The Vineyard of Saint-Pourçain sur Sioule
History of the vineyard
“Le Saint Pourçain, que l’on met en son sein… Pour sain”
The vineyard of Saint-Pourçain is without a doubt one of the oldest in France. Nowadays, it is broadly admitted that its Phoenician origins are a legend. Whilst its Roman Gaul roots are debated, it is verified that the Saint-Pourçain wine was produced and appreciated in the entirety of France from the Middle-Ages. The Benedictine monks in the town played a major part in the vineyard’s expansion from the 13th century onwards. The wines of Saint-Pourçain are reported to have been present on the most prestigious tables of their time. They were served during king Saint Louis’s feasts in Saumur in 1241, at the coronation of Philippe de Valois in 1328 and the pope Clément VI insists the wines are to him in Avignon…
In the 16th century, the wine of Saint Pourçain is left behind by the royal court and it is only from the reign of Henri IV that it regains its status as a royal beverage. Since its flourishing era and until the 18th century, the wine of Saint Pourçain is shipped to the Paris area by river route, an ideal and stable way to transport the wine without any competition from the southern wines since the roads were in very poor condition at that time.
One hundred years later, it is precisely the improvement of the road network and the development of the railway that starts the commercial decline of the wine of Saint Pourçain. For the production the final blow comes between 1893 and 1896 with the phylloxera, named by locals the « devastating pest ». The pest amputates the vineyard of its best parcels and leads numerous winemakers close to bankruptcy.
The slow reconstruction of the vineyard stretches from the end of the 19th century until the 1980s and 1990s. A first victory is registered in 1951 with the obtention of the Label VDQS (Superior Quality Wines). The next victory arrived in 28th of May 2009 when Saint Pourçain acquired the AOC (Controlled Designation of Origin).
carte du vignoble (à venir)
9:00 – 12:00
14:00 – 18:00
Jean TEISSEDRE, Sophie et Jérôme Roux
Tél : 04 70 47 09 15 / 06 21 04 37 45