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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Les Caves du Sieur d’Arques

Address: Avenue de Carcassonne, 11303 Limoux
Tel: 04 68 74 63 00  Fax: 04 68 74 63 13
Geo-coordinates:  Latitude: 43:3:23N (43.05636)    Longitude: 2:12:48E (2.21337) 

Sieur d’Arques is one of the largest and most successful cooperative cellars in the Languedoc even if they did get their fingers burnt recently, along with US giant Gallo who they make the Red Bicyclette brand for, over a ‘Pinot Noir’ scandal! Despite this, the cooperative consistently produces good examples of all the Limoux wine styles. Their barrel-aged Limoux Chardonnays are sourced from different areas; the best is one comes from their higher altitude vineyards, appropriately called ‘Terroir Haute Vallée’, which help retain fresh acidity. More importantly perhaps are their highly recommended sparkling wines, including Bulle de Blanquette Brut, aged on the yeast lees for 24 months, and Bulle de Crémant rosé. They also do guided tours around their enormous factory-like winery and show a film, and it is interesting to see how the local fizz is produced on a large scale compared to the family-run estates below.

Useful information: Guided tours and tastings are available during July and August from Monday to Saturday at 10.30, 15.00 and 17.00; and Sundays at 10.30 only. The rest of the year tours may be possible by appointment.


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