Roussillon is a region on France’s south west Mediterranean border with Catalonia (Catalunya) in Spain. Historically Roussillon was a province of France that largely corresponded to the County of Roussillon and part of the County of Cerdagne of the former Principality of Catalonia
The Roussillon’s strengths are the diversity of its terroir, the sunniest climate in France, unrelenting wind from the Tramontana wind to minimise disease pressure, a high percentage of organic vines, a wide range of soil types, a legacy of old vines (mainly reds but whites too) and a range of wine styles from dry red and white wines to fortified Vins Doux Naturels, the latter a style for which Roussillon is France’s most prolific and noted.
Regions, wines: Banyuls AOC. | Collioure AOC. | Côte Vermeille. | Côtes Catalanes. | Côtes du Roussillon AOC. | Côtes du Roussillon Villages AOC. | Côtes du Roussillon Villages Caramany. | Côtes du Roussillon Villages Latour-de-France. | Côtes du Roussillon Villages Lesquerde. | Côtes du Roussillon Villages Tautavel. | Grand Roussillon AOC. | Maury AOC. | Muscat de Rivesaltes AOC. | Rivesaltes AOC. | Val d’Agly. | Vin de Pays des Coteaux de Fenouillèdes.
Grape varieties: ‘Old parcels in Roussillon tend to have enormous amounts of Carignan [noir] and Grenache [noir], then Cinsault. Mourvèdre and finally Syrah,’ says Vincent Legrand of Domaine de la Rectorie in an interview with Natasha Hughes (see below), adding ‘thanks to our anachronistic tendencies we’ve kept a huge number of our old vines.’
Natasha Hughes,’On the road to recognition’, Harpers Wine & Spirit Weekly (17th Sept 2004, p.21-23