After a 10-year application process, the French National Institute of Origin and Quality (INAO) approved the classification making Pouilly-Fuissé the first appellation within Burgundy’s Mâconnais sub-region to benefit from premier cru vineyards.
Frédéric-Marc Burrier, president of the Pouilly-Fuissé growers association, said the result was a ‘dream come true’ and beckons ‘the beginning of a new era for Pouilly-Fuissé, and probably for Mâconnais as well’.
Burrier says the long process was necessary in order to fully integrate the idea of a Premier Cru quality hierarchy within the mindsets of the growers, and that the main key to the application’s approval was their ability to remain united.
‘We learned a lot about willpower, tenacity, and patience. We always tried to convince the growers to favour a collective success rather than individual interests. They understood it, and in order to discuss with INAO, it was very important to show a united strength’.
The 22 new premier crus represent a total of 194ha under vine, accounting for roughly 24% of Pouilly-Fuissé’s total vineyard area (800ha). The newly-classified vineyards are spread over four communes of the appellation that only produce white wine from Chardonnay: Chaintré, Fuissé, Solutré-Pouilly and Vergisson.
The new status begins with the 2020 vintage, currently being harvested, and will appear on the market after 12-18 months.
The proposal to recognise specific sites as premier crus was first initiated by Burrier in 2007 and a formal application submitted to the INAO in 2010.
Since then, the appellation worked alongside the INAO and the Organization for the Defense and Management (ODG) to determine the worthiness of these terroirs. This included years of analysis which saw the creation of a detailed map outlining the appellation’s 217 legally-registered liex-dits from which subsequent analysis was made into elevation, aspect, slope, and soils as well as the history, cultural practises and pricing models of each climat.
A number of blind tastings were also conducted by a panel of experts. The application went into its final review phase in November 2019 with the ultimate decision delayed until after the lifting of lockdown restrictions in France revealing the final decision at the beginning of September.
Burrier hopes the ruling will help achieve further critical acclaim for the region’s white wines and a renewed interest in visits to the region for Burgundy lovers to ‘discover and evaluate’ the 22 new premier crus.
‘It is the first time since 1943 that a premier cru level is newly recognised in a Burgundian appellation. I hope it will allow Pouilly-Fuisse to achieve recognition as part of the greatest white wine appellation in Burgundy.’
The 22 new premier crus, commune by commune:
- Le Clos de Monsieur Noly
- Les Chevrières
- Aux Quarts
- Le Clos Reyssier
- Le Clos
- Les Brulés
- Les Ménétrières
- Les Reisses
- Les Vignes Blanches
- Les Perrières
- Vers Cras
- La Frérie
- Le Clos de Solutré
- Au Vignerais
- En Servy
- Aux Bouthières
- Aux Chailloux
- Vers Cras
- Les Crays
- La Maréchaude
- Sur la Roche
- En France