Auvergne, Capital of Volcanic Wines
The VINORA trade show will take place from January 30 to February 3, 2020 in Clermont-Ferrand. This initiative invites visitors to discover the wines that come from volcanic terroirs around the world. Puy-de-Dôme wines will be showcased alongside wines from Sicily, Greece, and Spain, and even from the hillsides of Napa Valley. Since 1991, Limagrain has been involved in the wine business in Auvergne with the Saint-Verny Winery Cooperative.
A terroir returning to center stage
The first traces of wine growing in Auvergne hearken back to 50 B.C. Auvergne wine has delighted kings from Henry IV to Louis XIV. In 1880, Auvergne was the 3rd largest wine region in France, behind Bordelais and Languedoc, with 42,000 hectares. It was the only region that had been spared of phylloxera to that point. Unfortunately, the terrible pestilent aphid imported from the United States decimated the local vineyards beginning in 1895. The reconstruction of Auvergne vineyards was then greatly hindered by World War I, the exodus from the countryside, and then World War II. The other regions affected by phylloxera before Auvergne were able to rebuild their vineyards more quickly. The renaissance in Auvergne only began at the end of the 1970s.
Limagrain in support of the chain
In 1991, Limagrain acquired the Cave Coopérative des Côteaux, located in Veyre-Monton (63), and named it the Saint-Verny Winery. From the start emphasis was placed on quality: plots were graded to produce the best blends, vines were replanted and new growing methods introduced. In November 2010, the winery obtained an AOC (Registered Denomination of Origin): AOC Côtes d'Auvergne. In 2016, the chain took the chance to increase the winery by 50 hectares in five years, bringing it to 400 hectares.
Grape harvesting in the Saint-Verny vines
In 2017, Limagrain created the joint venture Desprat Saint-Verny with Maison Desprat, a wine distributor since 1885. This shared company was the result of a sales and marketing partnership agreed to in December 2015. This agreement combines the know-how and assets of the two companies, with the strategic goal of strengthening the image and position of wines from the Center region of France and Auvergne both nationally and internationally.
D I D  Y O U  K N O W ?
limagrain The name Saint-Verny was chosen in recognition of the Middle Age martyr and patron saint of Auvergne winegrowers, Vernier d’Oberwesel.
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Desprat Saint-Verny an organization working to develop the chain
The Saint-Verny Cooperative brings together 62 wine-growers that provide grapes. Together, they develop close to 60% of the Côtes d'Auvergne wine production and distribute close to 10,000 hectoliters. They work using integrated farming, respecting the natural rhythm of each plot. Quality is the central concern of growers who ensure that the grapes' optimal maturity has been reached prior to harvest as well as the health condition of the grapes, while also ensuring that vines are properly protected.
Saint-Verny vines
At Pierre DESPRAT's initiative, communication focuses on volcanism with the baseline, « Auvergne in eruption ». Indeed, fewer than 10 wineries in the world share this unique feature of having vines on volcanoes and Côtes d'Auvergne are the only wines grown on the oldest and largest volcano in Europe. The typicity of these volcanic varieties is reflected in their minerality and freshness..
A line-up under the sign of volcanism
The Côtes d'Auvergne appellation includes five vintages: Châteaugay, Chanturgue, Madargue, Boudes, and Corent (this last one is for rosé wine) with three varieties: pinot noir, gamay, and chardonnay. Three line-ups are available today: Fusion, Eruption, and Magma. While 30% of production is currently exported to fifteen countries throughout the world, the goal is to reach 40% in the next five years. The mineral aspect and freshness of Côtes d'Auvergne clearly sets them apart from competing large appellations.
In 2018, Pierre Desprat and a group of passionate winegrowers launched the idea of bringing together, at the first International Professional Trade Show for Volcanic Wines, the volcanic terroirs of the world to showcase the ancestral vineyards in the region and make Auvergne the worldwide capital for volcanic wines.

This trade show will take place on January 30, 2020, in Vulcania, a unique site dedicated to volcanoes. For this event, John SZABO, worldwide specialist in volcanic wines, and Philippe FAURE-BRAC, the best sommelier in the world, will travel to Auvergne. It makes a lot of sense that many partners, including Limagrain, are supporting this initiative to highlight the Auvergne region. As a follow-up to this important meeting, a VINORA tasting space will be open to the public within the VINIDOME trade show in Clermont-Ferrand, from January 31 to February 3, 2020. / press release (in French)
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