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Fuissé or Fumé?

I was updating my wine list at the restaurant I manage and I’m a little confused….. is Pouilly-Fuissé mostly Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay?

Pouilly-Fuissé is a wine region in Burgundy and it is named after the two villages in the district, called Pouilly and Fuissé.  It is in the Maconnais sub-region of Burgundy, which is north of Beaujolais, and must be made from Chardonnay.

Pouilly-Fumé is a wine region in the Central Loire that is centered around the town of Pouilly-Sur-Loire.  The word fumé (think of smoke) was used when …

naming this wine district, because the wines are said to have a smoky or gun flint aroma.  It is next to Sancerre, and must be made of Sauvignon Blanc.

You’ve just mixed them up – it is a VERY easy mistake to make, and it happens all the time.  When I was first learning about these regions and trying to keep them straight, I would try to associate:

  • Pouilly-Fumé with Fumé Blanc / Robert Mondavi = Sauvignon Blanc
  • Pouilly-Fuissé with the rock of Solutré – a very famous limestone capped rock in the Burgundy region = Chardonnay

The links here are to Wikipedia – which is a very fast way to look up wine information online, however, you have to use it with caution.  Some entries are very good and but some are lacking information or are only explaining part of the term.  It is always better to go to a printed encyclopedia or Oxford Companion to Wine (considered to be the “Bible”) which are more thoroughly fact-checked.