Located in Limoux, a small town high up in the Pyrenees of Southern France just north of Catalunya. It is believed that the first sparkling wine in the world was produced here in 1531 by the monks of St. Hilaire.
The vineyards of Limoux are situated in the far western corner of the Languedoc near the watershed, on land, which varies in altitude between 200 and 600 meters. This tempers the effect of the scorching summer heat.
From a climatic point of view, the Mediterranean influence is counteracted by the effects of the ocean. This guarantees optimum sunshine in addition to a balanced rainfall. We need to add to this the close proximity of the Pyrenées, to which Limoux has always provided a gateway from the Aude.
The vines, which work well in harmony with the local soil structure of sandy clay and clay limestone are Mauzac, Chardonnay, Chenin and Pinot. The yield of 50/hl/ha is the lowest in France for sparkling wines. The grapes have to be hand picked.
After an initial fermentation in vats, where the temperature is carefully controlled, the wine is bottled and then has a second fermentation lasting for several months. During the course of this second fermentation, which we call the ‘prise de mousse’, the yeast transforms the sugar into alcohol with fine bubbles. The bottles remain in the cellars in special wooden crates (sur latte) away from light and temperature fluctuations for a minimum of nine months, twelve months for Crémant and often for several years.