Limoux wines are a family of red, white and sparkling wines that have been produced and perfected around the small village of Limoux in southern France for centuries.
The tastes and flavors vary depending on the type of Limoux wine made. The chardonnay Limoux variety develops aromas of citrus, vanilla and hazelnut. For the chenin variety, it carries floral notes and fruity flavors of plum and peach, along with a nice mineral taste. The mauzac adds hints of green apple and pear, and the red Limoux varieties add earthy notes of heath, prunes, and licorice. White Limoux varieties are perfect for pairing with fish and seafood as well as cheese (goat cheese or cantal), while the reds are good for accompanying red meat or game.
A sparkling Limoux wine, called Blanquette de Limoux, dates all the way back 1531 in the cellars of the Benedictine Abbey of Saint Hilaire, when, legend has it, a monk discovered by accident that the wine he had bottled and carefully sealed with cork had formed bubbles. Historians have found texts from the same era that already mention Blanquette wines coming from Saint Hilaire, and a local lord from the era is frequently mentioned to have used Blanquette de Limoux during celebrations.
Formally defined in 1929, Limoux wines were the first product protected by protected designation of origin status in the Languedoc region of southern France, and was also one of the first products to benefit from protected status in all of France. The non-bubbly varieties of Limoux wine received protected status later, in 1959. All Limoux wines must be made using strict, time-tested traditional methods of production that guarantee a superior quality and a closer connection to its historical terroir.
The wines of Limoux are made in the far western edges of the Languedoc region in the foothills of the Pyrenees Mountains, between 650 and 1,500 feet of altitude. The wines are made in four separate terroirs, ranging in climate from dry and hot, to variably wet and dry and temperate.