Le Minervois

A unique terroir in the wide region of Languedoc

The Minervois is a wine region of France straddles over the departments of Hérault and Aude. The vine arrived in this sub-region of Languedoc along with the Greek in the 6th century BC. The Mediterranean climate prevails with rainy autumns and winters and hot dry summers. Winds are ubiquitous in the region since the geographical terrain forms a north-south corridor. The Montagne Noire however protects the vineyards from the cold spring winds. There is also wind coming from the sea on the east side which is manifested mainly in summer and brings heat and humidity. The rivers that descend from the Montagne Noire left on their shores pebble terraces, sandstone, shale and limestone. Many of these stones are found in the vineyards of the region. The AOC Minervois spans nearly 60 km from the gates of Narbonne in the east to Carcassonne to the west, and 50 meters above sea level on the banks of the Canal du Midi up to 350 meters in Cassagnoles. The main grape varieties grown in the this AOC are Carignan, Grenache Noir, Cinsault, Syrah and Mourvedre. The wines can have a good aging potential and are often characterized as ample wines, soft and silky with flavors of ripe fruit. The region also produces a small amount of white wines and sweet wines which can sometimes surprise by their acidity and their complexity.

Since 1997, the Minervois appellation has its own cru: La Livinière. The area surrounds the village of the same name and has a unique terroir which allows the production of wines of higher quality. The vineyard is planted on a soil of limestone and clay from the Petit Causse, this cliffs which lies at an altitude of 140 meters at the foot of the Black Mountains. A precise delimitation of the cru was conducted with about 2,600 eligible hectares in Minervois La Livinière. Mourvedre and Syrah must represent a minimum of 40 % of the blend in the cru. On the other hand, Carignan and Cinsault must not represent more than 40% while Grenache can also be used in the blend.  The essence of the Minervois La Livinière often relies in a delicate blend of grapes to obtain subtle nuances and aromatic complexity.