St. Roch falls under an area of the Languedoc that includes Limoux, Côtes de Malepere & Cabardes and of course, the spectacular medieval citadel of Carcassonne. The river Aude passes through Limoux, running south en route to Quillan and beyond.
Traditionally Limoux is famous for its sparkling wines, Blanquette and Crémant using Mauzac, Chenin and Chardonnay. Blanquette is claimed to be the oldest sparkling wine variety in France, pre-dating Dom Perignon by half a century, thanks to another Dom, or Doms, busily at work at the Abbaye Saint-Hilaire.
The whole area, which has a variety of micro-climates, were given the AOC in 1993. The micro-climates are divided into four: Autan, Oceanique, Mediterranean and Haute-Vallée.
Limoux, which is about 6 kilometres from St. Roch, is home to the coopérative where the production occurs for famously the sparkling wines but also for Chardonnay. St. Roch produces an excellent Chardonnay as well as some good red wine using grenache, gamay and pinot noir.
But more about our wines later. The Cave Coopérative à Limoux is responsible for about three quarters of the production in the area; as well as making sparkling wines they produce Chardonnay from the four climates.
The Haute-Vallée, from vines grown at 450m in altitude, reveals the tightest structure with marked acidity and the greatest ageing potential, and is, to coin a cliché, Burgundian.