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St-Véran


Wine By Region Right Europe Right France Right Burgundy Right Mâconnais Right St-Véran


St-Véran is the second most important Mâconnais appellation for white Chardonnay. The wines come from the villages of Davayé (1.61 square miles), Prissé (4.19 square miles), Chânes (0.86 square miles), Chasselas (0.99 square miles), Leynes (1.86 square miles), St-Amour-Bellevue (1.97 square miles), part of Solutré-Pouilly, and the titular St-Vérand (0.95 square miles). Viable winemaking production makes up 1,590 acres and millions of bottles, only slightly less than Pouilly-Fuissé itself in most years.

These are the most southerly villages of the Mâconnais and used to be classified with white Beaujolais. Legislative crackdowns and changes resulted in the appellation's move to Mâconnais. Although the varietal is still Chardonnay, it takes on a much different character in St-Véran, usually fresh and crisp with little of the smoky complexity attributed to the best Pouilly-Fuissé appellation. Wine here is rarely of as high a quality but can be even less expensive, and even some of the top cuvées are not expensive at all. The appellation, then, must be considered second only to Pouilly-Fuissé is the Mâconnais and thus one of the hottest affordable white Burgundy appellations.

History

Wine from this appellation used to come from the village of St-Véran. The village's name changed, but the appellation's name remained the same, and for a while it was the well-known mainstay of white Beaujolais. When Gamay became Beaujolais' sole grape, St-Véran was moved into the Mâconnais, and given recognition as an AOC in 1971. Since then, it has rapidly come onto the map as one of the most affordable places for white Burgundy.

Climate and Viticulture

There are very few high-altitude vineyards on the hills above the appellation's villages, so there isn't too much variance in soil or sun exposure. Chalky, light clay bases are, in the best spots, firmly supported by a base of limestone. But on the flatter parts rather than the limestone hills common in the Mâconnais, inferior soil conditions are present and thus inferior wine is made.

Grape Varieties

Major Producers

Chardonnay in St-Véran almost always costs a reasonable price, under $50, and often is bargain-level at under $30 or even under $25. Quality is usually fairly high, despite the fact that there are no Premiers Crus. Eight producers stand out.

Subregions

There are no Grands Crus or Premiers Crus in St-Véran, and as a result producers are more important; in this way, these appellations are closer to non-Burgundy appellations where the vineyard is of secondary importance. One shared lieu-dit that seems common is the En Creches, with great cuvées from Barraud and both Saumaizes filling out the roster.