Côte Chalonnaise: The Golden Age for Givry wines

Givry vineyard iDealwine

After a glorious past, one of the smallest Côte Chalonnaise appellations seemed to have fallen into obscurity. That is before the talent and work of several winemakers in the AOC who have been planting high quality vines and constantly improving their viticultural techniques came to light. Here, we are putting the Givry appellation, its history and its emblematic domains under the spotlight.

Givry wines: AOC and style

The Givry appellation extends over nearly 300 hectares: 250 are planted with black grapes and 55 with white. A little more than half are classed as premier crus, spread out over more than 20 locations and planted with Pinot Noir and Chardonnay on hills facing south or east.

The red wines contain quite a bit of tannins when young and are jam packed with black fruit (blackberry) and red fruit (strawberry) flavours, sometimes with notes of violets and cloves. The white wines are candid, floral and lively with a slightly spiced finish. Lightly golden, they develop well resting two to four years ageing, while the greatest vintages (and wines from the greatest producers) can spend several decades in the cellar.

History: The Golden Age of Givry

Since the 14th century at least, Givry wines have been highly successful. The politics of the Dukes of Burgundy allowed it to extent its audience. The Côte Chalonnaise region enjoyed great favour at this time and was even considered in higher regard than Beaune. For example, we know that in 1371,  Phillp the Bold, the Duke of Burgundy, savoured Givry wines along with his father-in-law, the Count of Flanders. At the end of the 14th century, Givry was being widely exported. The papal court in Avignon regularly consumed wines from Givry and Jambles from the middle of that century and had multiplied its purchases of them, which were mainly bought from local merchants. The price of the bottles confirms that Givry’s wines were often viewed to be higher than those from Beaune.

The popularity of Givry wines did not end when the Duchy of Burgundy became part of the French Crown. Under the reigns of the Bourbon Kings, Givry continued to feature on royal tables. The tradition was so strongly set in place that it remained there right up until the French Revolution, according to the French historian Courtépée, with King Henri IV making Givry his regular wine. At that time, the spectacular, double-vaulted cellars that could hold 2000 bottles of wine were constructed by the wine merchant Vivant Millard in Givry, the secondary viticultural capital in the region.

The emblematic Givry domains

Among the many great Givry producers, here our three of our favourites:

  • Domaine Joblot : At the head of this star domain, Juliette Joblot vinifies no fewer than 8 cuvées from village and premier crus appellations. A high vine density (11,000 plants per hectare), low yields and natural years are the key words here.
  • Domaine François Lumpp : Having started working in vineyards in 1977, François Lumpp created his own domain in 1991. Today, it extends over 10.5 hectares.
  • Domaine de La Ferté : This property belonging to the Devillard family (who also own Château de Chamirey and Domaine des Perdrix) only covers 4.5 hectares, which includes one premier cru (La Servoisine).

Shop all Givry wines for sale on iDealwine

Browse other Côte Chalonnaise wines: Bouzeron, Rully, Mercurey, Montagny

Shop all Burgundy wines for sale