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Languedoc terroir

The vineyards of Domaine La Tasque are near the village of Mailhac in the north east of the Minervois appellation. The ancient ruins of a bronze age settlement are on the Cayla hill above the vines and the remains of the 9th century church of St Jean de Caps can be seen from the Syrah vineyard.

Viticulture is part of the fabric of life here and has been for many centuries. Most of the vineyards in the area are owned by grape farmers who sell the grapes to the Cave Cooperative. There are also excellent wine estates such as Domaine Pierre Fil, Domaine Camberaud and Domaine Prade Mari who show the potential of the vineyards in this corner of the Minervois.

There are two grape varieties grown at Domaine La Tasque – Syrah and Carignan.

 

Syrah VineyardSyrah vineyard Languedoc

The soil is limestone and clay with grey sandstone. The clay enables water retention throughout the growing season which is important as there is no irrigation. The Syrah was planted in 1995, clone 99 on rootstock R140. It is cane pruned.

In order to maximize the health of the soil and respect the environment we farm the vines using no chemical pesticides, herbicides or fungicides. Sulphur and occasionally copper form the basis of our protection against fungal disease. Treatments at the beginning of the season are done by hand, moving to a tractor, when the leaf canopy is denser. Leaf plucking, palissage (canopy management) are all done by hand too. Weeds are kept down by ploughing between rows and hand weeding or strimming between vines.

Soil structure is improved by ploughing in organic cow manure and guano. In some years a cover crop of oats is sown in winter and then ploughed into the soil in spring to provide bulk and organic matter.

 

Carignan Vineyard

Carignan is has been planted throughout the Languedoc since the 19th century. Over the decades its reputation became tarnished by systematic overcropping which resulted in thin, rustic wines. However, if yields are kept in check or are naturally low, from old vines, it can produce concenrated, minerally wines that reflect the beauty and stony ruggedness of the countryside. old carignan vines

Our Carignan is 60 years old and is pruned in the traditional, free-standing gobelet way without posts and wires. It is only 100 metres from our Syrah so is a similar soil type, limestone and clay. Our treatment regime is similar to that of our Syrah too – organic products to combat fungal disease, manual weed control and improving soil structure via cover crops.

 

Organic?

We practice organic viticulture but we do not have organic certification. You’ll just have to take our word for it!