Vin de Pays d'Oc

  Vin de Pays d’Oc, Vin de Pays de l’Aude
A.O.C. Malepère
A.O.C. Malepère  

Vin de Pays means 'country wine' to the French, but to outsiders it can mean New World with a French accent. These are the wines which the French authorities unreservedly allow to be labelled with the grape variety from which they were made. It is difficult to over-estimate the importance of this large and growing category of wines for the future of the French wine trade. The French themselves may have tended to see any Vin de Pays as distinctly inferior to any appellation contrôlée wine, whereas many of their customers abroad see the better Vins de Pays as good-value, user-friendly, sometimes high-quality non-conformist emissaries from the world's most revered wine producer.

Red Wine = Red Wine White Wine = White Wine Blanquette, Sparkling Wine= Blanquette, Sparkling Wine
Organic Wine = Organic Wine Rosé = Rosé Muscat, Natural Sweet Wine  = Muscat, Natural Sweet Wine
The Vin de Pays category, a product only of the 1970s but now with almost one hundred members, is designed to allow greater flexibility, and higher yields, than the AC rules. A much wider range of grape varieties (including the 'international' ones Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot, etc) is allowed for Vins de Pays, and some producers bottle the produce of vines too young for AC wines as Vins de Pays. The normal maximum permitted yield for a Vin de Pays is 105 hl/ha for reds and rosés and 90-110 for whites, whereas most ACs are limited to about 50 or 60 hl/ha, although the smaller the area designated by the Vin de Pays, the more demanding the rules.
A.O.C. Malepère

The two systems overlap geographically so that most wine producers have a choice between making an AC wine or a Vin de Pays, but the choice tends to be dictated by economics or by a wish to avoid the AC straitjacket in terms of varieties allowed. Few burgundian producers choose to abandon their valuable appellation wines in favour of making a Vin de Pays de la Côte d'Or. But scores of producers in the Languedoc, for example, find it commercially more rewarding to produce a Vin de Pays d'Oc, which can also be labelled varietally with a magic name such as Chardonnay or Merlot, or a more geographically specific Vin de Pays, than to make an AC Languedoc.

Partly because the appellations of Languedoc and Roussillon don't generally command a particularly high price, and partly because so many vineyards lie outside these appellations (having been planted to produce Vin de Table), the great majority of Vins de Pays come from this vast vineyard area. The Languedoc's regional Vin de Pays, 'd'Oc', is the single most important Vin de Pays produced, and certainly France's principal varietally labelled wine.

  Cinsault Because the area is so large, individual Vins de Pays d'Oc vary considerably but Chardonnay and Merlot seem to have adapted particularly well to the Mediterranean climate here (even though they are relatively recent arrivals). Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah are more variable but can shine, while plantings of Viognier continue to multiply as this variety's fame spreads. Vins de Pays are also a good vehicle for such local vine specialities as Terret, Rolle and Marsanne. Oak ageing and rarity (in the case of early Viognier plantings) have pushed the price of some Vins de Pays above that of appellation wines.

Red Wine  Rosé   The permitted grape varieties for red and rosé wine are: Grenache, Syrah, Cinsault, Carignan, Lladoner Pelut, Mourvèdre, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot en Côt (Malbec)

White Wine  The most important grape varieties for white are Chardonnay, Macabeu, Picpoul, Clairette, Terret Blanc, Bourboulenc (Malvoisie) - Grenache Blanc, Maccabeu, Clairette, Muscat, Piquepoul, Terret blanc, Marsanne, Roussanne, Viognier, Rolle (Vermentino)

  Vin de Pays de l'Aude is a Vin de Pays (VDP) title covering the Aude administrative departement of southern France.

This area falls within the Languedoc-Roussillon wine region, the epicenter of Vin de Pays wines, and is one of the most frequently used VDP titles of all. Annual production of Vin de Pays de l'Aude wine is well over 1m hL, equal to that of its neighbor Vin de Pays de l'Herault, and surpassed only by the Vin de Pays d'Oc, of which it is effectively a sub-category. A Vin de Pays de Departement, the VDP de l'Aude title covers every vineyard of the Aude, irrespective of its terroir and climate. The catchment area is not defined by the presence of a particular soil type or mesoclimate, but by the Aude department boundaries.
A.O.C. Malepère
Aude is bordered by the Mediterranean Sea in the east and the Pyrenees-Orientales departement in the south. Its south-western corner is dominated by the lower peaks (these rise to over 6000ft/1830m) of the Pyrenees mountains, and the foothills below cover almost the entire southern half of the departement. To the north are the Montagne Noire hills which loom 4000ft/1220m over the coastal plains below. It is on these coastal plains that the majority of the Aude's vines are to be found, producing wines not only for Vin de Pays de l'Aude wines (and various other local Vin de Pays titles), but also for appellations like Corbieres, Cabardes, Minervois and Fitou.

Within the Aude departement are a number of Vin de Pays de Zone, such as Vin de Pays de la Cite de Carcassonne and Vin de Pays de la Vallee du Paradis. Wines from vineyards not covered by these more location-specific titles, or not meeting their production criteria, are sold as VDP de L'Aude.

Domaine des Souleilles - Donazac

des Souleilles

Domaine des Souleilles - Donazac

Red Wine White Wine Rosé

Domaine des Souleilles is located 8 km from Limoux in the hamlet of Pech-Salamu within the appellation Malepère recently acquired the appellation of origin. The hamlet dating from 931 was built on ancient Gallo-Roman sites. The vines are planted at a density of 4,400 vines per hectare. 90% of the plots are cut by Guyot and the remaining 10% are cut in Royat cord. Land situated in the foothills of the Pyrenees Aude 250 m above sea level. The 32 hectares of vineyards are on parcels grouped around the hamlet. All of the vineyards are on clay-limestone with numerous sandstone outcrops...

A.O.C. Malepère

Cave La Malepère - Arzens

Cave La Malepère

Cave La Malepère - Arzens

Red Wine White Wine Rosé Organic Wine

Since 2008, the Cave "The Malepère is committed to an approach that integrates simultaneously the economic, social and environmental management structure. It is also a comprehensive approach involving employees and growers. This vineyard consists of almost 7.5 acres of grapes. About three-quarters acres of vineyards planted with Chardonnay, the breed La Cave Malepère an excellent white wine making. The remaining 6.5 acres are three red grape varieties, especially Merlot and further cot (malbec) and cabernet franc. In the future, it also documents new vineyard planting other varieties. That of course depends on further research into the potential of the land and the views of experts...

Enjoy your wine tasting ("dégustation")!

Enjoy your wine tasting ('dégustation')!

Vin de Pays d'Oc
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