Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

  • About

Fitou, red wine appellation on 2,204 ha/5,444 acres of languedoc vineyard in two enclaves within the corbières zone where it meets roussillon (see map under languedoc). When the boundaries of this, the first dry red wine appellation of Languedoc, were drawn up in 1948, local politics prevailed and Fitou has remained with, apparently, a great tract of Corbières bisecting it. The clay-limestone soils of Fitou Maritime, i.e. coastal Fitou, are quite different from the arguably potentially more interesting schists of Fitou Montagneux, ie mountainous Fitou, 40 minutes’ drive inland—the purity in the wines of Domaine Bertrand-Bergé argue convincingly for the virtues of a mountain climate. The low-yielding vines on the infertile soils of these Pyrenean foothills are capable of great expression, but the appellation underperformed in the 1970s and 1980s. The region is even more in the grip of co-operatives than its northern neighbour, with the Mont Tauch co-operative in Tuchan, the oldest in the Languedoc, responsible for half of all production and, for a while, performing better than many individual producers. In 2014, however, Mont Tauch narrowly avoided brankruptcy and reverted to supplying bulk wine rather than bottling and marketing their own wine.