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Melon de Bourgogne

Melon de Bourgogne is rarely seen on the label of a wine bottle. The grape is used in the Loire Valley to produce the wines of Muscadet. The grape generally produces a high acidity white wine, perfect for pairing with the shellfish and seafood dishes produced in the western Loire region of France. The fruit is very green appley, some citrus notes, and floral, herbal, saline aromatics are often present. The Loire Valley is a relatively cool climate region, and one tool is employed there frequently in order to enrich the body of these whites. The wines are sur-lie aged, lees are the yeast sediments and they are left in the wine, frequently stirred around in the juice. The process breaks down the particles, creating a smooth texture and weighty body that pleasantly balances the acidity in the juice. The lees also impart an aromatic reminiscent of baked bread. These wines, from a relatively cool climate, can be anywhere from light to full bodied.

In recent years, we have seen the grape produced in California, and I have seen Melon de Bourgogne, in vineyards, in Washington (not in a bottle yet, though)

In California, for several years, many producers erroneously identified the grape as Pinot Blanc, but that has been remedied. In the California, the wines tend to show a bit fuller body, with or without sur-lie contact, and the fruit flavors and aromas are a bit more prominent. As mentioned, I have seen it in Washington vineyards, but I have yet to find a producer bottling it as an independent varietal wine. Let me know if you find one and I will get us a bottle.

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