3 Wineries of Southern France

November 14, 2016
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The Château de Flaugergues

Built at the end of the XVII century, Flaugergues is one of the so-called ‘Follies’, built in the countryside around Montpellier. ‘Houses in the Foliage’, they were the result of a new order of aristocracy, whose wealth came from their service to the King. Planted in the heart of rural domains, they are surrounded by magnificent gardens. They would also become the summer residences of the rich and famous of Montpellier during the XVIII century. The Château de Flaugergues is situated in one of the twelve terroirs found in the Côteaux du Languedoc. The Romans cultivated vines and olives here over 2000 years ago.

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The monks of Grand Mont maintained this tradition, and after them the ancestors of the current owners have continued to do so from 1696 until the present day. This exceptional terroir is made up of rounded pebbles calles ‘les Grés’ (from deposits in the Rhone delta) and thrives in the area’s Mediterranean climate with its strong maritime influence.  The 30 Ha (75 acre) vineyard is dominated by early-ripening grapes; it is the harmonious combination of different vines which allows for the creation of such a rich range of fine aromatic wines.

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The Château Jonquières

One could consider the Château de Jonquières as being a Languedoc historical estate. The building is around 1000 years old and is listed as a national historic monument. Originally a medieval castle, the domain is now beautifully renovated to host visitors indulging in wine tourism. Archives dating from the 13th century show the land being designated for vineyards. The owners have kept the property in their family, always passed down since the its 12th century origins.

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The wines received a national and international recognition during the 19th century with a silver medal obtained at the Universal Exposition of 1889 and the quoting on Quetton St Georges’s (Canadien wine importer at Toronto) price list dating from 1870.  Today, at the Terrasses du Larzac, the vineyards of the estate, 30,000 bottles are produced each year.

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The Valmagne Abbey

The Valmagne Abbey was built in 1139. A historical village long occupied by monks in a truly serene location with marvelous architecture surrounded by acres of vineyard. In 1820 vats made from Russian oak were installed in the church, hence the name “Cathedral of Vines”. The Cistercian monks planted vineyards here during the 12th century, as in many of their abbeys (the majority of the great Burgundy vineyards were of Cistercian origin) and since then the land has been planted with vines.

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During the 19th century they exported to Mexico, and the produce was later sold during the twenties and thirties from a shop in Paris – Rue Mouffetard. Today, the wines are exported worldwide and distributed through France. The vines are cultivated by machinery and special attention is given to natural fertilisation. In 1985, 30 hectares out of a total vineyard of 75 hectares were classified “Appellation Contrôlée” and more may have the Appellation in the future. Situated on the gentle hills of our domain there are two distinct types of soil : the southern clay and chalk slopes produce most of the classified wines and some “Vins de Pays”, while to the north, separated by a natural rocky barrier are 12 hectares of red soil from which comes our reknowed “Cuvée de Turenne”.

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