Histoire du vignoble

Voir aussi : L'Histoire du MENETOU-SALON… en anecdotes

Welcome to the "Monastery of Sarlon"

The monastery of Sarlon, monsastelum sarlonis in Latin, became, over the course of time MENETOU-SALON. Sarlon was a descendant of the Norse chiefs, (the bands of ‘North Men’) which overran both banks of the Loire river in the 9th and 10th centuries. Around the year 1100 Sarlon the Rich, the same that gave his name to Menetou-Salon, donated the vines with their vignerons to the Abbey of Saint Sulpice-les-Bourges, before then parting on a crusade for Jerusalem.

Vines existed in Menetou-Salon well before the year 1000.

Columelle, born in Cadiz around the year 42 AD, and Pliny the Elder, born in Verona in the year 23 AD, both writing at the beginning of the Christian era on agriculture, mentioned the grape variety Biturica, reputed for the gentle wine that it produced. Five centuries later, Isidore de Séville confirmed that Biturica took its name from the country that produced it. So, at the beginning of the Christian era, the inhabitants of our region were the Bituriges Cubi, a proud and ambitious people, whose motto was ‘summa impérii penes bituriges’: (supreme power belongs to the Bituriges). It is worth mentioning that it is a renegade branch of those Bituriges Cubi, the Bituriges Visisques who founded Bordeaux and Milan.

The development of the vines in Menetou-Salon during the Middle Ages...

To the people of the Middle Ages, wine was indispensable. It was vital for celebrating Mass, but also because at the time the role of Monasteries was also to offer hospitality to travellers and heal the sick. Even then it was already understood, as Pasteur would later say that ‘wine is the most constitutional of all drinks’. In fact, thanks to its slight acidity and its moderate alcohol, it does not pass on pathogenic germs; thus it is the only safe drink. For the monks, wine certainly served as the base for the preparation of remedies.

In 1448

In 1448 the vineyards of Menetou-Salon were bought by Jacques Cœur for 8000 Tournois pounds (about 550 000 Euros). The wine of Menetou-Salon became one of the finest ornaments at the seigniorial table of the Finance Minister of King Charles VII, known to historians as the "King of Bourges". Jacques Coeur’s role was to provide for the royal court, and there is no doubt that the wine of Menetou-Salon sat enthroned there. It is even said that Agnès Sorel, the favourite of Charles VII, liked to rest under the ancient lime trees still standing next to the castle.

From the XVII century onwards

Menetou-Salon not being served by a navigable waterway, meant that part of the wine was delivered to Bourges and its surrounding area by horse-drawn carriage, and the rest of it was distilled in alembics and sent north as alcohol. In 1840 a fire broke out in a still situated near the Saint Pierre fountain. The burning alcohol spread along the gutter which crossed the hamlet. All of the houses on the lower side of the village were destroyed by the fire.

In 1959

In 1959 Menetou-Salon was the vineyard commune that gave its name to the Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée, which covers the wines from the following communes: AUBINGES, HUMBLIGNY, MENETOU-SALON, MOROGUES, PARASSY, PIGNY, QUANTILLY, SAINT CÉOLS, SOULANGIS, VIGNOUX-SOUS-LES-AIX.

Union Viticole de Menetou-Salon
Tél. : 02 48 64 87 26          www.menetou-salon.com