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May 30, 2022 View:

22 new First Growths in Burgundy, France

After ten long years of anticipation, Pouilly-Fuiss finally has 22 first-class gardens! The hope at the end of the tunnel finally became a reality last week (September 3, 2020, let's Mark this happy day). And it took ten years for this dream to come true!

Image courtesy of: Mei"s Terroir Tour

In 2010, Pouilly-Fuiss, the top sub-appellation of the Macon region in southern Burgundy, filed a petition to upgrade the best lieux-dits to First Growth status, and 10 years later, the INAO, the French national appellation of origin (founded in 1935), finally granted 1er Cru status to 22 lieux-dits in the appellation. These 22 First Growths are located in 4 villages: Chaintr, Fuiss, Solutr-Pouilly and Vergisson, covering 194 hectares of land, or 24% of the total area of Pouilly-Fuiss.

Remarkably, the appellation restriction clause (Le Cahier des Charges) for Pouilly-Fuiss 1er Cru expressly excludes the use of chemical herbicides. This is unique among all French AOCs (including Grand Cru).

Starting with the 2020 vintage, 22 first growths will appear on the Pouilly-Fuiss label!

I am really happy for this long underrated region! In particular, the villages of Solutr and Vergisson, known for their minerality, have always been my favorites, and the masterpieces of the excellent Pouilly-Fuiss winegrowers have beaten the much more expensive Côtes de Bern in blind tastings and have excellent ageing potential.

This good news reminds us that the Marsannay region, which was once in the same situation, has been applying for a long time to upgrade its first growths. Let's hope that Marsannay's prestigious top sites, such as Clos du Roy and Longeroies, will be granted First Growth status in the near future.