This is part of a series called Wine Words, a glossary in the works that breaks down the barrier between those in the wine know and those who have no idea what the hell everyone's talking about. A new word posts once a week, and can cover anything and everything from a grape name or region, to a winemaking or tasting term. If you have a recommendation or request, please leave it in the comments.
Lieu-dit (n.) Place Designation
Lieu-dit [loo-dee] translates to "place called" and refers to a plot of land or vineyard within a larger appellation, most common, but not limited to, Burgundy for village level wines. It's not a term we hear too often, but it's a good one to know in case you run across it on a wine label. The thinking goes, that plots or vineyards can have distinctive characteristics, like topography, but might not be designated as premier cru or grand cru. Every vineyard has a name, which seems obvious, but most wines outside the cru vineyards are made with a blend of fruit from various plots within the larger village designated AOC, like Pommard, for example. If 100% of the fruit used in a village wine comes from a single vineyard or lieu-dit, then the producer can include the name of the vineyard on the label. It's sort of a way to add panache to a wine outside the upper hierarchy that deserves a nod.
Earlier this week I wrote about a lieu-dit in Muscadet, Domaine de la Pepière's 'Les Gras Moutons'.