An historic terroir
The area covered by the Saint-Saturnin denomination more or less corresponds to the land that was farmed under the Romans in the 4th century AD. Saint-Saturnin was part of the VDQS predecessors of the Coteaux du Languedoc which has now become the AOC Languedoc. Inspired by this history, the Syndicate of Saint-Saturnin producers has embarked on the journey with the INAO (Institut national de l'origine et de la qualité) for recognition as a Cru in its own right for its red wines. It should come to fruition between now and 2020. There is also to be a similar effort for its rosé wines
A viticultural history stretching back to the Romans
The Saint-Saturnin terroir, as defined in 1985 when it became part of the AOC Coteaux du Languedoc family, more or less corresponds to the agricultural land controlled by the Roman chieftain Lucianus in the 3rd and 4th centuries. Even then vines were already appearing in the communes of Arboras, Jonquières, Saint-Guiraud and Saint-Saturnin.
A beacon for vines
At this time, vines only formed a small part of local agriculture which included olives, almonds, cereals, grazing for cattle, mulberries, vegetables and bee hives. However, the vine growing tradition founded in Roman days developed over the centuries and around the 790s, Nymphus, the companion of St Benedict of Aniane was responsible for developing important vineyards at Saint-Saturnin and Cabrières.
1950 : a decisive turning point for the Saint Saturnin terroir
1950 marked the creation of the Saint-Saturnin cave cooperative. It was responsible for a truly dynamic approach to the vineyards and soon attracted the majority of the vine growers in Arboras, Jonquières, Saint-Guiraud and Saint-Saturnin. 1954 saw wines being bottled here for the first time. They were already producing both red and rosé wines. In total some 10,000 units were produced of which two are still being produced today : "Vin d’une Nuit" and "Cardinal". At the time Saint-Saturnin and Cabrières vignerons were the first to bottle their wines. They undoubtedly led the way for others to follow. It was truly their hour of glory.
On the road to being a communal Cru
On 18 May 1955, Saint-Saturnin acquired VDQS (Vin Délimité de Qualité Supérieure) status and was joined in 1976 by parts of the Jonquières and Saint-Guiraud communes. In 1985, Saint-Saturnin became part of the AOC Coteaux du Languedoc family as an appellation Coteaux du Languedoc - Saint-Saturnin. Currently, the 7 independent producers and the cave cooperative making up the Syndicate of Saint-Saturnin producers, hope it will become a Cru in its own right for its red wines. Everything is on track for the formalities to be completed by 2020. A similar request is in hand for its rosé wines.