QR Veyre-Monton – Hameaux 3
The wine-growing village of Soulasse
Soulasse is a very old village with origins that date back to the 10th century at least. The vine is an inseparable part of its history. There is evidence that vines and land, located in Solechas, the village’s name at the time, were donated to the Benedictines of Sauxillanges, which suggests to us that the vine was being cultivated as far back as the Middle Ages.
In the 19th century, the village was largely given over to wine-growing. In 1821, vines covered 59% of the farmland on the Soulasse cadastral map, with very high concentrations in certain areas, such as Gagnevin, Côtière des Renardes and Côte de Barbette, all somewhat evocative names for wine drinkers.
The many vats and cellars in the village are testament to this, often located on the ground floor or basement of houses or in barns and other farm buildings.
The heyday of wine-growing came in the 1880s; the parasite phylloxera, which had been ravaging the Languedoc vineyards since 1875, had not yet reached the Auvergne, whose wine, now transported by rail, was in great demand. In 1890, the pest eventually reached the region and caused a major economic crisis.
In 1886, the village had 176 inhabitants living in 58 houses. By the end of the Second World War, Soulasse’s population had dwindled to just 74.
- Extract of a cadastral map from 1821. In dark mauve are buildings or houses in which a vat or cellar was declared at the time.