My latest in The Buyer:
The battle to get Pouilly-Fuissé the Premier Cru recognition it deserves
by L.M. Archer
The wines of Pouilly and Fuissé have long been recognised as “first class,” in fact at the start of the Nineteenth Century scholars put the wines on a par with other great wine regions like Meursault and Montrachet. But the Mâconnais is still the only region in Burgundy that does not have vineyard hierarchy. Before lockdown LM Archer travelled to the region to find out how the thirteen-year application for Premier Cru status was progressing for a number of climats, a process that has been temporarily closed down because of the virus.
“Some climats in Pouilly-Fuissé will finally be classified as Premier Cru, the recognition of hard work on the part of the winegrowers, but also the recognition of the quality of the terroirs of southern Bourgogne, which has long been underestimated,” says Anne Moreau.
Burgundy lacks a vineyard hierarchy in only one region – the Mâconnais. That may well change soon.
At this time, Pouilly-Fuissé awaits Premier Cru appellation approval from the National Institute for Appellations of Origin (INAO). The proposed Appellation d’Origin (A.O.C.) includes 22 climats among four villages: Chaintré, Fuissé, Solutré-Pouilly and Vergisson. These villages produce only white wine from Chardonnay.
Egalité, fraternité, hiérarchie
The southernmost region of Burgundy (traditionally called Bourgogne) enjoys a maverick reputation. Yet, despite its lack of hierarchical heritage, history nonetheless ranks Mâcon wines highly. Even famed French wine writer André Jullien notes in his “Topographie de tous les vignobles connus” (“Topography of all Known Vineyards,” 1816) the wines of Pouilly and Fuissé as “first class,” on a par with other great wine regions like Meursault and Montrachet.