Home of the famous quiche and wines too!
Lorraine’s vineyards include:
Côtes-de-Meuse (AOVDQS) – in the Meuse Valley, less than a dozen growers farm 35 ha producing 1500 hectolitres.
Côtes-de-Toul (AOC) – in the Meurthe-et-Moselle department/region (number 54) in the area around the town of Toul, near Nancy: 87 ha, 800,000 bottles of red (Pinot Noir), white (Auxerrois), sparkling and ‘gris’ (literally grey, a lightly coloured rosé).
Moselle (AOVDQS) - the Moselle’s vineyards (dep. 57 – capital Metz), in the Seille valley on the vales of Metz and Sierck, come to 48 hectares farmed by 23 growers making 2200 hectolitres.
The glory days of Lorraine’s vineyards, expanded by the Dukes of Lorraine and Bishops of Toul, came to an end at the beginning of the 20th Century with the arrival of phylloxera, the First World War, industrialization, competition from the south of France and dramatic rural migration.
With 30,000 ha in 1890, its vineyards were larger than Alsace’s.
A slight renaissance has been encouraged since 1980 (Côtes-de-toul got AOC status in 1998).
Terrain, climate, grape varieties:
Partly continental climate with hot summers and spring frosts. Slopes facing north-south capturing the morning sun. Alluvial-clay and lightly chalky soils.
Gamay, Pinot Noir, Auxerrois, Chardonnay, Muller-Thürgau
Actually pale rosés, made from speedy pressing of the grapes with very limited contact between skins and juice hence its light colour.
Drink them young.
Varieties: up to 20% Pinot Noir and Auxerrois plus up to 80% Gamay.
Things of interest for the wine tourist
Wine and Mirabelle (a small yellow plum) Route starting in Toul
Wine villages: Mont-le-Vignoble, Bruley, Lucey
At the foot of Stromberg, in Contz-les-Bains, the Wine Museum
Useful links: the Comité des Vins de Lorraine (producers’ association)
Les CÔTES DE TOUL, vineyards and recipes (in French)
By Mary Maire and Christophe Poiré, illustrations by Sandrine Domaine
Claude Vosgien in Bulligny
Domaine Regina in Bruley
André and Roland Lelièvre in Lucey
"Fidélité au vin Toulois
Qu'il soit Aubin, Pinot, Gamay,
Buvons le frais plutôt que froid
Et ne l'abandonnons jamais."
Serment des Compagnons de la Capucine