Pic Saint-Loup, a new well-deserved AOC

Pic Saint-Loup. Domaine Haut-Lirou © DR
Last born of Languedoc’s AOC, the appellation Pic Saint-Loup is located near Montpellier. Wines are produced by three cooperative cellars and some sixty independent winemakers. Haut-Lirou estate is a great place for tasting and discover the vineyard.

[ Practical ]

- Domaine Haut-Lirou
Tel : 0467553850
- Mas Peyrolle
Tel : 0467559950
- Morties
Tel : 0467551112
- Clos de la Matane
Tel : 0663606621
- Domaine de l’Hortus
Tel : 0467553120
Although well-known and appreciated by wine lovers for years, the Pic Saint-Loup appellation only gained the AOC status in September 2016. Covering 1 000 ha, the vineyard extends over the first foothills of the Cévennes, about twenty kilometers from Montpellier, about thirty kilometers from the sea, and is dominated by the 658 meters high Pic Saint-Loup. Hence the name of this appellation that produces red and rosé wines on a terroir where climate is subject to both mediterranean and continental influences.

Domaine Haut-Lirou © DR
 Spectacular scenery
Seasons are well marked, winters are colder than in the neighboring regions of Languedoc but summers are warm and dry with cool nights. Ideal conditions for producing great wines.
Planted with grenache, syrah, mourvèdre and to a lesser extent with carignan and cinsault, surrounded by garrigues, the vines give complex, ample, well-structured, fresh and spicy red wines with aromas of red and black fruits. Some wineries also produces excellents whites coming under the Languedoc AOC or Val de Monferrant IGP banners.
A great place to discover this appellation is the Domaine Haut Lirou, owned by the Rambier family, in Saint-Jean de Cuculles. It not only produces excellent wines but also has vines located in a spectacular setting. In particular, the plot planted on the slopes of the Pic Saint-Loup at an altitude of 200-250 m.

Gites Haut-Lirou © DR
 Night in the vineyard
You will be able to discover it on a 2 hours 4x4 ride punctuated by superb views during which your guide will give you explanations about local fauna and flora, geology, soil, vine cultivation and grape varieties. In addition, an ephemeral bar is set up in the courtyard of the estate in summer, grape picking activities are offered in autumn, while animations with Santa Claus and workshops on wine and chocolate pairing are organized at the end of the year. Finally, in spring 2017 three gites will be opened in the middle of the vineyards each of an area of ​​about 60 m2 and comprising two bedrooms.
If you want to discover more of the appellation and taste other wines, we recommend you to go to Mas Peyrolle, in Vacquières, to Morties estate, near Saint-Jean de Cuculles, to Clos de la Matane in Claret or to Domaine de l'Hortus located at the foot of the spectacular cliff of the same in Valflaunes.

December 07, 2016
Thierry Joly 

[ Wines ]

- Domaine Haut-Lirou
Mas des Costes 2014 : €14.50
Esprit du Haut-Lirou 2013 : €25
Constance blanc et rosé 2015 : €17
- Mas Peyrolle
Esprit 2014 : €10
- Morties
Cuvee 2013 : €13
- Clos de la Matane
Pic Saint-Loup 2014 : €12
- Domaine de l’Hortus
Grande Cuvée rouge 2014 : €22.40
Grande Cuvée blanc 2015 : €22.40