Givry is a small village in the Cote Chalonnaise sub-region of Burgundy. It is one of five Chalonnaise communal titles and produces mainly red wines, from the Pinot Noir grape variety. The appellation's relatively rare white wines are made from Chardonnay and account for approximately 10% of the total output.
(© BIVB / Armellephotographe.com)
Givry (along with Mercurey) was once the epicenter of Chalonnaise wine production and is famous for being the source of the French King Henri IV's preferred wines in the 16th century. These days, its wines not as highly regarded as those from the Cote d'Or (i.e. Cote de Nuits and Cote de Beaune). However, some Givry producers offer wines that are similar in style, yet also match the price-to-quality ratio of the Maconnais to the south.
Located at the center of the Cote Chalonnaise, the Givry appellation (created in 1946) covers not only Givry itself, but also the communes of Dracy-le-Fort and Jambles. The total vineyard surface is around 740 acres (300ha), mostly planted in Pinot Noir. The vines grow in a variety of soils, including sandstone and clay-limestone. The best vineyards sit on the south-facing, limestone-rich slopes immediately west of Givry village. The altitude here varies from about 500 to 1000ft (150–300m), with the higher vineyards sharing their land with the quarries that dot the local hillsides, conveniently exposing the soil structure.
The climate around Givry is considered to be of continental type, with long, warm summers and relatively dry fall months creating an excellent growing season and harvest. Although the area is supposedly warmer than more northerly communes, the local topography and slightly increased altitude moderate the temperatures, allowing the wines to retain a certain freshness.
A significant proportion of Givry's vineyards are designated as 'Premier Cru'. These are predominantly located within the areas of finest terroir, namely on the south- and south-east-facing slopes above Givry village. There are around 30 named Givry Premier Cru vineyard sites and their names may be appended to that of the appellation on labels. As is the case in nearby Montagny, albeit to a lesser extent, this relatively large number of Premier Cru sites means that the significance of individual names is somewhat diluted.