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Terroir and vineyards
Come and taste the flavours of the south in quality meals made with local produce from this land.
There are many local products produced in livestock, dairy and arable farms: the Pays de Sault Potato, locally grown cold meat, and much more. In recognition of the quality of these products, various seals of approval may be awarded, for example, the “Rosée des Pyrénées” veal which has gained international renown.
The Aude has also created a quality award which is the “Pays Cathare” logo. The regional seal of quality is called “Sud de France”.
The Sud de France quality seal
Sud de France covers all produce and wine grown under the sun on the Mediterranean coast. Intended to promote the Languedoc Roussillon and its flavours in France and abroad, this seal is part of a collective drive towards quality. More information...
The Pays Cathare quality seal
The "Pays Cathar" is a seal bringing together farmers, artisans, wine-growers and tourist professionals, who are concerned about offering guarantees of quality and authenticity with regards to their products and services. The Pays Cathar seal sets apart a group of quality products and services offered by passionate men and women working in the Aude, covering a complete range of products and services. In total, 32 areas of production and services are covered by this seal, ensuring that almost 1000 professionals have committed to a quality charter. More information...
A land of valleys and mountains, our region has many farms, in particular gascony cattle, sheep, goats…
These farms are also open to those wishing to discover life on the farm and the products made during the event "De Ferme en Ferme" which takes place on the 1st May every year.
Vines and wine: an internationally-renowned tradition
The Languedoc-Roussillon vines are among the oldest and most wide-spread in the world. They extend from the right bank of the Rhône to the foot of the Pyrénées. Produced today by passionate wine-growers, bathed in the Mediterreanean sun, Languedoc Roussillon wines entice you with a medley of flavours.
In the Pyrénées Audoises, you can taste numerous AOCs and also "vins de pays" which are much less known but very pleasant in the mouth.
The oldest appellation in the Languedoc, the AOC Limoux is known for its Blanquette (made of 3 grape varieties -- mauzac, chenin and chardonnay) and also for its Chardonnay. The annual festival "Toques et Clochers" (a festival where selected barrels of Chardonnay are sold by auction and the money raised is used to restore a bell in the villages in the appellation), is a celebration of the local Chardonnay, a still wine with an growing reputation for its finesse. Chardonnay are differenciated by their appellation area (41 communes) in 4 "terroirs":
* Terroir d'Autan
Characteristics: 150 - 200 metres altitude, 570mm of rain per year. Situated between two mountain ranges, the Corbières and the Chalabrais, the climate is hot and dry. Out of the four terroirs, this one is harvested second.
* Terroir Méditerranéen
Situated to the east of Limoux, near Montpellier, the climate is warm and tempered by sea winds, which produces an ambient moisture level, which can sometimes rise, causing a rapid increase in sugars. This terroir is harvested first.
* Terroir Océanique
Characteristics: 200 - 300 metres altitude, 780mm of rain per year. Situated to the west of Limoux, near Toulouse, this wet and temperate climate is exposed to the warmth of the west, resulting in a later maturation in comparison with the Autun and Méditerranéen Terroirs (by around 2 weeks).
* Terroir Haute Vallée
Characteristics: 300 metres altitude, 750mm of rain per year. Near the Pyrénées along the Aude, the climate is colder and wetter, with late springs and cool autumns.
The Histoire of Blanquette de Limoux
In 1531, in the cellars of the Benedictine Abbey in Saint-Hiliare, a monk noticed that the wine he had bottled and sealed with a cork was starting to "fizz". There were bubbles in Limoux wine! The first dry sparkling wine in the world was born, by chance, coming from a Limoux vine. It is possible to uncover the secrets of the making and blending of these AOCs by visiting the numerous cellars with the Pays Cathare seal of quality.
This is a unique "terroir" in the Languedoc due to its western position and the exposure of its slopes. These qualities have made the Côtes de Malepère, the latest wine to be granted an AOC in November 2006, a wine which combines the mildness of the coastal climate with the heat of the mediterranean. The wine has a ruby robe, an intense nose and is marries perfectly with red meats, game and ripened cheese. The wines can either be bottled young or aged in oak barrels.