Around Moulins (Allier ‘department’/region), the Saint-Pourçain wine area (600 ha) two-thirds of which is produced by the cooperative cellars: ‘Union des Vignerons’ or Growers’ Union (130 members). Worth noting for Saint-Pourçain: the use of the Tressaillier variety, only found in this area.
Around Roanne (Loire ‘department’/region), 180 hectares in the AOC area Côte-Roannaise.
On the basalt soils of the Forez hills around Montbrison (Loire), 200 ha in the Côtes-du-Forez region, 80% of which is made by the Forez winegrowers’ coop.
Around Clermont-Ferrand (Puy-de-Dôme) the Côtes-d'Auvergne region.
There are 5 distinct ‘cru’ sites:
- Boudes (reds)
- Chanturgue (the wine for coq-au-vin)
- Corent (rosé)
There are also Vins de pays (VDP) from Urfé, Bourbonnais and Puy-de-Dôme.
Wine show and competition: last weekend in February
Wine fair: last weekend of August
‘Ban des Vendanges’ (when growers are given the official go-ahead to pick): one Sunday in September (varies according to the vintage)
Launch of the ‘Ficelle’: first Saturday in December. The ‘Ficelle’ (literally piece of string or officer’s stripes) is the annual cuvee (particular blend) decorated by an artist.
Wine fair showing unfinished wines from vat: first Saturday in November in Saint-Haon-le-Châtel
Côte Roannaise springtime: April
Crowning of the ‘Chevaliers de l’ordre du Vieux Pressoir’ (Knights of the Old Press): Monday of ‘Pentecost’ (day after Whit Sunday)