Gamay, often grown on basalt soils, is the grape variety most widely found in Puy-de-Dôme: it can be found in at least 50% of Côtes d’Auvergne red or rosé wines. For around thirty years, most planting has involved the gamay known as “Beaujolais”, a variety from the Val de Loire with interesting phenolic qualities (lightweight clusters, early ripening, etc.). It is particularly suited to a volcanic terroir and creates original wines with typically Auvergne features (a hint of cherry in all variations and a peppery, spicy aroma).
Pinot Noir is the traditional Auvergne variety, brought to the region during the Middle Ages by monks from the great Burgundy abbeys. In our terroir it is known as the “Auvernat”. It delivers excellent results, and gives our wines finesse and elegance. Grown on clay-limestone soils it gives red wines an intense aroma, balanced tannic structure, a lovely colour, and a high aromatic complexity that ages well. A variety of red from northern regions, it is early, grows slowly and is perfectly suited to continental climates. It currently accounts for 20% of the vine population.
Chardonnay is grown on the best clay-limestone plots of the Auvergne terroir and at higher altitudes. It matures slowly, which adds depth and strength to the wine, as well as surprising finesse. Recently introduced and ideally suited to the terroir, Chardonnay is the only variety authorised for use in the production of white wine. Strength, crispness, depth, the terroir offers exceptional white wine. The nutmeg Chardonnay clone 809, planted on an experimental basis, produces an astounding wine.
There are also other varieties, such as the Syrah known in Auvergne as Damas Noir
, a variety recently introduced on the terraces of Graves du Puy-de-Dôme, which adds silky tannins and characteristic blackcurrant, violet and cacao aromas to red wines. Pinot gris was recently introduced on an experimental basis and is a source of great excitement.