Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

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Blanquette meaning simply ‘white’ in Occitan. Locals claim that fermentation in bottle was developed here long before it was consciously practised in champagne, dating the production of cork-stoppered sparkling wines at the Abbey of St-Hilaire from 1531 (Limoux is just north of cataluña, a natural home of the cork oak) although Stevenson casts doubt on both the date and claims that the wine was sparkling.

The region’s vineyards are so much higher, cooler, and further from Mediterranean influence than any other Languedoc appellation (even Côtes de la malepère to its immediate north) that many are Atlantic-influenced even though they are just inland from the corbières hills. Within the region there are distinctly different zones, according to factors such as elevation, soil types, and the influence of the Atlantic or Mediterranean.