopes encompassing the Roche de Solutré and Roche de Vergisson, informing many of the best white wines from Pouilly-Fuissé. These two rocky escarpments of chalky, clay-limestone date as far back as the Jurassic period 200 million years ago and provide striking focal points among the rolling, hilly landscape in southern Burgundy’s sun-kissed Mâconnais district. Additionally, they indicate the end of a limestone plateau common to the rest of Burgundy northward. A naturally occurring amphitheater in Fuissé offers another prominent topographical feature of the region.
Wines designated under the Pouilly-Fuissé appellation come from four communes: Fuissé, Solutré-Pouilly, Vergisson, and Chaintré. In November 2020, much to the delight of many local growers, twenty-two vineyards or climats (terroir) received Premier Cru status thanks to the superior quality of their fruit and wines. As with the rest of Burgundy, terroir also plays an important role here. For example, wines from Fuissé and Solutré-Pouilly traditionally displayed a more opulent style, while those from Vergisson tended toward the fresher, mineral-driven side of Chardonnay. Some producers may blend grapes from multiple sites to achieve better balance and complexity.
Estates commonly practice barrel fermentation and maturation when producing Pouilly-Fuissé, typically for no more than a one-year duration. Some winemakers vinify and age their wines exclusively in stainless steel to preserve Chardonnay’s varietal characteristics. Lees aging and stirring may also help to enrich these white wines. By relying on modern technology and multi-generational expertise, many producers continue to elevate the quality of their expressions. This trend continues to yield rich, terroir-focused wines that represent excellent value among bottles of white Burgundy.
Where to find Pouilly-Fuissé wine online
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