France: Languedoc Roussillon

Around Carcassonne

The wines of Cabardès, Malepère and Limoux
By Richard James and Paul Strang

This Guide was last updated on 26 April 2010
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Wine producers to visit

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Domaine de Martinolles

Address: 11250 Saint Hilaire
Tel: 04 68 69 41 93  Fax: 04 68 69 45 97
Geo-coordinates:  Latitude: 43:5:55N (43.09853)    Longitude: 2:19:1E (2.31698) 

This elevated vineyard (200-300m) lies close to the village, whose abbey is said to be the birthplace of bottle-fermented sparkling wine in France, long before Champagne was born. Whatever the truth (as other regions also claim this!), the Vergnes family makes some of the best of the local version and will give you a warm welcome (if you can get your car past snoozing dogs blocking the drive!). Their méthode ancestrale is perhaps not as rich as Domaine de Fourn’s but it has a nice appley character, the hallmark of the Mauzac grape. Their Crémant de Limoux is full-flavoured and classy, and red and white still Limoux wines are worth trying too. They also produce olive oil and have an on-site gîte - see website.


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