Guide to the Loire regions

Vin de Pays d'Urfé

The Vin de Pays of the Loire département
 


Above Saint-Jean Saint-Maurice

Facts and figures – The appellation at a glance

Established: 4th September 1979
Limit of Appellation: Département of Loire (42)
Vineyards in Production: 10 hectares
Declared production: 1,300 hectolitres
Communes: 76
Wine Styles: red, rosé and white
Permitted Varieties:
Red and Rosé:
Cépage principaux - Gamay, Pinot Noir, Syrah (minimum 70%)
Cépage secondaires – Gamay Teinturier de Bouze, Gamay Teinturier de Chaudenay
White: Chardonnay, Viognier, Roussanne, Aligoté, Pinot Gris, Marsanne, Gamay
Maximum Yield: rendement de base: 80hl/ha


Overview
Whilst many wine regions take the name of the département for their Vin de Pays, the département of Loire has adopted the name of d’Urfé for its own (there being too much potential to cause confusion to do otherwise). The adopted name comes from the Château de la Bastie-d’Urfé, whose famous resident, Honoré d’Urfé (1557 – 1625) was the author of the romantic novel, L’Astrée which, apparently, helped to set a new literary trend in 17th Century France. The Château is situated close to the town of Boën, on the fringes of the Côtes du Forez appellation.

The region of production is essentially within the two appellations of Côte Roannaise and the Côtes du Forez although it theoretically covers the département of the Loire as a whole, with a total of 76 communes entitled to claim Vin de Pays d’Urfé status. These villages stretch from the canton of Charlieu, some 12 kilometres north of Roanne’s right bank (where the soils are primarily limestone and clay) and run down the plain and onto the same slopes that are responsible for the appellation wines. There is then a gap until one reaches the vineyards around Boën further south where plantings include a couple of communes which fall within the Côtes du Forez appellation. When the Roannaise co-operative closed down in the early 1980s, several of its coopérateurs elected to become members of the Cave des Vignerons Foréziens in Boën, although today there is only one grower, in Pouilly-les-Nonains on the Roanne plain, who still delivers his crop here.

Permitted communes

Canton de Charlieu:
Vougy
Nandax
Boyer
Jarnosse
Villers
Saint-Hillaire-sous-Charlieu
Chambon
Mars
Maizilly
Saint-Nizier-sous-Charlieu
Saint-Denis-de-Cabanne
Charlieu
Pouilly-sous-Charlieu
Saint-Pierre-la-Noaille
 

Canton de la Pacaudière:
Saint-Bonnet-les-Quarts
Le Crozet
Chagny
Saint-Forgeux-Lespinasse
La Pacaudière

Canton de Saint-Haon:
Ambierle
Saint-Haon-le-Châtel
Saint-Haon-le-Vieux
Renaison
Saint-Alban-les-Eaux
Saint-André-d’Apchon
Saint-Romain-la-Motte
Noailly
Saint-Germain-Lespinasse
 

Canton de Roanne:
Saint-Maurice-sur-Loire
Saint-Jean-le-Puy
Villemontais
Lentigny
Ouches
Villerest
Pouilly-les-Nonains
Saint-Léger-sur-Roanne
Roanne
Riorges
Mably
Briennon
La Bénisson-Dieu  

Canton de Perreux:
Coulouvre
Montagny
Combre
Le Côteau
Saint-Vincent-de-Boisset
Notre-Dame-de-Boisset
Parigny
Comelle-Vernay

Canton de Saint-Symphorien:
Cordelle
Saint-Cyr-de-Favières
Saint-Priest-la-Roche
Vendranges
Neulise
Pradines

Canton de Saint-Germain-Laval:
Bully
Saint-Polgues
Dancé
Saint-Paul-de-Vézelin
Amions
Souternon
Saint-Georges-de-Baroille
Pommiers
Saint-Germain-Laval
Nollieux
Saint-Julien-d’Oddes
Grézolles
Luré
Saint-Martin-la-Sauveté

Canton de Montbrison:
Running from north to south:

Néronde
Boën *
Saint-Georges-en-Couzan
Saint-Jean-Soleymieux Saint-Romain-le-Puy
Saint-Galmier
Saint-Rambert

* = commume included in Côtes du Forez appellation

                                                                                                                                                         

Permitted grape varieties
The designation covers red, rosé and white wines with the rendement de base set at 80hl/ha for all three styles. There are three red grape varieties permitted, with each of these cépages principaux containing a minimum of 70% of the stated variety.

Gamay - This helps to incorporate some of the communes on the plain that were excluded from the Côte Roannaise appellation in 1994. The décret also allows for the two Gamay Teinturiers, Bouze and Chaudenay, each to a maximum of 30% of the blend. 

Pinot Noir - which was allowed whilst the Roannaise still claimed V.D.Q.S. status, but outlawed since.

Syrah - Perhaps the most significant variety going forward, with growers believing the variety has a natural affinity within the region, given their close proximity to the Rhône and the grape’s suitability to granite soils. The first plantings, in the southern part of the Forez are only just coming into production.

There are seven different varieties permitted for white wines: Chardonnay, Viognier, Roussanne, Marsanne, Pinot Gris, Aligoté and Gamay (which can, of course, be vinified white). Côte Roannaise growers have embraced this Vin de Pays designation, seeing it as an opportunity to experiment with white grapes, which are obviously not allowed within the Côte Roannaise or Côtes du Forez appellations. The first Chardonnay plantings arrived in the Roannaise thirty years ago, whilst Viognier and Roussanne are little more than a decade old.  

 
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