Cotes d'Auvergne wine appellation

The Côtes d'Auvergne is a small VDQS wine appellation that lies in central France just to the west of the Beaujolais appellation and covering some 410 hectares only. Although it only covers a small area of plantings, these are spread over dozens of communes around the sprawling city of Clermont-Ferrand, best known as the home of Michelin tyres. It was established in May 1951. Some maintain that it is a part of the greater Loire area.

The area is quite picturesque and the drive up the A75 to reach this area is one of our favourites. It is within this region that you find the quaint medieval town of Châteldon which is home to the famous mineral water.

White wines are made from Chardonnay and red and rose wines from Gamay supported by Pinot Noir. Gamay must comprise at least 50% of the blend. Yields are restricted to 45 hectolitres per hectare.

The are five crus (small parcels of superior terroir that lead to the possibility of better wine) where lower yields are demanded. These are Boudes (which lies in the southernmost part of the appellation), Corent, Chanturgue, Châteaugay and Madargues (the northernmost) and it is permitted to display these names on the wine label.

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This book from importer Kermit Lynch is compulsive reading for anyone interested in the wines of France!

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