Vignerons de Saint-Pourçain

The brotherhood of Saint-Pourçain helps carry on the tradition of a 15th century inn keeper.

In 1487 Sieur Gaultier of Saint-Pourçain served his wine in pewter pitchers to his patrons. After a few drinks in his dimly lit tavern, it became almost impossible to know what a patron had exactly consumed, which led to endless arguments and heated discussions from his patrons who had their own view on how much wine they had enjoyed. Tired of the dickering, Sieur Gaultier decided to dip knotted strings into pitchers to measure the exact quantity drunk and put an end to the incessant haggling.

In 1987, the tradition came back to life, and the first bottle of La Ficelle®  (String in English) was produced with the artistic talent of Joël Roche illustrating the bottle. For more than 30 years now, the village of Saint Pourçain gets together yearly on the first Sunday of December to select and celebrate the cartoon label selected for the new vintage drawn by one of France’s best cartoonists. 

Sold with its string sealed on both ends to prevent cheating, this wine is youthful, fruitful and best served a year after harvesting. With an even split of Gamay and Pinot Noir, it becomes a great wine for last minute picnics, impromptu get togethers or a happy hour. In Paris bistros, the inn keeper today places the bottle on the table with the same instructions as Sieur Gaultier : only pay for what you drink. When it comes time to pay, the bottle is almost always empty!

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