The Muscat de Beaumes-de-Venise is unique in the Rhône Valley. This fortified wine has a worldwide reputation, but it has nevertheless faced extinction several times throughout its history. It owes its resurgence to its terroir - protected by the Dentelles de Montmirail, and suitable for the cultivation of Muscat, the grape of choice - as well as to the hard work of its winemakers. Today, the winemakers monitor the quality of their wines with a jealous eye, combining their know-how with the latest technology to ensure their place in the future.
Planted on narrow terraces, known as "restanques" or "faysses", and supported by walls, the muscat vines have shaped the region's landscape. This is the place where the shepherds, who disappeared from the area after the cold-snap of 1956, gave up their place to the sun and the vines that draw from this thin soil the most powerful flavours... White Beaumes-de-Venise muscats are golden in colour, with a nose of flowers and tropical fruits, and have a long finish. Made from assemblies of muscat à petits grains blanc and noir, and their colour can vary from amber to rosé, and even purple.
The vineyards contain exclusively muscat à petits grains noir and blanc. Bunches of grapes are harvested by hand, and several harvests are made depending on how ripe the fruit is.
The grapes must have a sugar content of over 252g/L.
Mutage, the addition of alcohol to the wine, must be performed with pure alcohol of at least 96%, when the musts contain 5% to 10% alcohol. The wines must contain at least 100g/L of sugar and feature at least 15% alcohol content.
Traces of human settlements in Beaumes-de-Venise date back to the beginning of time. The vines were first planted by Greek settlers, and flourished in the Gallo-Roman period. In the 1st century, Pliny the elder mentioned Muscat in his Natural History: a lively, fruity wine, already cultivated for a long time in Balme, and whose vines were given the moniker "vine of the bees".
In the 14th century, Pope Clement V planted muscat on 70 hectares of the Beaumes-de-Venise hillsides. Religious wars, during the Renaissance, almost eradicated the vineyard. It was only in the 18th century that the wine refound its fame, championed by Joseph Roumanille and Frédéric Mistral.
Towards the end of the 19th century, phylloxera once again destroyed the majority of the vineyard. After almost being consigned to history, Beaumes-de-Venise Muscat blossomed at the beginning of the 20th century when its vineyards were replanted. Vin Doux Naturel Muscat de Beaumes-de-Venise was officially awarded AOC status in 1945, and applied retroactively to the 1943 vintage.
View the decrees granting appellation status (INAO)1945Birth of AOC Muscat de Beaumes de Venise
The vineyard is located on the southern slopes of the Dentelles de Montmirail, in Beaumes-de-Venise and Aubignan in the Vaucluse.
The climate has a Mediterranean influence: hot and dry with the Mistral tempered by the Dentelles de Montmirail massif.
Composed of the "terre blonde" of sandy marl to the south and clay-limestone soils to the north.
surface area472 hectares
Total production10 131 hl
- 1% Red
- 94% White
- 5% rosé
Sales10 268 hectolitres
Export*17% exported abroad
Average yield achieved20 hl/ha
*Export figures according to the most recent research
Source : Harvest statement 2013
Idée de recette originale : Muscat de Beaumes-de-Venise & Verrine de citron vert glacé
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