Famous for its AOC vineyard that dates back to Antiquity, the small town of Saint-Pourçain-sur-Sioule, founded in the 5th century around an old monastery, contains an interesting heritage that is best discovered by taking a look at sites such as the welcoming Place du Maréchal Foch, a square dominated by a clock tower, the Romano-Gothic church, the pretty Cour des Bénédictins square and the museum of the Saint-Pourçain vineyard.
Built from the 11th to the 15th century, the Church of the Holy Cross has an unusual chancel offset from the nave, and contains 15th-century stalls, an Ecce homo in multi-coloured stone from the 16th century, as well as a high altar from the 18th century.
Based in the bailiff's house, the Museum of Vines and the Land dedicated to the history of the town and the vineyard of Saint-Pourçain, has a wide range of objects and tools relating to vines and wine on display, including a huge 17th-century press and a horse-powered still from the 19th century.
Situated at an equal distance from Clermont-Ferrand and Montluçon, at the crossroads of National 7 and 9, near the A71 which goes up to the Parisian capital, Saint-Pourçain-sur-Sioule is clearly positioned as a crossroads town, in the heart of the reserve Natural Val d'Allier, in Bourbonnais soil.
At the crossroads, Saint-Pourçain-sur-Sioule, the "good city" of Allier, is a lucky city on many levels. From the point of view of history first of all, which made the city one of the thirteen good cities of Auvergne, a status that allowed him to establish a dominant position in this northern part of Auvergne. From the point of view of nature afterwards, which gave it the Sioule and the banks of the Allier for neighbors. From the point of view of its geographical position, which has forged in the Saint-Pourcinois the sense of exchanges, the bump of commerce and the entrepreneurial spirit, with its strong will to assert itself as a representative entity on this land Allier already largely dominated by the triple influence of Montlucon, Moulinise and Vichy. Lucky finally of what the earth gave her, a vineyard with the various fortunes that she also learned to promote.
A town with southern accents, with its peaceful courtyards lined with plane trees, positioned on the borders of the languages of Oïl and Oc, Saint-Pourçain-sur-Sioule, derives its name from Portianus, abbot of the community that founded the city in the 3rd century. A Gallo-Roman slave freed by his master, whom he had cured and then entered into, Portianus saved the Auvergne from Thierry, son of Clovis at the beginning of the sixth century.
In this country of polyculture, Saint-Pourçain finds a second life in a vineyard that extends over nineteen communes, from Moulins to Chantelle, or 600 hectares on the coasts of the left bank of the Allier. The wine from the oldest vineyards in France, present on the royal tables of Saint-Louis and Henri IV, has become a highly appreciated terroir product. Although the vineyard surface has been considerably reduced, grape varieties and winemaking methods have improved and today's wine growers have enriched the family's know-how and the knowledge acquired in the vineyards of Burgundy and Mâcon. The hundred members who make up the Union des vignerons de Saint-Pourçain reduced the yield per hectare to 60 hectoliters against 80 in the sixties. Honorable piquette a few decades ago, the Saint-Pourçain wine has regained its reputation thanks to the concerted strategies of the producers who proved to be paying to put an end to the crossing of the desert by choosing the quality rather than the one Of the quantity.
La Ficelle: This is the name of Saint-Pourçain celebrated in conviviality the first Saturday of December and associated with the legend of a local tavernier who, in the fifteenth century, had become accustomed to mark the consumption of his customers by diving A string with knots in the bottle.