Vignobles & Découvertes : Minervois Saint-Chinian Faugères

Located between the River Orb and the Vernazobre valley, and surrounded by the Caroux and Espinouse hills, the Saint-Chinian vineyards are spread amongst twenty villages, North-West of Béziers.

The wines produced in Saint-Chinian, were classified as A.O.C. in 1982. This area, with its Mediterranean geology and climate, produces red and rosé wines, and since 2005, white wines. As a producer of top quality wines, A.O.C. Saint-Chinian, with its 3 300 hectares and 450 producers, plays an important role in the regional A.O.C. Languedoc appellation.

Tradition & History

In 1945:

A VDQS (Defined Wine of Superior Quality) designation was created. This designation quickly reached the neighboring villages under the name ʻCôtes de lʼOrb et du Vernazobreʼ. The acknowledgment of Saint-Chinian wines in 1982 In the 1950ʼs, the village of Saint-Chinian was well-served by railway links, which made it a major player in the region. Saint- Chinian gained a good reputation and became well-known to the extent that the producers in Côtes de lʼOrb & Vernazobre decided to label their wines “Saint-Chinian”.

The quality of the wines produced continued to be of Appellation dʼOrigine Contrôlée “ Saint-Chinian owes its name to Saint-Benoît dʼAniane.

He founded the Saint-Laurent monastery in 794 and established a vineyard. Later, this monastery took the name Saint-Anian, which became Saint-Chinian in the Middle Ages.

In 1982:

Saint-Chinian is classified as A.O.C. Saint-Chinian became an A.O.C. in 1982 and com- prises twenty villages: Assignan, Babeau-Bouldoux, Berlou, Causses-et-Veyran, Cazedarnes, Cébazan, Cessenon-sur-Orb, Creissan, Cruzy, Ferrières-Poussarou, Murviel-lès-Béziers, Pierrerue, Prades-sur-Vernazobre, Puisserguier, Quarante, Roquebrun, Saint-Chinian, Saint-Nazaire-de Ladarez, Vieussan et Villespassans.

In 2005:

A significant change took place in the hierarchy of Saint-Chinian with the creation of two local appellations (Saint-Chinian-Berlou and Saint-Chinian-Roquebrun) and the recognition of white wines in the appellation Saint-Chinian. Terroirs and Mediterranean climate Two significantly different terroirs The Saint-Chinian wine area is divided into two parts by the Rivers Orb and Vernazobre.

The Appellation defines a list of grape varieties from which A.O.C. Saint-Chinian wines can be made:

  • Grenache Noir produces wines with aromatics of raspberry & red fruits and mixed spice with rounded tannins.
  • Syrah produces wines with intense aromatics of blackberry fruits, pepper spice and violets, and gives great colour and structure. • Mourvèdre loves the heat and produces full-bodied wines with intense tannins, peppery spice aromatics & blackberry fruit aromatics.
  • Carignan Noir low yielding, it produces wines with deep colour and well structured with attractive strawberry fruit aromas, spicey perfume and strong tannins which soften with age.
  • Cinsault Noir softens the wine and adds finesse to the final blend. • Lledoner Pelut produces deeply coloured wines similar to Grenache Noir but with slightly lower alcohol. “ Well protected from rain by the majestic Mont Caroux, the Saint-Chinian appellation enjoys a temperate Mediterranean climate with warm summers and little rain. “