Its flexible clusters, its spherical grape, golden and sun-drenched, its delicate skin, its honeyed juice which explodes in the mouth do all the delicacy of this fruit.
A new medal for our Chasselas, it is henceforth registered in the "National Inventory of Intangible Cultural Heritage".
Chasselas, AOC (Appellation d'Origine Controlée) since 1971, was the first fresh fruit to benefit from this recognition. Since 1996 denominated AOP (Appellation d'Origine Protégée) thanks to which Moissac has been labelled “Site Remarquable du Goût” in 2003. From now on it appears in this prestigious inventory under the official denomination “the culture of the Chasselas grape of Moissac AOP”
Moissac Chasselas is recognised by it translucide grapes whose fine golden skin holds a sweet and delicate juice.
Moissac is the no.2 producer of table grapes in France after the Vaucluse which produces a vastly superior quantity of Muscat grapes.
In our territory, Terres des Confluences, it is grown in several communes where the geographical layout and soil are propitious : Moissac, Durfort-Lacapelette, Lizac & Boudou.
Lower Quercy in which the appellation is recognised is distinguished geographically by its own geological, agronomical and climactic characteristics. Lower Quercy is spread over outcrops of molasses and tertiary limestone.
Only certain types of soil are favourable for growing Moissac Chasselas AOP.
As for the climate, the region has an average temperature of 10 degrees with a small variation of temperatures, a relatively low level of rainfall and a long period of fine weather in the autumn.
This table grape has been a local speciality since the 18th century. Its cultivation requires a distinctive savoir-faire passed down through generations of ‘chasselatiers’. Inseparable from the history of the town, Chasselas cultivation constitutes a unique intangible heritage.
The history of Chasselas is also written in the streets of Moissac. On the esplanade on the banks of the Tarn the kiosk “Uvarium” reminds us that Moissac was consecrated “premiere grape resort of France” in the 1930s.
More than 300 chasselatiers produce between 3,000 and 3,900 tons of grapes AOC. Q.Shouldn’t that read AOP? Each planted hectare requires about 1,200 hours manual labour throughout the year to produce an average of 13 tons of fruit. From the cut to the table, the bunch of chisels grapes demands a thousand attentions. Picked, then relieved of damaged grapes by hand. The bloom, the golden and dark adornment is a sign of quality and care. The Chasselas grape of an exceptional product of bio-dynamic cultivation with respect for the soil and the natural environment.
The Therapeutic Virtues of Chasselas
Chasselas sticks to the rules and, as a grape has diuretic qualities to facilitate digestion and the elimination of toxins.
It is particularly rich in Vitamins A, B, and C, and being low in protein and fat it is an excellent antioxidant contributing to the elimination of ‘bad’ cholesterol. It is an aide in the treatment of cardio-vascular illness.
In addition, Chasselas contains all of the oligo-elements that the body can assimilate, lavishing it with its remineralising benefits.
The Moissac Uvarium
Moissac alone has a uvarium, inherited from the vogue for grape cures in the 1930s. Built in 1933 beside the Tarn to provide grape cures to guests seeking to profit from the recognised benefits of Chasselas, the towns’ king of grapes. It was extremely popular at that time. The interior frescoes which one can still admire were painted by Domergue-Laguarde, a native of Valence d’Agen - a veritable Art Deco jewel.
The grape cure of yesteryear
Called a grape cure, or uvale, from the Latin uva, what is meant is the methodic absorption of fresh grapes as the principal food for a sufficiently long period of time. This cure enable guests to appreciate Chasselas differently and to show its therapeutic virtues.
Discovery notes to download as PDF
Contact us to arrange tastings in the field.
Moissac, a Label quality as a "site remarquable du goût".
Four Ministries (Culture, Tourisme, Environment and Agriculture) were responsible for the concept of “Site Remarquable du Goût”. They created a list of 100 ‘Sites’ distinguishing:
- A food which is emblematic of the territory, enjoying both notoriety and a history.
- Exceptional heritage both environmentally and architecturally, open to the public facilitating a knowledge of the food product.
- Cultural heritage, landscapes and mankind.
Moissac has been a member since 2003, and today the network comprises 54 members.
One lady producer, fired by her passion for cultivating Chasselas
and passing on the savoir-faire has created a museum on her property where are exposed the different forms of packaging as well as today’s tools of the trade as well as those of yesteryear.
La Ferme des Trois Collines is a short hop from here…
List of "Sites Remarquables du Goût" : retrouvez les sites remarquables du goût