Its history and its origins


  • Circa 45 BC
    First references to vine cultivation in the Lyonnais region.
  • From the Middle Ages until the end of the 19th century
    As wine producers, religious congregations quickly learn to take advantage of the excellent quality of these hillsides on which the granitic soil, conducive to the development of the vine, produces a “divine nectar”. Furthermore, the “vitis vinifera” grape variety is brought to the region during the crusades by Reverend Gausmar, Prior of Savigny. The location of the wine-growing areas close to several waterways helps to boost the distribution of production.
    The Coteaux du Lyonnais vineyards then experience a more frugal period until the French Revolution, after which the purchasing power of the people is significantly higher: at the time, there was such an abundance of wine that the Coteaux du Lyonnais became the main wine-growing region of the department.
  • 1880
    The Phylloxera vine disease destroys a large part of French wine-producing areas. Thanks to a system for grafting French vine-eyes onto plants that had been immunised against Phylloxera imported from America, the Coteaux du Lyonnais vineyards are replanted using a quality Gamay vine variety, the vine stock currently used for wine production.
  • 1936
    Creation of Beaujolais in the Bourgogne area. From 1938, a handful of communes from the canton of Arbresle, one of the cantons of the Lyon district (Sarcey, Saint Germain sur l’Arbresle, Bully, Nuelles and Arbresle) become part of the Beaujolais province. This leads Monsieur Nicolas, then General Councillor and Mayor of Saint Pierre la Palud, to make a distinction between Beaujolais on the one hand and Lyonnais, from the Lyonnais province, on the other.
  • 1947/1952
    During World War II, the advantage that AOC wines have is that they can continue to be traded, whereas other wines are requisitioned by the occupier. This situation makes wine-producers want to obtain the famous appellation: following 5 to 6 years of talks, six cantons (Arbresle, Vaugneray, Mornant, Saint Genis-Laval, Limonest and Saint Symphorien sur Coise, 59 communes in total) starting with Arbresle, receive the VDQS appellation (Vin Délimité de Qualité Supérieure). This precious quality label, only valid for 3 months, is challenged by every wine producer and for each cuvee because the wines bear the label “Fédération des syndicats des vins du Lyonnais”, the “Federation of wine-producers’ unions of the Lyon area”.
    Wine producers are unhappy that the word “Coteaux”, more of a growth area and more representative of their wine, does not appear in the appellation of the wine: thanks to Edgar Pisani, the Minister for Agriculture at the time who happened to visit the Saint-Bel cellar, they finally got what they wanted. A new decree creates the Coteaux du Lyonnais wine appellation.
  • 1956
    In order to help wine producers, the Sain Bel co-operative wine cellar is created at the behest of Gustave Levrat, General Councillor of the canton.
  • 1960/1972
    In spite of its initial success, unfortunately, in the 1960s, the vineyard deteriorates and production decreases by a half, down to 7,000 hectolitres.
  • 1984 :
    After 12 years of legwork, the AOC is obtained on 9 May 1984 on the approval of Louis Mermaz, the Minister for Agriculture.
    On this occasion, after the fashion of other renowned AOCs, the Coteaux du Lyonnais vineyards create their own guild with the assistance of the junior economic chamber of Arbresle and with the financial support of the Crédit Agricole bank in the Rhone region.
  • 1996
    Signature of the first PIDA (integrated programme for agricultural development) with the regional authorities to provide assistance for the wine-producing sector.
  • 2004
    The appellation celebrates its twentieth anniversary
    Signature of the second PIDA.