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– AOC TAVEL –
There are whites, rosés, reds, and then there is … Tavel
Wine has been made in Tavel since Gallo-Roman times, as has been revealed by archaeological digs. Recent excavations have turned up an accumulation of grape seeds which attests to pressing of grapes and thus of regular production of wine.
In 1636, all other types of crops were abandoned and local farmers turned solely to wine-growing. In 1902, the Winegrowers’ Syndicate (Syndicat des Propriétaires Viticulteurs) was founded. In 1926, the group established the boundaries of the Tavel growing area, a strictly-defined land area that is particularly conducive to producing high-quality rosé wine.
The tenacity and determination shown by the vine growers and by Baron le Roy led to the establishment of the very first AOC Rosé in France with the creation of the Tavel Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée in 1936.
Today, the Tavel AOC is 910 hectares of producing vineyards with a maximum authorized yield of 46 hectoliters per hectare. There are 9 authorized grape varieties: Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre, Cinsault, Clairette, Bourboulenc, Carignon, Picpoul and Calitor.
– AOC LIRAC –
Discreet Understated Luxury
In Lirac, vineyards have been a local resource for over two millennia. The Lirac Cru is the basis for the name given to the Côtes du Rhône, for in 1737, to protect and guarantee the origin of the Lirac wine shipped from the port in Roquemaure, the French king ordered that casks of Lirac wine be branded with the letters CDR, for “Côtes du Rhône”.
The Lirac Cru obtained its own appellation in 1947, which covers the best terroirs in the four towns of Lirac, Roquemaure, Saint Laurent des Arbres and Saint Génies de Comolas, currently accounting for 715 hectares. Maximum yield is 41 hectoliters per hectare.
– AOC CÔTES DU RHÔNE –
The Birth of the AOC
The Rhone Valley carefully safeguards the quality of its wines and has played an active role in the founding of viticultural appellations.
In the 1930’s, the visionary Châteauneuf du Pape winemaker Baron le Roy announced the criteria for that winegrowing appellation and established the denomination of “Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée” in 1933.
The specifications laid down later became the model for all AOC decrees.
The Côtes du Rhône AOC covers an area of 250 kilometers running north to south along the banks of the Rhône, from the Vienne to Nîmes and Avignon and including 250 towns. There are 27 appellations which include 16 Crus, with a total of 27 authorized grape varieties.