Maconnais

The work, done in the Mâconnais vineyard, throughout the year, remains extremely manual. Respectful to the vineyard and the environment, we prevent the use of machines for specific works. Grape growing is still a hard and tough work which will influence in majority the quality of the wine. Both meticulousness and strictness are essential to produce great wines. The hand-picking remains a priority for Maison Henry Fessy: collecting Chardonnays with delicacy will enhance this precious grape variety. This philosophy enables us to produce pleasant and well-balanced wines, from the famous slopes of Mâconnais.
Viticulture
ViticultureIn the Mâconnais, the plantation density is lower than that of Côte d'Or with 7000 vines /hectares. Nevertheless, the authorized yields are quite high with 60-70 hl/ha for the whole vineyard. It is important to notice that Pouilly-Fuissé yields, true emblem of the Mâconnais, are limited to 50hl/ha.Several pruning methods are used for the southern vineyard of Burgundy:- The”Gobelet” pruning: The vines are pruned short and low to the ground leaving only 3-5 arms with 8 buds per vine, the goal being to reduce the yields. Particular attention should be paid to the pruning so as to achieve greater resistance and improved longevity of the vine.- The "Single Guyot” pruning: This method consists of leaving a long fruiting cane with 8-10 buds on. This cane is known as the "baguette" on which the fruiting shoots will grow in the springtime. The other cane is known as the "courson" and has only 2 buds which will be used as the fruiting cane the following year.- The "taille à queue”: less supported, this method consists of getting a vine with a long cane having up to 12 buds. The end of the bunch is attached on the lowest thread.
Climate and terroirThe Mâconnais vineyard marks the southern border of the Burgundy region. The most southerly vineyard of the region, it covers an area of 50 kilometers long between Sennecey-Le-Grand and Saint-Véran. It is defined by two collapsing sumps: the Grosne valley from West to North, and the Saône valley to the East. The vineyard's East/Southeast exposure is suitable for grape production. The relief reveals first a series of gentle hills and then heightens when we move south. A series of gentle hills covers first the vineyard but as we move south, it becomes more marked finishing in the rock-crowned masses. It is precisely on these lofty slopes that is harvested one of the greatest white wines of Burgundy: the famous Pouilly-Fuissé and Pouilly-VinzellesThe Mâconnais enjoys a continental climate, typical of this region which offers a suitable foothold to the vines. The Mediterranean influences from the Rhône furrow bring richness to the vineyard while the microclimate of the Saône valley balances the last one. The climate, milder than that of northern Burgundy, offers the raisins a perfect maturity.This huge wine-making area is made up of different classification of soils: clay, limestone and granite. The north of the region is mainly composed of clay and limestone. Southerly, close to the Beaujolais region, the soil is mostly made up of volcanic rocks and granite.There are 3 main classifications of soils:- Clay-limestone and marly-calcareous soils coming from the alteration of Jurassic sedimentary layers (Pouilly-Fuissé, Pouilly-Loché).- Silica clayey soil made up of granitic and volcanic bedrock, present where the Mâconnais rocks are very eroded (Saint -Véran).- Rendzina soil, typical of friable/crumbly limestone rocks (less deep and humus-bearing soils) (Mâcon Cruzille, Mâcon Burgy).The diversity and richness of the sub-soils of Mâconnais suit perfectly to Chardonnay and bring to white wines a top-quality and rich aromas. The Mâconnais wines offer a huge range of flavors: charming muscat-like notes mix very-well with subtle floral aromas. White fruit notes and almond aromas lead to elegant and fine/subtle wine, while pleasant lemon notes reveal the potential of this terroir.Grape VarietiesOnly 217 hectares of Chardonnay are planted on an alternation of hard (limestone) and soft (marne) layers in the Mâconnais representing 75% of all grapes grown. This grape variety found its ideal soil in this region. Planted southerly than that of Côte d'Or, Chardonnay offers suppler wines with a lovely acidity. The Chardonnay of the Mâconnais reveals charming aromas, laced with floral and citrus notes.
WinemakingAlthough there are many schools of thought on the vinification in the Mâconnais, Henry Fessy trusts in the tradition. Believing in the benefits of a traditional wine-making process, we respect the key phases for a pleasant balance of flavors. With lovely and alluring aromas of white fruit, softly lifted by a pretty acidity, the wine will age perfectly. All the crus are exclusively hand-harvested. After a first pneumatic press step, we use stainless steel vats for both alcoholic and malo-lactic fermentation, then for ageing during 10 to 11 months. We undertake a complete malo-lactic fermentation to enhance the complexity of aromas and bring an appreciable freshness to the wine.

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