Coming from varying terrain, aspects, and elevation, the white wines of Mâcon-la-Roche-Vineuse present a range of profiles. While they are all accessible and instantly appealing, they can be very complex with their sustained yellow gold color. Aromas of vanilla and tropical fruit like mango indicate good maturity, underscored by an overall nose that is intense and fairly remarkable. After a forthright attack, one can appreciate a slightly honeyed length, but one without residual sugars that results in great fleshiness on the finish.
The reds are a sustained garnet color with hints of violet. They express fragrances of cherry jam and orchard stone fruit. Ageing in oak also brings a slightly toasted patina, making them more serious than joyful. Distinct but rounded tannins in the mouth indicate their keeping potential of two or three years.
An additional geographical denomination that is part of the Régionale Mâcon appellation in the Mâconnais.
According to the 2005 specifications rules, the name Mâcon-La Roche-Vineuse refers to white, red, and rosé wines grown within a defined area in the villages of Chevagny-lès-Chevrières, Hurigny, and La Roche-Vineuse.
At the southern end of this great valley, the vines of La Roche-Vineuse begin after those of Mâcon-Verzé. They then abruptly change direction soon after, heading southeast where the stream called Le Fil cuts through the mountains of the Mâconnais, and where they adjoin the first vineyards of the Saint-Véran, on the edge of the village of Prissé. To the east, the vineyards in Hurigny are scattered over the limestone hills, which are planted with Mâcon-Charnay-les-Mâcon to the south.
Renamed after the Revolution in 1793, the new name of “La Roche-Vineuse” was seen as preferable to “Saint-Saturnin”. Other than its reputation for cut stone from the ancient quarries of La Lie, this hilltop village of Saint-Saturnin can lay claim to being one of the oldest written references to the noble grape varieties of Bourgogne. “There is a lot of rye, white wine, Gamay […] and Chardonnay of the best but in small quantities,” reported the elected officials of the Mâconnais in charge of the redefinition of the royal tax base in 1685. Like a clear declaration of its strengths and vocation, the municipality then definitively adopted the name “La Roche-Vineuse” in 1908, by ministerial decree.
There are vines at between 260 and 350 meters above sea level in the large valley at La Greffière and Les Goutalles, while others grow on the slopes of La Rochette (425 meters) and the mountain of Montceau (334 meters). After the vines facing due east and due west, there are south-southwest facing vineyards open to the southerly winds. In Chevagny-les-Chevrières and Hurigny, more vines can be found either side of Mont Rouge (377 meters above sea level) at between 250 and 390 meters above sea level, at Les Charmes and Les Rousseaux.
Carbonate terrain from the Bajocian fossil bed (dating back 170 million years) with crinoidal limestone and limestone with polypier debris, with patches of iron that is good for growing the Gamay grape can be found symmetrically, on the western slopes of La Roche-Vineuse and Hurigny. On the steep south-facing slopes of Saint-Sorlin, the marl soil, which is visible in Chevagny, varies from west to east. The slopes of La Roche-Vineuse and Hurigny offer a combination of white-colored heavy marl and fine limestone from the Upper Jurassic, dating back 140-160 million years, with soils of varying depths on the upper parts of Somméré.