Guide to the Loire regions

Côtes d'Auvergne

Grower Profiles

Maison de Vignes, above Riom

Michel Constant
Michel Constant is a small, sinewy, vest-wearing man and is the 14th generation to have made wine in Saint-Bonnet; sadly, he will also the last. He returned to the family business in 1990 following a career as a trucker, driving HGV’s through Europe and the UK, where he learnt to speak a little English. His first vintage was in 1992, which he also bottled, breaking the family tradition of only selling en-vrac.

He owns just two hectares, all within the commune and split equally between four varieties: Gamay, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Syrah. He planted the latter in 2004, but he has yet to bring these into production. The Gamay ranges from 20 to 80 years old, but unfortunately the oldest parcel falls outside the appellation and is declassified to Vin de Pays, as is his Pinot Noir. The rest of the Gamay is bottled as Côte d’Auvergne-Madargues.

Constant celebrated his 60th birthday in 2009 and is now thinking of his retirement. Unless he can find a buyer for his vines, or a young vigneron to lease them, he will start grubbing them up soon.

His current releases, tasted in June 2009, were simple and honest, if a little earthy and rustic; his Chardonnay already quite advanced.

Michel Constant
Domaine Bonne Terrasse
2 Avenue de Riom
T: + 33 4 73 63 34 34

Back to top