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Languedoc terroir

The vineyards of Domaine La Tasque are near the villages of Mailhac and Bize Minervois. 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 three grape varieties which go into Domaine La Tasque wines – Syrah, Carignan and Grenache. In March 2020 we planted another vineyard, including some surprising white varieties!

 

Syrah Syrah vineyard Languedoc

Our original Syrah vineyard is behind the Cayla hill in Mailhac. It is shaped like a sail and is called ‘La Grande Voile’. 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.

The La Buade Syrah is near Bize-Minervois and we have been farming it since 2018. The vines are on limestone clay soil, are 20 years old and most spur pruned. It ripens a little earlier than our Mailhac Syrah.

 

Carignan

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 original 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 La Grande Voile 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.

From late 2018 we started working another old Carignan vineyard ‘en fermage’. That means we have leased it for 9 years but we have the same control over the way we farm it as if we owned it. We call this vineyard ‘La Chapelle’ as it is next to the ruins of the 8th century chapel of St Jean de Caps.

Grenache

Our ‘new’ Grenache vineyard is near Bize-Minervois and is in fact 20 years old. Its first vintage for us was 2019 and it impressed us with its depth of flavour.

New vineyard

We are one of the first domaines in France to plant Assyrtiko, a white variety from Greece which is renowned for making perfumed, rich and zesty white winesfrom Santorini. We imported the vines from a plant nursery in Greece and planted them in early March 2020.  We also planted some traditional Languedoc white grapes: Bourboulenc, which makes delicious wines in La Clape, the rugged massif just the other side of Narbonne. And a little bit of Grenache Gris. For red grapes, there is Mourvèdre, Cinsault and a few rows of Tempranillo. The first vintage from these vineyards will be 2023.