Guide to the Loire regions

Côtes d'Auvergne

Grower Profiles

Gilles Persilier
Born thirty kilometres north of Clermont into a family of poultry breeders, Gilles Persilier comes to wine with no formal training. In 1995, this ex agricultural technician bought an abandoned stone house in the village of Gergovie, the village that lends its name to the plateau where Vercingétorix defeated Julius Caesar in 52BC, and started restoring its derelict cellar. The building was erected in 1887, although it stands on top of an ancient cave where Persilier now makes his wines, living above the shop with wife, Clarisse and their two young children.

He currently works eight hectares of vines, mainly on the clay-limestone soils of the east-facing slope of the Gergovie plateau. He is, however, currently ‘restructuring’ his vineyard holdings with a view to off-load some of the 2.7 hectares he rents, allowing him to more easily certify his domaine as organic with the 2009 harvest.  

His (over) large range of wines includes:

Côtes d’Auvergne Blanc Fûts de Chêne – From 0.7ha of Chardonnay aged in barrel for ten months.

Côtes d’Auvergne Rosé Gergovia – From Gamay and using cultured yeast.

Côtes d’Auvergne Rosé Eco-Logique – from Gamay and represents his first steps to full organic conversion. It is vinified using indigenous yeasts.

Corent Rosé Luern – from one hectare of Gamay he has established on land he has bought on the Puy-de-Corent.  

Côtes d’Auvergne Rouge Gergovia – made from Gamay

Côtes d’Auvergne Rouge Vercingétorix – From one hectare of Pinot Noir, some of which is 45 years old, with the resulting wine aged in barrel

Côtes d’Auvergne Rouge Celtil – Vieilles Vignes – Named after the father of Vercingétorix and made from Gamay vines that are over a century old. It also receives a short passage through barrel.  

Chanturgue Rouge Epona – made from a 0.7 hectare parcel of once abandoned Gamay that Persilier has rented from the brothers Lapouge since 2002.

Le Paillard – a straw wine, pressed only in January following the harvest. It receives a long, slow fermentation in barrel.

There are some interesting wines here, but the fractioned nature of the range invariably means that nothing is outstanding. He would be better to consolidate and concentrate his efforts. The more interesting wines are, like with many other of his peers, the less ambitious examples. It seems as soon as they are committed to wood they start to loose their immediate charm as well as loose their identity. Hopefully, by handing back some of the parcels he currently rents and the full conversion to organic farming will allow him to do this. He’s a grower to watch, and to visit, as he’s an interesting character; likeable and chatty and not without some controversial views.  

Gilles et Clarisse Persilier
27 Rue Jean-Jaurès
T: + 33 4 73 79 44 42
F: + 33 4 73 87 56 95
P: + 33 6 77 74 43 53


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