DOMAINE DE COURON
Rhone Valley, France
The occupation by the man of the lands of Couron is very ancient. To the liking of farm works we often found the traces of this distant past. The men of the prehistory are the first inhabitants of domain. We discovered tops of arrows and of blades in flint in our plots of grapevines. Several dolmens (burials) were established in the ambient garrigue.
It is at the beginning of our epoch, that the grapevine appears: a veteran of the Roman army becomes established on our slopes, creates a Villa numerous relics of which we found (walls, tiles, stones of pressoirs, currencies, Roman way). Until 476 after BC , it is Pax Romana, Couron is a prosperous working where they cultivate the grapevine, the olive tree and grain. From 5 th century it is the fall of Roman empire and the beginning of a period of decline. Climatic conditions are difficult and barbaric plagues prevent the trade of the wine. At the end of 12 th century, the religious order of Hospital of St Jean (Templars) constructs a castle on a party of ownership; they treat there on the soldiers who come back from Crusades.
The tab of the Cotes of Rhône Villages represents the castle.
In 1309, the Popes become established in Avignon, it is the resurgence of the vineyard. Grape varieties Grenache, Mourvèdre, Cinsault are planted on the slopes of domain.
The fiscal documents of 1472 and 1582 take a census of 8 and 12 winegrowers to saint Marcel.
In 1886 a passenger writes: when they arrive at St Marcel, they enter Provence. Amandiers, olive trees and grapevines seem to have party to the passenger.
Unfortunately, at the end of 19th century Phylloxera destroys the grapevines of the Valley of Rhône. The vineyard of l ' Ardèche is transplanted with American root stalk which resist to the destructive insect (Clinton, Herbemont, Jacquez, Concord, Noah) but which produce wines of medium quality.
In this epoch, at the beginning of 20th century, domain is managed by the family Desserre. Work is transformed into experimental farm, a winery is constructed, vats are dug in the calcareous rock, grapevines are transplanted with noble grape varieties, they test new modes of viticulture: palissage, specific gravity.
Mister Desserre is a notable: Couron becomes a centre d ' interest and of curiosity.
The telephone is installed in domain at the same time as in the village of distant saint Marcel of 5 kms.
Mister Desserre is the first to drive a car to the village and numerous important persons come to have lunch: the game is abounding in the forests of domain, oaks produce delightful truffles and Madam Desserre is a very great cook, indeed !
The lands of domain are among the first to be officially classified in appellation Cotes of Rhône in 1937.