Volnay wine appellation in the Burgundy region of France

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Volnay wine appellation
Wine appellation

Reviewed By

Sue Dyson and Roger McShane
Country: France

Driving south-west out of the city of Beaune, the epicentre of Burgundy, you first reach the pleasant village of Pommard where Fanny Sabre runs her tiny chambre d'hote c. Continue along D973 and you drive through Volnay and then 3.5 kilometres further on, after turning on to the D23 you reach the famed village of Meursault where some of the best white wines in Burgundy are produced.
We mention this because these three villages are very close to each other, yet Pommard and Volnay are best known for their red wines and Meursault is famous for whites.
Volnay actually sits in a valley formed by a Jurassic fault line and the soils are mainly limestone with some clay depending on which vineyard you walk through. The wines vary quite markedly from one vineyard to the next because the limestone base is sometimes rock hard and the roots of the vines are forced to stay close to the surface, in other vineyards the limestone base is shattered allowing the roots to snake deep, down to water sources and in others the limestone is rubble allowing easy access to water.
Volnay has been an official appellation since September 1937 and is reserved for red wines only since the locals know that the soils and the microclimate is perfect for the production of reds. In keeping with Burgundian tradition, the reds can contain up to 15% of white wine from Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc or Pinot Gris.
The grapes must have been grown in the commune of Volnay or in one small section of the neighbouring commune of Meursault (the climat of Santenots).
Volnay is a highly regarded appellation for the production of elegant, light, ethereal red wines that have a deceptive ability to age well but that also drink very well when they are young.
Fanny Sabre’s 2009 Volnay is a perfect example of the Volnay style. It is light, elegant, charming and has great persistence on the palate.

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