Roussillon

This is a co-operative run region, 75% of all proudction is produced by co-ops 

 

A co-operative is made up of member and in this case the vineyard owners are the member!

They deliver grapes to the cooperative, which is involved in production of wine from the grapes and the subsequent marketing activities.

 

Roussillon was it own individual region up until 1972.

 

In 1972 Languedoc and Rousillon became a joint region

 

Rousillon is an extremely moutainous region

 

Roussillon has the highest number of biodynamic and organic wine producers in all of France!

 

History

600 BC 

Anicent Greeks introduced the vine after planted it in The Languedoc region. 

 

13th - 18th Century 

Spanish ruled Rousillon for 500 years 

They planted the region with native spanish grapes 

 

Mataro/ Monastrell - Mourvedre 

Macabao - Maccabeau 

Lladoner Pelut 

Carinena - Carignan

 

1936 

3 areas recieved AOC status 

 

  • Rivesaltes

  • Banyuls 

  • Maury 

 

1956 

Muscat de Rivesaltes 

 

1962 

Banyuls Grand Cru 

 

All the AOC's above were for the follwoing style of wine 

 

Vin Doux Naturels - Red and White versions, 

 

Today Roussillon produces 80% of all French VDN

 

1971 

First dry wine AOC 

Collioure AOC - at the time it was only for red wine 

 

Today

13 AOCs 

 

Rousillon was a late bloomer in terms of wine-making 

- was on the last regions to begin temperature-controlled fermentation 

-New oak barrels are deemed quite luxurious 

 

 

 

Location

Roussillon is highlight on the map in Red 

 

East - Mediterranean Sea 

 

South - The Pyrenees and Spain 

 

North - Languedoc Region

 

 

Climate 

Mediterranean

 

325 sunshine days per year, making it one of France sunniest Regions 

  

The region is effectivley lying in a rain-shaodw due to the follwoing 

 

Pyrenees and its foothills border Roussillon, the mountains block the west winds 

 

Roussillon has the highest mean temperautre in all of France however Northern parts of the region can be quite windy. 

 

The Tramontane winds, similar to the Mistral which is experienced in The Rhone Valley and Provence. 

 

Tramontane winds removes moisture from the berries which increases sugar concentration and reduces yields. 

 

The winds drys the soils and controls humidty. 

 

The controlled humidity helps to reduce the risk of disease. 

 

 

 

 

 

Soil

Soil - Iron-rich, sandy, red clay (main soil type)

 

The soil is great at retaining water, perfect for Roussillons dry climate 

 

Other soils found in the region 

 

Limestone, black schist, granite, gray schist, galets, sandstone, gnesis, shale, quartz, yellow clay, sand and marble 

 

Note to remember 

 

Alluvial plains - white grapes 

 

Higher elevated stonier sites - red grapes 

Topography

Roussillon is a very moutainous region

 

North- Corbieres Mountains 

 

West- Canigou, highest peak of the Pyrenees over 2,785meters 

 

South- Roc de France which borders Spain, 1450meters 

 

The region is surrounded by 3 large mountains

 

How does this effect the climate? 

 

  • Mountains trap the heat

  • Vines planted on or near the mountains, high dirunal swings because cold air moves down from the mountains when the sun settles

 

3 Rivers 

 

  • Agly

  • Tete

  • Tech 

 

All 3 rivers flow out to the Mediterranean, the river helps to control the temperture of the vineyards around them.

 

 

 

 

 

Grape varieties

White grapes 

Grenache Blanc

Grenache Gris

Bourboulenc

Clairette

Chenin Blanc

Mauzac

Chardonnay

Piquepoul Blanc

Rolle (Vermentino)

Marsanne

Roussanne 

Muscat a Petits Grains Blanc 

Maccabeu

Muscat d Alexandria 

Tourbat (Malvoisie du Roussillon)

 

Red grapes

 

Grenache Noir

Carignan 

Mourvèdre

Syrah

Cinsault

Aspiran

Cabernet Sauvignon

Cabernet Franc

Merlot

Malbec

Pinot Noir 

 

 

Appellations

Regional AOCs

 

Languedoc AOC

remember grapes can come from Languedoc and Roussillon 

 

Cotes du Roussillon AOC

Largest AOC in the region

Received status 1977

Produces 80% Red 13% Rose 7% White

Grapes allowed within this AOC

 

Red 

Carignan 

Grenache Noir

Syrah

Mouvedre

Cinsault

Lladoner

Pelut

Macabeu 

 

White

Grenache Blanc

Grenache Gris

Macabeu

Roussane

Marsanne

Tourbat (Malvoisie du Roussillon),

Rolle (Vermentino) 

 

1 Cru - Cotes du Roussillon Les Aspres 

Must be a blend of atleast 3 of the following grapes

 

Carignan Noir Grenache Noir Syrah Mourvèdre 

 

 

Cotes du Roussillon Villages AOC 

 

Received status in 1977

Produces Red wine

Grape varieties

  • Grenache

  • Carignan

  • Lladoner Pelut

  • Syrah 

  • Mourvèdre 

 

Usually Grenache based Wine

must be a blend

No variety in the blend can exceed 70% 

The vineyards are located in the valleys of the rivers mentioned earlier

Agly

Tech

Tet

 

Within the Cotes du Roussillon Village appellation there are 4 village "Crus" that can append their name to the label 

 

  • Caramany

  • Latour de France

  • Lesquerde 

  • Tautavel 

 

All 4 Crus are located around the village Maury 

The blending formula is the same as Cotes du Roussillon AOC except Cotes du Roussillon Village Caramany

 

Cotes du Roussillon Village Caramany min 25% Syrah  NO Mourvedre

Carignan must be vinifed using Carbonic Maceration 

 

Cotes du Roussillon Village Lesquerde 

Carignan must be vinified using Carbonic Maceration NO Mourvèdre 

 

Cotes du Roussillon Villages - Tautavel

min 20% Grenache and Lladoner Pelut

either together or separately max 50% Carignan 

min of 50% of the Carignan must be vinifed using Carbonic Maceration

Aging - min 1 year 

 

 

Collioure AOC

Received status 1971 for Red  1991 for Rose 2003 for White

Most Southern Appellation in all of a France

Grapes Varieties

 

Red 

Grenache Noir

Syrah

Mourvedre

Carignan 

 

White

Grenache Blanc

Grenache Gris

 

 

Maury AOC 

Received status 2012 for Dry red wine Produces Red 

Grapes varieties

60-80% Grenache Noir

Carignan

Syrah

Mourvèdre

 

Maury AOC – can produce Vin doux Naturels as well 
 
MUST be a minimum blended wine 
Aging – minimum 6 months 
The word “SEC” will also appear on the label 
 
 
Vin Doux Naturels (VDN) AOCs 
 
 
Sweet,Fortified wines
Min 15% alcohol 
Residual sugar less than 5% and up to 10% 
Leagally grapes have to picked with a 25.2% sugar level at harvest 
 
 
  • Pure alcohol is added to the must  at 5-10% volume. 
 
  • The addition of spirit kills the yeast and raises alcohol levels. 
 
  • The added spirit stops fermentation leaving unfermented sugar in the wine (residual sugar)
 
  • R.S levels vary depending on when the spirit is added. 
 
VDN can be produced in 2 different ways 
 
1. Reductively, the holding vessel where the wine is (tank/barrel) is continously topped up to the very top so no air space is present. 
Style- Fruit forward and fresh 
 
2. Oxidising, encouraging oxidation. The holding vessel are not topped up to allow space for oxygen. If winemakers would like to speed up the oxgyen the VDN is placed in glass bottles under the sun.
 
5 VDN appellations in the Roussillon region 
 
 
Banyuls Grand Cru AOC – red 
Banyuls AOC – red, rose and white 
Maury AOC – red and white 
Rivesaltes AOC – red and white 
Muscat de Rivesaltes AOC  white – Muscat a Petit Grains and Muscat Alexandrie- min R.S level of 10%
 
If Muscat does not appear on the VDN label Grapes used are 
 
  • Grenache Blanc
  • Malvoisie du Roussillon
  • Maccabeu
 
Flavour profile honey, dried fruits, orange zest 
 
 
Rivesaltes AOC -VDN
 
Grapes
Grenache Blanc, Malvoisie du Roussillon, Maccabeu
Max - 20% Muscat a Petit Grains and Muscat d'Alexandrie 
 
Rivesaltes AOC Red production labelling terms
 
if produced reductively - Grenat
if oxidised - Tuile
if extremely oxidised - Rancio 
 
Rivesaltes AOC White production labelling terms 
if oxidised - Ambre 
if extremely oxidised - Rancio 
 
 
Muscat de Rivesaltes AOC - VDN 
 
is NOT made in the oxidised manner of other appellations 
 
 
Maury AOC - VDN
 
Grapes
Grenache Blanc, Malvoisie du Roussillon, Maccabeu
Max - 20% Muscat a Petit Grains and Muscat d'Alexandrie 
 
Rivesaltes AOC Red production labelling terms
if produced reductively - Vendange or Recolte
if oxidised - Tuile
if extremely oxidised - Rancio 
 
Rivesaltes AOC White production labelling terms 
if oxidised - Ambre (very uncommon)
if extremely oxidised - Rancio 
 
 
Banylus Grand Cru AOC - VDN
 
min 75% Grenache Noir
blending partners Carignan, Cinsault, Syrah
Aging - 30 months in Oak 
Style - slightly oxidised 
Label - dry, sweet, brut - (if R.S level is under 5%)
if oxidised - Tuile 
if extremely oxidised - Rancio
Can NOT be made reductively 
 
 
Banyuls AOC - VDN
 
Grapes
Grenache Blanc, Malvoisie du Roussillon, Maccabeu
Max - 10% Muscat a Petit Grains and Muscat d'Alexandrie 
 
Banylus AOC Red production labelling terms 
if produced reductively - Rimage 
if oxidised - Tuile 
if extremely oxidised - Rancio 
 
Banylus AOC White production labelling terms 
if oxidised - Ambre 
if extremely oxidised - Rancio 
 
Styles of VDN 
 
Ambre - Amber-coloured 
Tuile - Terracotta coloured 
Rancio - Brown coloured 
 
Flavour profile - walnut, orange. The flavours increase with oxidiation
 
 
IGP  Indication Geographique Protegee 
 
  • IGP Pays d'Oc (most wine is labelled under this IGP)
  • IGP Pyrenees Orientales 
  • IGP Cotes Catalanes
  • IGP Catalan 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Aging VDN in glass bottles under the sun allowing the wine to oxidise. There is a large space between the VDN and the top of the bottle for oxgyen contact

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