As in Sancerre there were some red grapes planted here before the arrival of phylloxera at the end of the 19th century, although unlike in Sancerre red varieties were never the majority. Instead it was Chasselas and Sauvignon Blanc that dominated. As Coulbois explains in the chaopthat Sauvignon Blanc had already established its reputation in Pouilly at the beginning of the 19th century. Pinot Noir was planted in Pouilly along with Gascon, L’Oeillade plus other red varieties including I assume Gamay. Claude Courtois in the Sologne has a vineyard of Gascon – click here for details and L’Oeillade is a synomym for Cinsault, although it would be surprising if this variety was planted so far north. Perhaps this was a different variety. Would like to hear from anyone who knows.
In 1793 un poinçon (223 litres – nearly the equivalent of today’s barrique) of Pouilly sold for 134 livres. This compared to 100 livres for Sancerre and 84 from wine from Cosne – now part of the Coteaux de Giennois. Red wine from Pouilly sold for 90 livres. In 1829 there were 1890 hectares in the region of Pouilly. After phylloxera and two World Wars this had fallen to just 430 hectares by 1970. There are now 1224 hectares planted.
Throughout its history Pouilly has experienced good and bad times – years of prosperity and years of misery as Coulbois recounts.
There are also useful chapters on the soils and geology of Pouilly. Unfortunately the chapter on the evolution of the vineyard in recent times is stronger on poetry than on substance. In the photo chapter on the vignerons of Pouilly appears to be missing some significant figures: Didier Dagueneau (no surprise here), Patrick Ladoucette and Jean-Louis Saget.
Pouilly-Fumé was published in 2007 by terre en vues 34€. It includes a number of very fine photos from a number of contributors.