What is Melon de Bourgogne?  

Melon de Bourgogne is a neutral-flavoured white grape variety from France, today almost exclusively linked with the seafood-friendly wines of Muscadet. 

What does Melon de Bourgogne taste like? 

Melon de Bourgogne is not an inherently full-flavoured grape, but characterised by a mildly saline, stony flavour that is light, dry and refreshing. More ambitious examples display the words “sur lie” on their label, indicating that the wine has been aged on its lees (the dead yeast cells left over from fermentation) to impart extra flavour and mouthfeel. 

Where is Melon de Bourgogne from? 

Melon de Bourgogne is part of the sprawling Pinot family that originated in Burgundy. Exiled from its homeland in favour of more expressive varieties during the 16th century, Melon de Bourgogne found a new home in the Loire Valley. Here the variety proved well-adapted to cold weather, while an ability to produce large volumes of neutral-tasting wine made it popular with Dutch traders seeking a distillation base. As a result, Muscadet became widely planted in the Pays Nantais on the Atlantic coast. 

Where does Melon de Bourgogne grow? 

Melon de Bourgogne is the Loire’s most planted grape variety, but its presence is restricted to the far western end of the Loire in the Atlantic climate of the Pays Nantais. A small amount of Melon de Bourgogne can still be found at the northern end of its native Burgundy around the village of Vézelay. Internationally the main home for Melon de Bourgogne is a low-key presence in Oregon, where it tends to make a rounder, fruiter style of wine. Melon de Bourgogne is also planted by a single Washington State producer on the appropriately cool, coastal Bainbridge Island near Seattle.    

Famous Melon de Bourgogne regions: 

Muscadet-Sèvre et Main, Loire, France

Anything else?  

Much of the Melon de Bourgogne in the USA was originally planted in the belief that it was Pinot Blanc.  

Our selection of great Melon de Bourgogne 

Guilbaud Frères, Muscadet-Sèvre et Main

- Domaine Luneau-Papin, Muscadet-Sèvre et Main

- Domaine des Herbauges, Muscadet-Sèvre et Main

- Eyrie Vineyards, Willamette Valley, Oregon

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