Centre-Loire > Chateaumeillant
AOP/AOC by decree dated 23rd November 2010, amended 28th November 2013
Location: This is the most central vineyard in France, and extends over two departments, Indre and Cher. The production area covers the communes of Châteaumeillant, Reigny, Saint Maur and Vesdun in Cher, and Champillet, Feusilles, Nérot and Urciers in Indre.
- Reds: 60 ha
- Rosés: 20 ha
History: The origin of the vineyards can be traced back to the 5th century. The Bituriges tribe called the town Meylan, and grew Biturica vines; on Peutinger’s map it was Mediolanum, a Gallo-Roman road hub and something of a warehouse for amphorae. At the end of the 17th century, a grape known as plant lyonnais was introduced to the area, and by 1830, Gamay Beaujolais was here to stay. Châteaumeillant was granted AOC status in 2010.
Soil: Sub-soils consist of a metamorphosed layer of sandstone, mica schist and gneiss with a top layer of siliceous sand and sandy clay soils.
Climate: The climate here is temperate with a continental influence. Average temperatures range from -1° in winter to 24° in summer; the wide variations can be explained by a gradual reduction in oceanic influence. There is a risk of spring frosts (1991) but these tend to be rare. Due to the influence of the Massif Central, Châteaumeillant has a rather cool climate; average annual rainfall is 756 mm, spread evenly throughout the year.
Average annual production over the last 5 years: 2,400 hl.
- Reds: 1,700 hl
- Rosés: 700 hl
Base Yields: 55 hl/ha for reds and rosés.
- Red: Gamay Noir à jus blanc and Pinot Noir to a maximum of 40%.
- Rosé: Gamay Noir à jus blanc, Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris to a maximum of 40%.
Minimum planting density: 6,000 vines per hectare.
Pruning: Single and double guyot or cordon de royat.
Ripe fruit aromas and a rounded palate, finishing on a fine peppery note. Serve at 13°-14°C.
Food/wine pairings: Serve Châteaumeillant reds with grilled red meats, cheese platters and roasted medallions of veal in coffee.
Aging potential: 2-3 years
The pale rosés, described as “gris” (grey), are uniquely fresh and fruity. White fruits and peach meld into sweeter notes. Fresh and lively on the palate, making excellent summer wines. Serve at 8 – 12°C.
Food/wine pairings: Serve rosés as an aperitif or with fine charcuterie; or try with desserts: fruit salad, or pineapple and pomelo crumble with ginger.
Aging potential: 2 years.