Gorgeous Tavel dresses in a thousand shades of pink to seduce and captivate the senses. Luminous like no other wine, it inspires the chef, the eater and the eaten.Christophe Tassan
Tavel wines are only available in rosé... The AOC is therefore the only appellation in the Rhône valley to produce nothing but rosé wine. But what a rosé it is! The great novelist Honoré de Balzac said that it one of the rare rosés that age for the better... The rosé colouring of these wines can be expressed as either salmon or deep ruby pink. The complex nose of summer fruits evolves into smooth notes of pitted fruits and almonds, while the full, rounded mouth unveils a splendid aromatic ensemble supported by hints of spice.
The grapes are used exclusively to make rosé wines. . A large number of grape varieties are authorized for this appellation, but no individual variety may exceed 60% of a vineyard. Nevertheless, Grenache is the base of Tavel wine. All varieties of Grenache (red, white, grey) together make up between 30% and 60% of planting. Free-run and press wine are assembled before fermentation (correction: The percentage of each of the main grape varieties is equal to or below 60% of the planting. They are Cinsault, Bourboulenc, Clairette (pink and white), Mourvèdre, Picpoul (black, white, grey), and Syrah.
The percentage of each of the accompanying grape varieties is equal to or below 10% of the planting: Carignan (white and black) and Calitor Noir.
The rosé colouring of these wines can be expressed as either salmon or deep ruby pink. The complex nose of summer fruits evolves into smooth notes of pitted fruits and almonds, while the full, rounded mouth unveils a splendid aromatic ensemble supported by hints of spice.
Vines have been cultivated in the area since the 5th century BC. Planted by the Greeks, the vineyard expanded under the Romans. Located on a major communication route between the oppidum in Roquelmaure and Nimes, Tavel was the ideal location to develop. Various artefacts from this period have been found, including pieces of decorated amphora depicting grapes. However, the name villa tavellis, which would later become Tavel, appeared for the first time in 13th century writings.
In the middle of the 14th century, Pope Innocent VI, who had a particular predilection for the wines of the Rhône’s right-bank and had those of the Prieuré de Montézargues delivered for his personal pleasure. This winemaker still exists today at the heart of the Tavel AOC. Following the return of the Papacy to Rome and up until the Revolution, wines from Tavel and the region were exported to Italy. From 1737, a royal edict made it illegal to add foreign wines to those of Tavel, as well as four other towns in the Gard, and their winemakers were authorized to mark their barrels with C.d.R. (Côte du Rhône), thus setting the precedent that would become the AOC.
In 1902, Tavel winemakers formed a union of vineyard owner-winemakers. To build the reputation of their rosé wines, union members participated in various national and international fairs, including those in Lyon, Marseille, Strasbourg and Liege. Upon the suggestion of Baron Pierre Le Roy de Boiseaumarié, in 1927 the Chairman of the Union, Aimé Roudil, and forty Tavel winemakers petitioned the Gard courts to officially define the production area. The official notice was published on 19 November 1937.
View the decrees granting appellation status (INAO)1937Birth of AOC Tavel
The vineyard is located on the right-bank of the Rhône, in the Gard, around Tavel.
The climate has a Mediterranean influence and receives lower rainfall, on average 2700 hours of sun per year, and the Mistral is the prevailing wind.
Tavel winemaking country is composed of four different areas. One alluvial area formed by the Rhône, and that can be found on the hillsides of Lirac and Tavel AOCs in the form of ancient alluvial deposits that cover the lower and middle terraces. A sandy area follows, dating from the Mid-Pliocene era, lying between Tavel and Roquemaure. Marly limestone deposits from the Lower Barremian era form the Villeneuve les Avignon, Les Angles, and Tavel massif. A final area of upper Barremian urgonian limestone facies composes the Tavel-Rochefort du Gard massif. These are mainly crystalline limestones (clays and reefs) and gravelly limestone (clastic limestone).
surface area902 hectares
Total production33 731 hl
Sales38 817 hectolitres
Export*24% exported abroad
Average yield achieved37 hl/ha
*Export figures according to the most recent research
Source : Harvest statement 2013