Desprat Saint Verny has been “making” wine in Aurillac since 1885, making it the oldest business in the Cantal region. The business has spanned five generations and is run by Pierre Desprat who will be succeeded by his daughters. During an era when winemakers were as well regarded as priests, schoolmasters and notaries, we would deliver barrels, or casks, of ‘thirst quenchers’ to the beautiful Mandailles Valley in the Cantal that would be used to “supply” the locals. We also bottled wine for high-ranking families’ Sunday lunches and, very occasionally, for christenings, weddings and republican banquets.
Our story began at rue des Forgerons in the heart of Aurillac, where Felix Desprat supplied the coffee houses in the centre of town. La Maison Desprat underwent significant growth as a result of its founders’ keen business acumen. He soon had to find new premises and the natural choice was to remain close to Chemin de Patay at the entrance to the Mandaille Valley, which became the cradle of burgeoning activity under Jean Desprat, the second Desprat. His sons, Jacques and Michel continued this growth through to the 90s, and then left the business in the hands of Jacques’ son, Pierre Desprat.
In a moment of insight, Pierre Desprat’s grandfather suggested he look into and “make something” of the Puy de Dôme vineyards, which were little known at that time and had a poor reputation. The anodyne comment became a challenge that we rose to in line with our values.
How can we reflect the quality of our wines and establish the winery’s reputation?
Our terroir is not just extraordinary but also unique thanks to its volcanic soil, which is found in only very few world regions. Following the Limagne fault’s recent listing as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, we are committed to creating an asset and a means to promoting our region.
We champion the very specific characteristics of the wines that emerge from this unique and rare soil.Stony basalt and volcanic minerals reflect our wines’ identity and originality. Historically, the Auvergne terroir produced a lot of red wines that were peppery and had a crisp structure, especially entirely original Gamays and Pinots. As for our white wines, they doubtless rival the big name wines with a chardonnay that is light, elegant and voluptuous.
The ‘thirst quencher’ wines have become ‘wines to enjoy’ that are also suitable for aging. The grandes cuvées have an aging potential that is a trademark of fine wines.