Herault wines: everything you need to know
For a few years now, we hardly speak of “ vin de pays ” anymore. These wines have changed status and carry the designation “ Protected Geographical Indication ”. For the wines of the Pays de l'Hérault , for example, we now find on the labels " Protected Geographical Indication Pays de l'Hérault " followed by an additional geographical mention .
AOC, PDO and PGI
These three signs are officially recognized by the State and when you are not a great expert in oenology or a great wine lover, you do not always find yourself. The AOC stands for “ Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée ” and is a French label. This acronym is given to wines whose cultivation, manufacturing, production and transformation stages have been carried out in the same geographical area. We have for example the AOC Alsace , the AOC Bourgogne , the AOC Languedoc , the AOC Pic Saint Loup and the AOC Vin de Savoie. If we often talk about wine for the AOC, certain products such as cheeses and agri-food products also have this French recognition. The AOP or " Protected Designation of Origin " is the equivalent of the AOC on European territory, in other words it is the quality label of the European community. A product holds this label when it is produced, processed and developed in a specific geographical area. Its production also requires the know-how of local producers and the raw materials used must come from the area concerned. The PGI stands for " Protected Geographical Indication" . It is a European acronym and 75 wines in France hold this label. As we mentioned above, it is the old country wines that now carry it. To have the PGI, a step, in particular the processing, must have been carried out in a specific geographical area.
The IGP Pays de l'Hérault
The greatest wines that hold the IGP Pays de l'Hérault appellation are well known worldwide, thanks to the work of Domaine Mas Daumas Gassac. This wine estate is located in Aniane in the Gassac valley, in the Hérault department. It produces 120,000 to 150,000 bottles of white wines, rosé wines and red wines per year. Even with this high production, he still maintains the quality of his products. The wines of Domaine Mas Daumas Gassac carry the IGP Pays de l'Hérault and, to discover them, you can take the itinerary of the Hérault wine route from Montpellier and continue along the Canal du Midi. If there are many producers in this region, the IGP Pays de l'Hérault appellation can be supplemented by a geographical mention. We can then see IGP Pays de l'Hérault La Bénovie, IGP Pays de l'Hérault Bérange, IGP Pays de l'Hérault Bessan, IGP Pays de l'Hérault Caux, IGP Pays de l'Hérault Collines de la Moure, IGP Pays from Hérault Coteaux du Salagou, IGP Pays de l'Hérault Monts de la Grage, IGP Pays de l'Hérault Coteau de Laurens or IGP Pays de l'Hérault Côtes du Brian. The wines produced in this department can also be protected by the Vin de Pays d'Oc appellation.
The grape varieties used for the production of Hérault wines
There are around thirty grape varieties for the production of wines from the Hérault region. These main grape varieties used in the production of red wines and rosé wines are typically Mediterranean. Among these varieties are Cinsault , Grenache , Syrah and Carignan . Some winegrowers add Cabernet Sauvignon , Merlot, Meunier and Mondeuse to their blend. Hérault white wines are mainly made from Maccabeu, Grenache Blanc and Terret. These grape varieties are often complemented by Chardonnay , Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier, Riesling and Clarin. These vines are grown in the Languedoc wine region, in shale, marl, limestone and molasses soils. They receive a Mediterranean climate.
Our Côtes du Rhône is a sweet blend of Grenache, Syrah and Carignan.
The characteristics of red wines from Pays d'Hérault
In the collection, the red wines of the Hérault are distinguished by their deep ruby color with reflections verging on violet . On first opening the bottle, the nose is quite fine and complex. You can smell notes of ripe red fruits, candied fruits like prune. When you let it air, you will also smell roasted, vanilla and sometimes even smoky aromas when the red wine is young. With age, these wines develop more notes of morello cherries, brandied cherries and animal scents. On tasting, this type of red wine leaves density and depth. It is long in the mouth and expresses fine and firm tannins. The finish on the palate remains unequalled. If you have purchased a bottle of Hérault wine, open it when preparing a stew or roast game dish.
The characteristics of white wines from Pays d'Hérault
The white wines of the Pays d'Hérault have a pale gold color with green reflections and this can be explained by the choice of grape varieties for their production. They are lipid and shiny wines and their disk is thick. When you open the bottle, you will be impressed by the finesse that the white wine from the Hérault region exudes. Notes of citrus fruits, dried fruits, exotic fruits and vanilla emanate from it. You can also smell brioche and fruit paste notes. At the tasting, it is a wine that is renowned for its amplitude while being very light. In the mouth, it leaves honeyed notes with a long and mineral finish. You can keep a white wine from Hérault in a well-conditioned cellar for a decade.
These flavors pair perfectly with Thai delicacies and pan-fried fish.
The characteristics of rosé wines from Pays d'Hérault
Pays de l'Hérault rosé wine has a color similar to that of a very clear red wine. Most of the time, her dress is bright pink with remarkable shine. The carried nose reveals red fruits like strawberries. It is a very dense and very round wine in the mouth , but it still offers a certain freshness. Oenologists call it a gourmet wine and they are more recommended to accompany aperitifs.