The SOMM Journal

August/September 2014

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Page 42 of 119

{ }  43 PHOTO COURTESY OF SOPEXA PHOTO COURTESY OF SOPEXA PHOTO: ROGER MORRIS PHOTO: ROGER MORRIS The Monastère de Saint Mont was founded by Benedictine monks and has been making wine since at least 1050. Its vineyards are still in production. Olivier Bourdet-Pees, head of Plaimont, says forgotten grapes can contribute to Saint Mont's future. Plaimont, the Super Co-op In spite of its winegrowing heritage, Saint Mont as a defined wine appellation was a late bloomer. It was only recognized as a region of superior quality in 1981, and then largely as a result of the merging of three regional wine cooperatives in Plaisance, Aignan and Saint Mont. In 1979, the three joined forces to create Plaimont, a super co-op whose goals were to make better wines and to market them to the rest of France and to the world. Saint Mont was given AOP status in 2011. The dynamic founder of Plaimont, André Dubosc, also successfully spear - headed the drive to have the region officially recognized as Saint Mont. Today, about half of Saint Mont's more than 1,200 hectares (3,000 acres) of vines are used to make red wine, with Tannat as the lead grape. The remaining half is split between rosés (30 per cent) and whites (20 per cent) from regional grapes. Export activities to the U.S. are now being ramped up. At the Center of Ampelography I met Dubosc a couple of years ago at Château de Projan, a hotel/restau- rant near Saint Mont, where he was wearing the distinctive black beret he has adopted both for the region and for Plaimont and flashing a winsome smile André Dubosc, founder of Plaimont, pioneered the Saint Mont appellation. The black beret has become a symbol of Plaimont and of Saint Mont.

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