WORLD-FAMOUS WINES !
- #3 REASON TO COME TO SAINT-EMILION ! -
Wine in Saint-Emilion is not new! It was the Romans who, as early as the 2nd century, took over the local terroir and planted the first vines. There is no doubt that wine already occupied an important place in Gallo-Roman times, although the Jurisdiction of Saint-Emilion did not speak of monoculture until the 19th century.
> AN EXCEPTIONAL "TERROIR": for world-famous wines
The exceptional side of the Saint-Emilion vineyard is explained by its "terroir".
Behind this word, it is the subtle alliance between 4 magical "ingredients" that appears:
This fragile alliance is transmitted from generation to generation within the families of passionate people who are committed to maintain these family traditions. This is why, for the past few years, Saint-Emilion winegrowers - in collaboration with the Saint-Emilion Wine Council or the other Wine Trade Unions - have been taking strong action to preserve their natural environment!
> A UNIQUE RANKING IN THE WORLD: renewed every ten years
As early as 1884, winegrowers got together to create the first winegrowers' union in France. The evolution of the wine world was then underway and a whole series of actions were to be undertaken over the following years, such as the birth of two Appellations d'Origine Contrôlée: Saint-Émilion and Saint-Émilion Grand Cru.
In 1955, a classification of the wines belonging to the AOC Saint-Émilion Grand Cru was instituted by the Saint-Émilion Wine Council. This is revised every 10 years and encourages winegrowers to move ever closer to excellence. Its main objective is to guarantee the origin, quality and authenticity of Saint-Emilion wines.
The latest classification drawn up by the INAO (Institut National de l'Origine et de la Qualité) and the Ministry of Agriculture has distinguished the following 3 levels of quality :
> THE JURADE: an ancestral tradition during modern times
While Aquitaine has been under English rule since 1152, the charter signed by John Lanckland - King of England - in 1199 gave administrative, judicial and financial autonomy to Saint-Emilion, and then to his Jurisdiction with the creation of the Jurade - made up of notables and magistrates. In exchange for its new rights, England was able to enjoy the "privilege of the Saint-Emilion Wines".
The authority of the Jurade continued in this form until the French Revolution in 1789.
In 1948, a few winegrowers resurrected the brotherhood, which then became the ambassador of Saint-Emilion wines throughout the world, with the ambition of guaranteeing the authenticity and quality of its wines.
Its members put on their old traditional red robes twice a year: for the Spring Festival in June and for the Ban des Vendanges in September. During these events, the members of the Jurade parade through the city, dressed in their traditional red dress, recalling the almighty Jurade of past centuries and induct new Jurats.
Warning: alcohol abuse is dangerous for your health. Consume with moderation.