AOC Vézelay, the new Burgundy white wine appellation

Tuesday November 14 2017 by Vitisphere

- Photo credit : Nathalia Guimaraes

Burgundy now boasts 44 village appellations, following the addition of the new Vézelay appellation produced in southern Yonne. The latest arrival was officially recognised on November 9, 2017 after production specifications were approved through publication in the Official Journal. “We are very satisfied. This is an achievement and quite simply recognition by Inao of the specific identity of our wines”, said Mathieu Woilliez, chairman of the producers’ organisation.

It is also a relief as publication of the decree came just days before harvest returns have to be completed for the 2017 crop. The timing means that the twenty or so wine growers and the co-operative winery will be able to market their wines under the new appellation starting with this vintage.

Small volumes

The first wines will be released in spring 2018, although firms are planning to present young wines produced this year during Burgundy’s major wine festival at the Beaune convention centre next Friday.

Previously classified as a regional Bourgogne- Vézelay appellation, the new designation will be reserved for white wines made from Chardonnay with a maximum yield of 55hl/ha.  Red wines will continue to be labelled AOC Bourgogne.

With a vineyard area of approximately 100 ha and average yields of 50 hl/ha, production should be in the range of 5,000 hectolitres. Initially, the wines will therefore be produced “on a boutique scale” but there are talks of growth: “Over the past few years, vineyards have gradually been replanted and the demarcated area covers 260 ha which leaves plenty of room for growth. Production could potentially be increased more than two-fold”, explained Woilliez. “The appellation may also attract newcomers”. 

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