Compared to the wines of the Cote d'Or just to the north, Cote Chalonnaise wines are less refined, even a bit rustic, especially in the case of the whites. But prices in this region are also substantially lower, with even the best wines usually selling for less than simple village examples from the high-rent neighborhoods of the Cote d'Or.
The top villages of the appellation are Rully (mostly white wines), Mercurey (both red and white wines), Givry (mostly reds), Montagny (exclusively whites), plus Bouzeron, which has its own appellation for wines from the white grape Aligoté. Red wines from the Cote Chalonnaise are typically less fruity and suave than those from the Cote d'Or, but a new generation of producers is making wines that are smoother, more lush, and less tannic than their predecessors. Most red wines, especially those from Mercurey, benefit from at least a couple years of bottle aging, but the whites are generally best consumed by their third or fourth birthday.