THE STORY OF THE SAINT-POURCAIN VINEYARDS

Even if the legend talks of a Phoenicians origin, the discovery of ancient viticultural tools and instruments in Vichy demonstrates that vine growing was already practiced by the Romans as early as 50 BC

Later on, a so-called ‘Portianus’, born in the middle of the 5 th century and who later became priest at the Abbey of Mirande, (founded in 286 AD by Saint Austremoine, the first Bishop of Clermont), gave his name to the abbey, town and surrounding vineyard area. But centuries of Barbarian invasions and numerous feudal disputes were to prevent the growth of the vineyards, which by then are only tended around the monasteries of Souvigny, Chantelle and Saint-Pourcain.

These wines are ‘exported’ along the Allier river and then the Loire river, all the way up to Ile de France. They were very well received at the French royal court and by the French Popes during the years of the Avignon Papacy. Indeed, they would not celebrate without the wines from this region.

The accession to the French throne by the Bourbon family, whose family duchy (the Bourbonnais) included the Saint Pourçain vineyard area, gave these wines a predominant position at the French court.

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