Orderly and organised, Saint-Pantaléon-les-Vignes reflects nature’s maternal consent for the work of man. Its wine is pleasant and well-balanced.Christophe Tassan
Vines have been grown in this little village for many centuries. To stress this fact, in 1918 the local council voted to add the words “les vignes” to the village title.
To get to Saint-Pantaléon, head for the Drôme region of Provence, where lavender and olive trees are the dominant features of the landscape. The vineyards, just 400 hectares of them, lie at the foot of the Montagne de la Lance, which protects them from the prevailing winds. West-facing, they capture the last rays of the setting sun. The result is that the grapes ripen slowly and steadily, ensuring a harmonious concentration of flavours. Planted in clayey soils, the vines yield smooth, stylish wines, fruity and well balanced. The rosés are smooth and well rounded, with woodland-fruit flavours and some floral notes. The much rarer whites are of similar style. In September, you can attend the “Ban des Vendanges” ceremony, at which the oldest and the youngest wine-growers, assisted by a magistrate, decide on the date when the grape harvest shall begin. A tradition which dates back 200 years.
The strength of the appellation’s wine lies in well-balanced blending. The main grape varieties used are Grenache, vigorous and high-yielding, which can withstand strong winds and drought and gives the wine body, as well as fruity and spicy flavours… and Syrah, which is also rich in flavours and strong on tannins.
Red wines are made from a minimum of 50% Grenache and at least 20% Syrah and/or Mourvèdre. Other permitted varieties may not account for more than 20% of the mix.
Rosé blends consist of a minimum of 50% Grenache, at least 20% Syrah and/or Mourvèdre, and no more than 20% of other permitted varieties. White grape varieties (Grenache, Clairette, Marsanne, Roussanne, Bourboulenc and Viognier) are restricted to 20%.
The whites are composed of Grenache blanc, Clairette blanche, Marsanne blanche, Roussanne blanche, Bourboulenc blanc and Viognier blanc, with 20% of other varieties tolerated.
Minimum alcohol content: reds 12.5%, rosés and whites 12%.
Wine has a long history in this area, with evidence of its first being drunk in the mid-6th century BC. Many drinking vessels and wine containers were in fact manufactured in the region. In the 10th century, a Benedictine abbey was built here in the plain. Extensive vineyards were planted around it and a population of peasant farmers and artisans became established, protected by the Cluniac monks. Saint-Pantaléon-Les-Vignes was granted AOC status by decree of the INAO, published in the Official Gazette, in 1969.
View the decrees granting appellation status (INAO)1969Birth of AOC Saint-Pantaléon-les-Vignes
The vineyards lie in the commune of Saint-Pantaléon, in the southern part of the Drôme, on the way to Nyons.
Mediterranean, Purified by the Influence of the mistral, the vineyards benefit from an exceptional climate consisting of two dry seasons (a short one in winter and a very long one in summer) and two rainy seasons (one in autumn, when it rains heavily, and one in spring). The summers are hot and dry, influenced by sub-tropical areas of high pressure, and interrupted by sometimes violent storms. The winters are mild, with infrequent rainfall and very little snow.
The terroir consist of clayey-limestone hillsides overlaid with gravel, and some sandy hollows. The vines therefore develop in somewhat rich ground, studded with more or less hard white stones, making for a balanced soil. Easy to work, it is permeable to air and water, the coolness of the clay complemented by the limestone’s good-drainage. The resulting wines are well rounded without being too oily, and without loss of fruity acidity.
surface area22 hectares
Total production888 hl
- 100% Red
Average yield achieved41 hl/ha
*Export figures according to the most recent research
Source : Harvest statement 2016