Translated by

But the clay-limestone soil of Mont-devant-Sassey and the favourable exposure of the left bank hillsides have made the hillsides around the village a favourite place for vine growing and wine making.

It is said that the Roman invaders cultivated the first Vitis Vinifera plants as early as the 3rd century, and it was from the 11th century onwards that intensive viticulture developed. Thanks to the proximity of the Meuse and the ancient Roman roads, the Meuse vineyards exported to the Netherlands and England from the Middle Ages onwards. In the 18th century, between 1783 and 1785, the vineyards of the French Meuse region as a whole exported as far as Warsaw in Poland.

At that time, almost the entire area of the hill around and behind the church in Mont was planted with vines and the oak stakes gave rhythm to the landscape around the village.

The wine-making heyday in Mont was reached in the 19th century: the department became the most productive in France (in 1804, production was equivalent to that of Alsace today). Pinot was the most widespread and appreciated: Duke François de Lorraine had even issued a decree in 1730 ordering the uprooting of other varieties qualified as “big breeds”. In the 19th century, even though 130 different grape varieties were used in the Meuse department, the “monopoly of Pinots” was almost total from Montmédy to Verdun, with more than 75% of the area planted with Pinot Noir, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Meunier or Pinot Gris…

The decline began with the 1870 war. The import of foreign wines restricted the demand for Meuse wines, and then the phylloxera epidemic at the beginning of the 20th century and the First World War put an end to the wine industry in the north of the Meuse. Mont has preserved the building that housed the village wine press in the rue Grande: it is now used as a showroom for the old fire engine!

In Mont-devant-Sassey, the “Chemin des Vignes” has remained in its place and still runs along the site of the old vineyards.