L’Isabelle was introduced in the reunion around 1860. The dry and temperate climate of Cilaos turns out to be welle adapted to this vinestock endowed with a very good resistance to siseases and a high productivity. Vinification attempts are made in 1915.
According to word-of-mouth tradition Charles picot is the first to produce wine in Peter Both after observing the technique in France where he fought during WWI.
However the wine is of poor quality due to the stock used. Indeed, the terrible phylloxera crisis destroying vineyards in France in 1860 end up with the prohibition to introduce in the colony nobler vinestocks cultivated in renowned places because of their sensitiveness to the disease. As a result, Cilaos cannot evoluate towards a quality wine production, and this until recent times.
In 1975 a government decree prohibits the production of wine from the Isabelle grapes. However it is still deeply rooted in the Cilaos tradition. Sold by the road side or in small grocery shops, it has the unfortunate reputation of making you crazy.