: History

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

  • About

We know little about the early history of viticulture in the Loire valley, but recent archaeological discoveries suggest that it was extant at least in the upper Loire in the 1st century ad (see gaul), and it was certainly well established by the 5th century. In a letter to a friend, probably prepared for publication c.469, Sidonius Apollinaris (c.430–c.480), who was born in Lyons but spent a large part of his life in the Auvergne, praises the country of the Arverni (the Auvergne) for its landscape, its fertile fields, and its vineyards. In 475, rome was forced to cede the Auvergne to the Visigoths, but the depredations of the barbarians left vine-growing safe.