Les Volcans Chardonnay
Given the new interest in ‘Volcanic Wine’ it should be noted that Auverge is the largest volcanic area in Europe. Chardonnay is the only permitted white in the appellation which is classified as within the Loire, though geographically is quite separate from it.
The vineyards are located on the eastern edge of a chain of dormant volcanoes stretching, intermittently, 80km and sharing the same latitude as Bordeaux and northern Rhone, although at a higher altitude. These volcanoes form a line of peaks that not only influence the soil but provide a barrier to the westerly weather.
Light lime on the nose develop into a more forward fruit salad character – the palate gives a little creaminess with a full finish backed by a crisp, mineral edge.
About the Producer
Cave Saint-Verny is the sole co-operative in the Puy-de-Dôme. Originally called Cave des Coteaux it was founded in 1950 and suffered a chequered history, coming close to being dissolved in the late 1980s. The Cave was rescued in 1991 by a 15 million Francs investment from Limagrain, Europe’s largest agricultural seed specialist.
A new cellar with 37 temperature controlled, stainless steel tanks replaced the concrete vessels in 1993, and was the first in the region to install a de-stemming machine.
Resident oenologist Olivier Mignard has been at the Cave Saint-Verny since 1999 and has instigated a rigorous assessment of all the vineyards under his control – which now total 200ha and 115 adhérents meaning an average holding of less than two hectares per member.