Faugères AOC covers still wines of all three colours from seven communes (including Faugères itself) in the schistous hills north of Pézenas and Béziers and south of Bédarieux in the northwest part of the Hérault in the Languedoc region in southern France. The AOC was granted from the 1982 vintage (as was neighbouring Saint Chinian AOC). ‘It is a small appellation, with pretty hamlets tucked into the hillsides; Faugères itself is a small village, with a narrow main street…Roquessels is dominated by a ruined castle, as is Cabrerolles – a reminder of turbulent times. Fos, too, is worth a detour [Domaine Ollier-Taillefer]…drive up to Les Trois Tours, a viewing point with three towers that are Roman in origin and were subsequently turned into windmills. They provide an emblem for the appellation of Faugères,’ says Rosemary George MW (2006).

Communes (7): Autignac. | Cabrerolles. | Caussiniojouls. | Faugères. | Fos. | Laurens. | Roquessels.

Vineyard area & wine production: 2002 72,494hl from 1,872 hectares (Guide Hachette des Vins 2004, p.731).

Terroir: Steep slopes. Around 250 metres a.s.l. on the rugged schistous foothills of the Cévennes.

Sustainability: Faugères has launched an environmental charter.

Wine style: Doug Wregg of Les Caves de Pyrène (wine list July 2011) says ‘Faugères has a higher proportion of schist [compared to Saint-Chinian] with the resultant wines acquiring that toasted/roasted character. They tend to be full-bodied, rounded and powerful, with summer fruit compote flavours, and with age tend to develop leathery, animal undertones. As well as Grenache, Syrah and Carignan, the late-ripening Mourvèdre gives distinctive flavour and texture to many Faugères reds.’

Wineries

Certified organic: Abbaye Sylva Plana. | Château des Estanilles. | Château La Liquière. | Clos Fantine. | Domaine des Prés-Lasses. | Domaine du Météore. | Domaine Ollier-Taillefer. | Mas des Capitelles.

Bibliography

Rosemary George MW, ‘Languedoc: A overview from Pézenas’, World of Fine Wine 11 2006 p.103