The golden age for Givry wines coincided with the Duchy of Burgundy, a time when the Côte Chalonnaise was deemed to be on a par with its cousin in Beaune. We know, for example, that Philippe le Hardi gave wine from Givry to his father-in-law, the Count of Flanders. At the end of the 14th century, a great deal of wine was consumed and bought in Givry and Jambles, particularly through local courtiers. Sales prices indicate that the quality of Givry was often comparable to the wines of Beaune and the vogue for Givry did not definitively end with the annexation of the Duchy of Burgundy by the French throne; under the Bourbon kings, Givry continued to stain the princely tablecloths crimson. The Givry tradition was so well established that, when passing through Givry on the eve of the French Revolution, historian Courtépée related Henry IV’s penchant for the wine. The historian’s judgement was unequivocal; he claimed that Givry was the best wine in the Côte region and he named it the “Volnay du Chalonnais”. It was around this time that négociant Vivant Millard’s double-vaulted cellars were built in the province’s second winemaking capital; this innovation allowed for up to 2000 bottles of wine to be stored. After the glory years, the smallest appellation of the Côte Chalonnaise became somewhat lost to obscurity. But in the past few years, several talented wine producers have begun planting quality vines again and improving their winemaking methods. The Chardonnay varietal gives a small quantity of frank, floral and lively white wines, with a hint of spice on the finish. Lightly golden in colour, they are embodiments of finesse and subtlety and improve over time, best for drinking after around two to four years in the cellar.
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