A child of the Dentelles de Montmirail hill range, Beaumes-de-Venise is endowed with a tremendous terroir. A contrast of honey and ruggedness, of peacefulness and strength… a paradise never lost.Christophe Tassan
The scenery around the fertile vineyard that produces Beaumes-de-Venise wines would fit perfectly into the Tuscan landscape... Grapevines and olive groves mingle, rooted in earth well cared for by the winegrowers and their recipe of considered agriculture and their love for a unique, rich, and precious terroir.
While the name “de Venise” conjures up romantic images, it is of no relation to the Italian city... It’s a distortion of “de Venisse”, meaning “of the Comtat Venaissan” or “Comtat Avignonnais”. Located at the foot of the rocky Dentelles de Montmirail formed in the Jurassic era, the terroir’s earth contains three types of soils, as well as deposits of Triassic rock that produces an exceptional type of soil that produces unique wines. Officially granted cru status in 2005, the AOC produces deep coloured red wines, in shades ranging from cherry red to purple... as well as the famous naturally dessert wine: Muscat (see section on Muscat Beaumes-de-Venise).
The AOC terroir’s wines take their character from a group of grape varieties, with the two main varieties being Grenache (at least 50% of planted vines) and Syrah (25% to 50% of vines planted).
Grenache noir is rich in phenolic compounds and brings hints of summer fruits, licorice, and spices. Syrah brings colour, greater fragrance, and a long finish. Mourvèdre complements the first two varieties with its more complex aromas of black fruits, leather, and woodland. There are also secondary varieties such as Cinsault, Carignan, and Counoise: as well as white grape varieties, which are authorized to make up no more than 10% of the wine, and can give an original touch that could be considered as the winemaker’s signature.
Greek colonists planted first Muscat vines in Beaumes around 600BC. From 1309 onwards, Pope Clement V and the Apostolic Camera owned muscat producing facilities. Even though the religious wars that scarred the Middle Ages also caused the vineyards to shrink, the nobility consumed Muscat on a regular basis. In 1957, Beaumes de Venise joined the Côtes du Rhône production area. In 1978, the winemakers of Beaumes-de-Venise entered the upper category and were able to produce Côtes du Rhônes Villages Beaumes-de-Venise. On 9 June 2005, the red wines produced in Beaumes-de-Venise officially became Côte du Rhône crus.
View the decrees granting appellation status (INAO)2005Birth of AOC Beaumes de Venise
The terroir is spread across the counties of Beaumes-de-Venise, Lafare, La Roque-Alric and Suzette, in the Vaucluse.
Mediterranean climate, hot, protected from mistral by topography (Dentelles de Montmirail).
Beaumes-de-Venise wines come from three major terroirs that give the cru its unique personality.
The Triassic is the name given to the first period of the Mesozoic era. Normally, the layer of rock dating from this period in the region is found buried 1500m below the surface. The emergence of the Dentelles de Montmirail brought these deposits to the surface around the town of Suzette by a type of compression, unique to the Rhone Valley, known as “Suzette Diapir”.
Farmable soil is naturally found in the softer areas. These are made up of shallow soils, made from a fine, ochre coloured earth; a colour that comes from the iron content of the soil. The earth hardens during droughts, but contains fissures that cause it to remain porous, and penetrable by the roots of the vine. With very low fertility, this soil protects vines from the stresses of drought, as well as humidity.
Cretaceous White Earth
The soils of Roque Alric are marly clay and limestone. The parent rock is greyish with a red tinge when containing iron.
The result is a juxtaposition of cobbly marl and shallow soils on limestone beds. To grow here, the roots of the vine spread over the limestone bed, extracting the mineral salts they need to grow. This terroir, farmed mainly on terraces, enjoys excellent exposure to the sun: conditions which are perfectly suited to Grenache and Syrah, the main varieties of grape.
Grey Jurassic Earth
To the north of Lafare village and set against the south-eastern slopes of the Dentelles de Montmirail, this terroir is mainly made up of black marls containing silt, clay, and sand.
Easily penetrated by the vines’ roots, they quickly turn into true soil. The Dentelles de Montmirail protect the hillside vineyards from the mistral winds. Facing East-South-East, they receive optimum exposure to the sun and guarantee uniform maturity.
surface area635 hectares
Total production21 747 hl
- 100% Red
Average yield achieved34 hl/ha
*Export figures according to the most recent research
Source : Harvest statement 2016