By Lisa Rowlands

Located at the heart of the prestigious right bank, close to the two heavyweight appellations of Pomerol and Saint-Émilion, Montagne boasts more than one-thousand-six-hundred hectares under vine, making it the largest of the four Saint-Émilion satellites. A picturesque region, characterised by rolling hills, Romanesque churches and abundant historical charm, Montagne and its immediate environs offer much to the oenophile. With a perfect viticultural landscape punctuated by numerous beautifully maintained châteaux, the area lends itself to the current trend of wine tourism.

Originally created in 1922 - with official AOC status granted fourteen years later, Montagne’s vineyards follow the expected pattern of right bank Bordeaux appellations, being dominated by the Merlot variety (75% of the vine), with support from Cabernet Franc (15%), Cabernet Sauvignon (around 8%) and Malbec (known here by the alias Côt, 2%). A minuscule amount of Petit Verdot is also planted by some producers and Carménère is permitted but rarely used.

The favourable Bordeaux climate, along with ancient soils of clay-limestone on steep self-draining slopes, constitutes a perfect terroir for the appellation’s ecologically aware and quality-focussed producers. More than two-hundred wine-growers share Montagne’s vineyards, with the majority making wine from their own yield and a small number (around one ninth of the total), contributing to a cooperative cellar.