Mâcon-Villages

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In Mâcon in the southern part of Burgundy, the vines occupy a landscape of little hills and valleys that look as though they have been painted with a water-colourist’s brush. The hills of the Mâconnais extend over some 40km from the Côte Chalonnaise to the rock of Solutré, and are bordered on one side by the River Saône and by the River Grosne on the other. Vines were first planted here in Gallo-Roman times and were fostered in the Middle Ages by the powerful abbeys of Tournus and Cluny. This charming landscape was celebrated by the poet Lamartine, one of its native sons. The town of Mâcon today maintains close connections with these serene and smiling vineyards. The Mâcon appellation dates from 1937. White wines (Chardonnay) grown in the arrondissement of Mâcon and eleven neighbouring communes are entitled to the appellations Mâcon, Mâcon-Villages, or Mâcon plus the name of the village.

Separated by a series of parallel faults, the hills of the Mâconnais are linked along axes which give them either a north/north-westerly or a south/southeasterly exposure. The vines take readily to these hillsides. Limey or calcic brown rendzinas suit the long-keeping Chardonnay. Elsewhere, flinty sands and clays often mixed with calcium rich rocks or sandstone pebbles favour the ready to drink Chardonnay.

Mâcon-Villages white wines are the colour of white or yellow gold or straw, with gently glowing silvery or greenish highlights. On the nose, their aromas suggest broom, white roses, acacia, honeysuckle, fern, verbena, lemon-grass, and citrus fruits (grapefruit, mandarin oranges). In the mouth, the finish adds nuances of pine, quince and fennel. The impression on the palate varies according to each village and each terroir of origin. Mâcon-Villages wines are fresh and luscious as well as dry and well-fruited. They have good concentration backed by sufficient acidity to ensure their keeping qualities. They are full and smooth in character.

The cheeky charm and lively approach make Mâcon-Villages wines the perfect choice for pre-dinner drinks served with salty finger foods such as crisps, crackers, peanuts and olives. Their perfect all-round balance of vivacity, fullness, and smoothness plus aromatic complexity makes them easy to match with food. Poultry or veal in cream sauce does them justice in the winter, as does creamy risotto with meat, poultry, or fish. In the summer, they do justice to grilled fish, cold antipasto, ratatouille, or mixed salads with onions. They are even capable of taking sushi and goat’s cheese under their wing.
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