Flashcards in Southern France Deck (21):
What are the climate characteristics of Southern France?
Name a positive and a risk of the climate
Summer often 30c+
Low rainfall esp in growing season
+ Low risk of fungal disease
- Drought but also some risk of Summer floods
What are the growing conditions, inland from the coast, like?
Noticeably cooler, less fertile with well drained soils
There are two noticeable winds in the region, what are they called and where do they blow?
To the west the Tramontane blows through the gap between the Massif Central and the Pyrenees
To the east the Mistral blows down the Rhone valley
What are the 2 most important black grapes in Southern France?
What growing sites do they prefer?
Grenache enjoys hotter spots
Syrah prefers relatively/slightly cooler sites
In addition to Grenache and Syrah what other 5 black grapes are commonly grown in the South of France and what are they used for?
Carignan - Widely grown, high tannin, acidity and colour but lacks fruit finesse
Cinsault - Mainly used for Rosé and adding red fruit flavours to red blends
Mourvèdre - Needs heat but adds richness, colour and complexity to blends
Merlot and Cab Sav - significant plantings and used making IGP wines
What human influences have generally improved the quality of Southern French wines?
Investment in modern winemaking equipment
Improved cellar hygiene
Better oxygen management
Also use of new and old oak
What do winemakers increasingly do to soften the tannins of Carignan?
Semi Carbonic fermentation
What are the 4 most planted white grape varieties in Southern France?
Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc, used for IGP wines
Viognier - Significant plantings
What are the characteristics of Picpoul de Pinet?
High acidity with green fruit and citrus flavours
What 4 black grapes form the key 'quartet' in Languedoc?
Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre (GSM)
What are the 6 key sub regions of Languedoc?
Côtes de Rousillon, Côtes de Rousillon Villages
Minervois, Fitou, Corbieres
Picpoul de Pinet
What are the two best grapes to grow in Southern France warmer regions?
Mourvèdre - at its best the wine has body with meaty, games, flavours
Grenache - Loves the heat
What is the climate like in Corbières?
Warm near the coast and cooler inland, at altitude, cooled by the Tramontane
Where are the vineyards of Minervois located?
In the foothills of the Massif Central.
Vineyards vary in quality, considerations are altitude, soil quality and exposure to the Tramontane
What is the climate like in Picpoul de Pinet?
Vineyards located near the coast Providing cooling sea breezes to retain the acidity of the Picpoul grape
What is the climate of Limoux like and what still wine is it renowned for?
Located inland, at cooling altitude
Renowned for premium Oaked Chardonnays
What is the landscape of Provence like?
Varied and broken up by many ranges of hills that provide protection from The Mistral.
A variety of different site climates and soils
What wines does Provence predominantly make and how do they taste?
Mainly Rosés, very pale in colour, light bodied and dry on the palate with delicate flavours of grapefruit and red fruits
What is the biggest appellation in Provence?
Côtes de Provence
What is the most notable red wine appellation in Provence and where is it located?
How are the vineyards laid out?
Located just East of Marseille
South facing terraced vineyards