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Premier cru climats in Pouilly-Loché and Pouilly-Vinzelles will “raise profile of all Mâconnais wines”

The recognition of four new premier cru climats in Pouilly-Loché and Pouilly-Vinzelles in the Mâcon over the next 18 months, will help raise the profile of all Mâconnais wines, one producer has told the drinks business. 

The four sites comprise Les Mûres in Pouilly-Loché, the smallest communal appellation in Burgundy, as well as Les Quarts, Les Longeays, and Les Pétaux in Pouilly-Vinzelles, which together make up around 34.5 hectares.

If granted, the approval would end an almost 14 year wait, as the petition for premier cru status was first submitted in 2010. It follows the designation of 22 Pouilly-Fuissé climats in 2020, which applied for it at the same time.

Speaking to Decanter magazine, INAO representative Alexis Sannier said that the climats’ accessibility to the scheme had now been “validated”, meaning the were likely to be granted premier cru status in 2024. This was subject to expert panel being appointed to define the exact delimitation and finalise the production conditions, which includes yields, harvesting and ageing conditions.

Speaking to the drinks business, Jean-Philippe Bret of Vinzelle producer Domaine de la Soufrandière and négoce Bret Brothers, said the validation of the premier cru status and the likelihood that this will happen within the next two years would provide “a great opportunity for all the Mâconnais‘ wines.”

Although the process had taken a long time – 14 years from petition to the likely granting of premier cru status – he said that this long process was in fact “a huge advantage”, in that it gives producer time to prepare the vineyards and to anticipate all the changes.

“Any change in the AOC takes time,” he said. “It was especially long this time, as the Mâocnnais had no Premier Cru at all until Pouilly-Fuissé in 2020. The INAO first worked on the 3 AOCs together but at one time, as Pouilly-Fuissé was a particularly big file, they decided to concentrate on it. As soon as it was finished, they went on with Pouilly-Loché and Pouilly-Vinzelles,” he explained.

In terms of the impact this move will have, Bret said that while it was always difficult to predict the future, it was reasonable to assume that this would help raise the prices for the producers “a little bit” as well as “certainly the quality as well”.

However he pointed out that the Pouilly-Vinzelles and Pouilly-Loché wines – even with expected Premiers crus – still offered very good value.

“The are great wines to discover Bourgogne” he said. “The terroirs are just amazing, but were sometimes unknown, hidden by the Côte d’Or wines.”

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