The Saint Chinian appellation

An appellation in the heart of the Languedoc region

On either sides of the rivers Orb and Vernazobre, with the mountains of Caroux and Espinouse in the background, the vineyards of Saint-Chinian wind their way around twenty villages north-west of Béziers. They are exposed to the Mediterranean Sea, bordered to the north by the garrigue and extending to the south along the wine-growing plain of Béziers. Saint-Chinian wine is one of the greatest wines of the region. Since 1982 it is an A.O.C. (Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée) for red and rosé wines and since 2005 for white wines.

The appellation has 450 dedicated producers who cultivate 3,300 hectares of vineyard. This represents 10% of the Languedoc vineyards and the annual production is approximately 115,000 to 120,000 hectolitres.

The terroir of the AOC Saint-Chinian is split into two distinct sections. In the northern portion of the appellation, the soil is composed of shale, as in the nearby vineyards of Faugères. Wines produced on the shale are deep in colour, very expressive in the mouth, fruity and have low acidity. In the southern portion of the appellation, beyond the village of Saint-Chinian, the soils are clay-limestone. The wines produced on this type of soil are less full-bodied, just as concentrated but more round and elegant. In terms of production, 89% are red wines, 10% are rosés and 1% are white.

Cazal Viel is located in the southern portion of the appellation and enjoys a beautiful clay-limestone soil. The influence of the River Orb, the Caroux mountains and the north wind brings a freshness to our vintages. When it rains, the vineyard is quickly dried by the Tramontana mountain wind. This wind passes through the mountain and brings with it all the essential oils of the garrigue wild plants (thyme, wild rosemary). These oils are deposited on the fruit just before harvest. On this very stony earth, the vines produce rich and concentrated fruit which well represent the appellation.