Pouilly-Fuissé, a great Chardonnay from the Beaujolais, is cultivated on the slopes beneath the rock of Solutré.
The rock of Solutré is sitting above the surrounding landscape like a medieval castle. You might remember the former French president Mitterrand on his yearly walk to the top on Pentecost. Commenting on the world and on politics, friends, family -and hundreds of journalists – following suit.
The rock has given a stone age culture, the Solutrean, its name. The typical silex blades in the form of bay leaves were first found in an excavation at the foot of the rock. Probably, the stone age people used the rock as a vantage point when they were hunting migrating animals: many bones of wild horses from that time were also found in the excavation.
Much longer ago, around 160 million years, the Beaujolais was a warm sea and the rock of Solutré a coral reef. When the Alps arose, the Beaujolais landscape folded, and the coral reefs ended up next to other, much softer sediments. These have long been eroded, but the hard fossil coral reef is still towering above the landscape.
What does all of this have to do with Pouilly-Fuissé? The fossil coral reef substrate provides the typical taste of that exceptional wine! The calcareous soil creates a warm microclimate on the slopes: many plants from typically southern habitats can be found there. The rock of Solutré is also a bit drier than the surrounding Beaujolais. And of course, the calcareous sediments grant a fresh mineral touch to the fruity Chardonnay.
This week, Paradisi welcomes Domaine de Bel Air’s Pouilly-Fuissé! Aromas of lemon and white flowers slowly give in to honey and quinces. Full-bodied, rich and smooth, with a delicate aftertaste of candied oranges.