FROM PLINY TO MODERN TIMES
History tells us that vines have been cultivated here since ancient times. Two thousand years ago, Latin authors such as Martial, Pliny the Elder and Columelle and the Greek Plutarch celebrated Côte Rôtie wine under the name “wine from Vienne”.
Setting up the vineyards was a formidable task, and was carried out over a period of more than twenty centuries.
The first accurate written documents concerning Ampuis and Côte-Rôtie go back to the 6th century,.
During the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, the reputation of Ampuis wines continued to grow. Before the Revolution, Côtes-Rôtie wines were sent to royal tables in England, Russia, Prussia and, of course, France .
The vineyards reached their production peak in 1890. Even the smallest folds in the hillsides were cultivated, as long as they were exposed to the sun. Some parcels forced winegrowers to carry their harvest for nearly a kilometre along particularly difficult goatherds’ paths. .
At this time, the ravages of phylloxera and other illnesses did not manage to dampen the winegrowers’ enthusiasm. But although they were able to overcome these calamities, the great 1914-1918 war came along to ruin their efforts. By taking more than one hundred and fifty men, the war condemned part of the hillsides to abandonment. This setback was not overcome until the early 1960s.
Today, the Côte-Rôtie vineyards are back to their original size. More than a hundred winegrowers make a living out of them. Over 40 % of production is exported, for the pleasure of wine lovers the world over.