History: Winemaking in Saint-Bris AOC has a long and rich history, dating back to the medieval period. The wines of Saint-Bris were highly prized and were often exported to other parts of France and beyond. The wine-growing region was known for its high-quality white wines, which were made from the Sauvignon Blanc grape variety.
Over the centuries, the winemaking traditions of Saint-Bris evolved and changed, adapting to new technologies and changing tastes. During the 19th century, the region saw a decline in wine production, as many vineyards were replaced with other crops.
However, in the early 20th century, winemaking in Saint-Bris began to recover, and the region became established as a major producer of high-quality white wines once again. Today, the region is known for its traditional winemaking methods and its focus on producing wines that reflect the unique character of the local terroir.
In 1936, Saint-Bris was officially recognized as an Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée (AOC), and the regulations governing wine production in the region were established. These regulations set strict standards for the quality and authenticity of the wines produced in the region, ensuring that the Saint-Bris AOC continues to be known for producing high-quality white wines to this day.
Grapes: Saint-Bris AOC uses Sauvignon Blanc as its main grape variety because of its suitability to the climate and soils of the region. Unlike many other regions in Burgundy, where Chardonnay is the dominant grape, Saint-Bris is located on the northern edge of the Burgundy wine region, close to the Chablis AOC. This location gives the region a cooler climate and different soil types, which are more suited to growing Sauvignon Blanc.
Sauvignon Blanc is a grape variety that thrives in cool climates and well-drained soils, producing wines with bright citrus and floral aromas, crisp acidity, and minerality. These characteristics are well-suited to the chalky soils and cool sea breezes of the Saint-Bris AOC, allowing the winemakers in the region to produce high-quality white wines that reflect the unique character of the area.
In contrast, Chardonnay is a grape variety that is more commonly grown in warmer climates, such as the Côte d’Or, where the soils are deeper and the growing conditions are more favorable for the grape. While Chardonnay is grown in other areas of Burgundy, it is less well-suited to the climate and soils of Saint-Bris.
The exact date when Sauvignon Blanc was first planted in Saint-Bris AOC is not known, but it is believed to have been grown in the region for many centuries. The grape variety is well-suited to the cool climate and chalky soils of the region, and has long been a staple of the local winemaking traditions.
The choice of Sauvignon Blanc as the main grape variety in Saint-Bris is likely a reflection of the unique conditions of the region and the winemakers’ desire to produce wines that reflect the local terroir. The use of Sauvignon Blanc has allowed the winemakers of Saint-Bris to establish their own unique style and reputation for high-quality white wines.