Monthélie is a diminutive appellation of just 450 acres wedged between Volnay and Meursault. The picturesque village of the same name has fewer than 300 inhabitants, all of whom are involved in making wine. The name Monthélie is thought to come from the Celtic phrase “mont-oloye,” meaning an elevation in the road. Both red and white wines can be produced within the Monthélie appellation, though in practice about 85% is Pinot Noir and 15% is Chardonnay. There are no Grands Crus but the appellation has 15 Premiers Crus, in whole or part. Four are relatively new, having been added in 2006. Until 1937, when Monthélie became an official appellation, the wine produced was sold as either Volnay or Pommard. Two of the best-known Premier Cru vineyards are Les Champs Fulliot and Sur la Velle. Robert M. Parker Jr. has written that the best producers of Monthélie reds make “aromatic, graceful, elegant wines.”
This red wine is relatively light and can pair with a wide variety of foods. The grape prefers cooler climates and the wine is most often associated with Burgundy, Champagne and the U.S. west coast. Regional differences make it nearly as fickle as it is flexible.