These are wines worth discovering, wines that are in a way one of the best kept wine secrets in France. Between the Corbières region and the Mediterranean Sea, the Maîtres Vignerons de Cascastel are producing the emblematic wines of this region of France located in the heart of what was once Cathar country. There is the powerful Fitou, the rich Corbières, and the Muscat de Rivesaltes and Rivesaltes cocktail hour wines, the full bodied and flavorful red and rosé Languedocs and Cascastel’s white, red and rosé Vallée du Paradis. These are craft wines. All are protected by labels relevant to their geography and grape varieties.
Here the harvest is by hand in the good earth of both black schist and chalky clay slopes. Some 60 wine growers work in concert to create sublime wines over 850 hectares of vineyards spread out over five different appellations. .And this year there is some even better news coming out of these hidden valleys. The harvest is proving to be excellent in a year when yields have been small because of the erratic weather. The grape varieties for the maison’s white, rosé and Pinot Gris wines are looking like a vintage year. « The quality is there, we were able to harvest beautiful grapes despite the limited yields this year,» explained wine grower Steve Vallin. Meanwhile the red grape varieties matured nicely as well.
The environment is a priority for the Maîtres Vignerons de Cascastel, pertinent during the COP 26 conference on climate. The cooperative uses the methods of sustainable agriculture and their commitment to sustainable development is evident in their use of solar panels and efforts to protect the rare and spectacular local lizard, the very emerald green ocellated lizard also known, fittingly, as the jeweled lizard.
©Trish Valicenti for The Gourmet Gazette
Categories: Gourmet Fare