The vineyard

It is said that Caesar, in 52 BC, during the siege of AVARIC, the present-day city of Bourges, was very fond of the wine produced by the local gauls : the Bituriges.

But, it is in early 1000, during the middle age, that Menetou-Salon vineyards were mentioned in writing in donation acts to the St Sulpice Abbaye.

Around 1450, Jacques Cœur, the Great Bursar of King Charles VII’s and a great wine lover, bought Menetou-Salon.

Early 19th century, the mildew fungus arrived from the USA and wreaked havoc the French vineyards : hopefully a cure was quickly found, the vines were protected with sulfer from this plague.

A few years later, another fungus was again destroying the vineyards: the downy mildew.

Pierre-Alexandre CLEMENT, around 1880’s, was one of the first wine-maker to protect the vineyards with Bordeaux mixture.

Unfortunately, an even more devastating plague broke out : the phyloxera, a microscopic insect. It arrived from America and wiped off the map the French vineyards in a few years’ time.

In 1891, Pierre-Alexandre Clement, always at the forefront, was one of the founding fathers of the Menetou-Salon wine-maker association. The main goal of this association was to find a cure against the Phyloxera.

By the early 1890s, a first cure was found against Phylloxera at last: hybrid vines made from a cross between French and American varieties. However, the quality of the wine produced from this hybrid vines was very poor and Pierre-Alexandre strongly believed that only the grafting technique could save his vineyard. The american stocks is insensible for phylloxera , and the French vines (fruit-bearing) offer great quality, So, he was one of the first to replant his vineyard using this technique : grafting French vines on american stocks.

That turned out to be the smartest strategy, more than a century later, his choice is still ours. His efforts were rewarded in 1959, with the completion of the appellation d’origine contrôlée (AOC) Menetou-Salon.

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