The Gauls probably grew wine in the area around Chalon-sur-Saône. After all, this town on the river was an important trading centre in Celtic times.
The vineyards of the Côte Chalonnaise extend west of the town of Chalon-sur-Saône. To the north they border on the Côte de Beaune, to the south on the Mâconnais. The 2,400 hectares of vines are divided among 44 communes. The area has seven appellations, two of them regional – i.e. the appellation of origin includes the vineyards of several villages. The Bourgogne Côte Chalonnaise presses white, rosé and red wines. In Bourgogne Côtes du Cochois, which was created in 2000, only red wines are produced. The five communal appellations are Bouzeron, Rully, Mercurey, Givry and Montagny. Particularly good vineyards are designated Premiers Crus, which is always mentioned on the label. In addition there are numerous unclassified site designations, known as "lieux-dits".One speciality is the AOC Bouzeron, whose white wines are made exclusively with the Aligoté grape. The pure white wine appellation of Montagny, conversely, is entirely reserved for the Chardonnay variety. Chardonnay is also most strongly represented in Rully. The area as a whole, though, is dominated by Pinot noir, with 75% of the vineyard area. AOC Rully is also known as a stronghold of sparkling wine production: the finest Crémants de Bourgogne are said to have their origins here.
The vineyards of the Côte Chalonnaise feature a variety of different soil formations. The terrain of the area is characterized by flat hills. In the villages of Rully, Mercurey and Givry, Jurassic limestone dominates – while in others the vines are planted on marl or loamy soils, interspersed with sand and flint. The further south they grow, the more the grapes benefit from Mediterranean influences. In autumn it is dry and sunny. The 900-metre-high Morvan mountain range protects the vineyards from humid westerly winds.
Pinot noir dominates the area under cultivation, followed by Chardonnay. The white Aligoté and Gamay grapes are also permitted – Gamay is often used for the production of rosé wines of the AOC Bourgogne Côte Chalonnaise.
The white Aligoté wines of the AOC Bouzeron are fresh and mineral, with delicate citrus notes. The Chardonnay wines, lush and supple on the palate, have scents of acacia, hawthorn and honeysuckle. Wines made from Pinot noir have scents of raspberry, cherry, undergrowth and tobacco. They are crisp, fruity, fleshy and round on the palate.
Best age for drinking
2 years for basic whites and Aligoté3-7 years for good Chardonnay vintages3-5 years for basic reds5-15 years for Premier Cru reds
Pinot noir dominiert die Anbaufläche, gefolgt von Chardonnay. Weiterhin sind der weisse Aligoté und Gamay erlaubt. Gamay wird häufig für die Produktion von Roséweinen der AOC Bourgogne Côte Chalonnaise verwendet.
Frisch und mineralisch, mit feinen Zitrusnoten präsentieren sich die weissen Aligoté-Weine der AOC Bouzeron. Die Chardonnay-Weine duften nach Akazie, Weissdorn und Geissblatt, am Gaumen sind sie üppig und geschmeidig. Weine aus Pinot noir haben eine knackige Frucht und duften nach Himbeere, Kirsch, Unterholz und Tabak, fleischig und rund präsentieren sie sich am Gaumen.