At the southernmost tip of Burgundy, the Grand Site de Solutré Pouilly Vergisson is renowned for its remarkable heritage and landscapes. Its unique setting is marked by two superb escarpments at the foot of which lie a vast vineyard with famous vintages. A major hunting ground in the Palaeolithic era, it is also one of the world's leading archaeological sites. Finally, the Solutré Pouilly Vergisson Grand Site is also precious for the sensitive environments it shelters, now protected by a Natura 2000 classification.
Petrified ships in a sea of vines
Nicknamed the garden of the Mâconnais, the Solutré Pouilly Vergisson Grand Site covers 3,000 hectares of alternating deep valleys and steep cliffs. As you approach the site, your gaze is drawn first to the majestic rocks of Solutré and Vergisson, then to the aptly-named Mont Pouilly and its rounded curves, before wandering through the surrounding vineyards dotted with pretty villages built of local stone. From the top of these rocky promontories, you can admire a 360° panorama, with the Rhône, Ain and Mâconnais plains forming the backdrop. As soon as you enter the Grand Site, you'll be immediately caught up in the magic of the place.
The presence of bones has always been known to the inhabitants of Solutré, but it was Adrien Arcelin, an erudite archaeologist from the Mâconnais region, who in the mid-19th century discovered what would become one of the most precious prehistoric sites in Europe.
A major archaeological site, it has been inhabited by man for over 57,000 years. The excavations that were carried out gave rise to the famous legend of the hunt for the abyss. Although the story has since been disproved, it is still very much alive in people's minds and has contributed to their fascination with the site.
In this grandiose landscape of the southern Mâconnais, vine-growing is omnipresent, shaping these lands for more than two millennia. The vines tumble down the slopes, flourishing on marl-limestone soils of Jurassic age. This excellent terroir, planted mainly with Chardonnay, has given rise to the famous Pouilly-Fuissé, classified as a Premier Cru since 2020, as well as the no less famous Cru Saint-Véran.
These calcareous grasslands can be found on the slopes of the two rocks, Solutré and Vergisson, on Mont Pouilly, the Bois de Fée in Leynes and the Monsard in Bussières.
Walking is the best way to discover the Solutré Pouilly Vergisson Grand Site de France. It allows you to discover the site from different angles, while taking care not to damage it.
The slender shape of the Solutré rock catches the eye of climbers. They'll love climbing this limestone escarpment, which is a rare pinkish colour. It's an ideal place to discover rock climbing. The rock is solid and safe, allowing you to move forward in complete serenity and climb some pretty easy routes in the lead.
The Roche de Vergisson is another spot that is becoming increasingly popular with climbing enthusiasts. It offers more routes - about 120 - and longer ones. Beginners will easily find their holds in the dihedral passages and cracks of its fractured cliff. For the more experienced, more difficult routes have been equipped. Please note that some routes may be closed in spring to avoid disturbing the nesting of kestrels!