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Burgundy or Mâconnais?

I’ve been sipping through countless bottles of wine for over 45 years and of course have seen many changes in this marvellous world we all swim around in (metaphorically speaking of course). One of the ‘changes’ that I do not accept very lightly is the fact that, since white Burgundy has become so expensive, the wines of Maconnais are suddenly being referred to in a seemingly commonplace way as ‘Burgundy’.
Now I’ve been to both many times and they are very different and I consider this ‘appropriation’ as nothing more than deceitful.
Back in the day Burgundy was very sniffy about its neighbouring wine region. Now, as if by magic, it has been absorbed into the fold.
So come on TWS, and its illustrious buyers, start calling a spade a spade. It’s Maconnais!!

Well, I don’t know what the fuss is about, given that Beaujolais is also part of Burgundy

ducks and runs for cover


I remember when East Burgundy was called Jura.


…and of course the Northern enclave of Burgundy known as Chablis?


And Pouilly Fume is made in the French Region Bourgogne Franche Comte :smiley:


I heard that growers in Sussex and Kent were invited to join the Bourgogne Transmanche Coop, but negotiations are on hold due to Brexit.


Fact is that - like it or not - there’s a lot more to Burgundy than Côte d’Or.


I’ve known Macon to be classed as a sub-region of Burgundy for at least 25 years (and expect it is much longer), so I don’t think anything’s really changed recently, in terms of how it is described. Perhaps it is just more prominent as it’s one of the few white wines from the region where you can still find bottles at a vaguely sensible price?


Is it a realistic proposition to suggest that anyone is going to voluntarily stop using the term ‘Burgundy’ in association with their wines, when the simple use of the name itself guarantees a higher price?

It is indeed Macon and while many are somewhat shrill and acidic, I recall more than one bottle of Jean Thevenet’s Domain de la Bongran which I think puts the Cote’ d’Or into Maconnais.

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The Society’s White Burgundy is certainly sourced from the Macon, and always has as far as I know…

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My simple take is that if a vineyard is planted with pinot noir or chardonnay and that the wine made from it could, should the producer wish, be labelled as AOC Bourgogne that it’s perfectly acceptable to describe it as Burgundy.


Yep! you’re right there! Very convenient too!

Hasn’t the Mâconnais always come under the umbrella term ‘Burgundy’ though? Or at least for a very long time…?

This is from Alexis Lichine’s Wines Of France, 2nd edition, 1955 - we found it when we were clearing out my dad’s old books a few years ago. Goodness knows where he got it from or why, but all these decades later it can be a quirky old read.

The chapter for the Côte d’Or is subtitled The Heart Of Burgundy - but not ‘all’ - and it seems to be a given that Mâcon is also a wine of Burgundy…

…although apparently they ‘speak more slowly’ down there, and seem to turn their berets into baseball caps:


Sounds like Yeovil to the greater Bristol/Bath metropolis…


You wait and see, it’ll catch on, then we’ll be the trendsetters.


The point I was trying to make here is that, when times have been plenty, the Maconnais have always been kept at arms length in a sniffy, poor relation sort of manner. Now their production is needed to bolster the recent pathetic output from the more illustrious region, they are more often referred to as Burgundy than Maconnais, as in previous decades, which no doubt assists the price asked too. Ah well!

I’ll get my coat! :zipper_mouth_face:

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A number of appellations of the Maconnais can be sold as Bourgogne blanc. Personally I think its fine to consider the Maconnais as part of Burgundy. Cannot see what the fuss is about.


So the Maconnais can be considered the Entre-Deux-Mers of Burgundy?

If anyone wants to send me some white burgundy and maconnais to do a taste comparison i wont mind…