Wine that tempted royal tastebuds sparkles again

Saint Peray wine in a cellar
Saint-Péray, France's 'forgotten' sparkling wine is making a comeback thanks to the hard work of dedicated vintners

Saint-Péray, a sparkling wine that was enjoyed by Queen Victoria, Tsars and Jules Verne, is coming back more than a century after its vines were ravaged by disease

Once a favourite tipple of Queen Victoria, the Russian Tsars and Jules Verne, Saint-Péray sparkling wine was all-but lost to history after a phylloxera outbreak ravaged vines across France during the second half of the 19th century.

The last 10 years have seen its return, however, and the results are promising.

Saint-Péray is in the Ardèche, in the Rhône valley. Its vines grow in the cool micro-climate that prevails on the gentle limestone and granite slopes surrounding the 11th-century Chateau de Crussol.

At 87 hectares, Saint-Péray is small for a wine appellation and - these days at least - little known. Better known are its neighbours, St Joseph and Hermitage. It is made by blending the maarsanne and roussane grape varieties, which originate from the ...

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