The SOMM Journal

August/September 2014

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42 { THE SOMM JOURNAL } AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2014 SAINT MONT: aint Mont is at once a very unusual location for an emerging wine region and, at the same time, the most natural place in the world for one to be found. Saint Mont is named after a town so small—only 350 people live there—that it can only be found on the most detailed of French regional maps. But for the record, Saint Mont is about equidistant between Toulouse, 95 miles to the east, and Bayonne, 95 miles to the west on the Atlantic, 105 miles south of Bordeaux and 33 miles north of Pau at the foot of the Pyrenees. Officially, Saint Mont is part of that intriguing collection of far-flung wine islands grouped under the banner of "South West France." And yet Saint Mont, spread across a low range of hills that are precursors to the Pyrenees as one travels south from the flat plains of the South West, has the perfect climate and terroir for growing grapes and making wines and has been doing so since time immemorial. When Benedictine monks founded the Saint Mont Monastery in 1050, they brought new savoir-faire to the region's vernacular wine culture. That monastery's vineyard, a beautiful plot, is still in production today. PRODUCERS FIND A NICHE IN THE AMERICAN MARKET FOR THIS UP-AND- COMING SOUTH WEST FRANCE AOP [ THE LITTLE REGION THAT CAN ] S by Roger Morris

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