Tavel

The Wines

Tavels with a high percentage of Grenache, earlier harvest and shorter, cold, skin contact of under 24 hours more closely resemble a fuller bodied Provence rosé. More commonly, the grapes are harvested just earlier than comparable red wines and undergo extended skin contact (maceration) ranging from 24 to 72 hours, before being pressed and fermented. Compared to pale rosés, the alcohol levels tend to be higher, balanced by greater weight, ripeness and intensity of fruit. Prolonged ageing used to be common, but market forces have led to wines released younger, with some made in a more modern, accessible style, a situation similar to that found in Bandol rosé. Despite its reputation for age-worthiness, almost all of it is sold and drunk within a year or two of the harvest.

This contrast between modern-pale and traditional-dark underlines most discussions around Tavel today, but is far from simple. At one extreme, some commentators go so far as to deny Tavel is a rosé, almost claiming that it is a ‘failed red’ that could be redeemed by a darker colour. For it to be good, therefore, it must opt for longer skin contact, semi-carbonic maceration, malolactic fermentation, and prolonged oak-ageing – almost becoming a light red wine.

At the other extreme, producers are faced with buyers clamouring for lighter, paler wines, and believe that Tavel must live up to its status as ‘First rosé of France’ and compete more directly with Côtes de Provence by embracing a pale Provence-style.

Tavel also has a love/hate relationship with its Cru status and attempts at classification. Entering Tavel village, large billboards proudly proclaim it as the “Cru Inclassable”, and yet old bottles from the 60s equally proudly declare “Grand Cru Classé”. It has a hard time reconciling its ‘fine wine’ history with the modern realities of the rosé market.

The reality is far more nuanced. Tavel can be excellent in all styles, with colour (yet again!) not necessarily an indicator of quality. Some producers are experimenting with including a small proportion of direct press rosé into the blend, although these tend to be balanced by using significantly longer maceration for the rest.

Longer maceration results in more than greater colour being extracted. It develops greater weight, structure, firm minerality and a hint of tannin. The consensus here is that this maceration is the secret to age-worthiness.

Until the early nineteenth century, the vineyards of Tavel were concentrated on the sandy alluvial soils to the south of the village, as these were easier to cultivate than the forested limestone soils to the north or the rocky hills to the east. In the early 1800s, the forests were cleared for agriculture, including some vines. These sandy and limestone soils produced very fresh, light wines – although the vast majority of wines today are a blend of all three terroirs.

Wine of Kings and King of Wines

As in Provence, the 1990s saw improvements in quality, with the introduction of technology, tanks and temperature control. Back in 2017, conversation centred around how Tavel rosé could compete with Provence, as many producers considered producing a paler and lighter rosé. Today there is still debate over which style should be made, but producers have a renewed confidence in its potential and unique character. Tavel wines can range from pale reds, such as those of Anglore to the fresher, lighter styles of Domaine de la Mordorée, more reminiscent of modern ‘Provence-style’ wines. The Tavel cahier des charges (rulebook) mandates a formal intensité colorante modifiée (colour intensity) of between 0.5 and 3 – for context, red Châteauneuf-du-Pape has a colour intensity above 4, and the average in Côtes de Provence rosé was under 0.2 in 2016.

Since the 1980s, malolactic fermentation has been stopped by most winemakers, although it is coming back into fashion, with some producers describing it as the ‘soul of Tavel’. Producers whose wines undergo malo include Châteaux Trinquevedel and Manissy, whose vines are all on sandy soils with sufficient freshness to allow malolactic, and most of the natural producers making Tavel in the darker style.

The appellation today is a buzz of energy, and a real hotspot for environmentally-conscious growers. The list of biodynamic producers is impressive, and all worth knowing, especially the Domaine de la Rocalière and the Domaine des Carabiniers, one of the most outspoken about biodynamic viticulture.

This has spilled over into the natural wine scene, with Tavel famously home to the cult producer Eric Pfifferling of Domaine de l’Anglore. Pfifferling is most noteworthy for blurring the lines between reds and rosés, often macerating in whole bunches for up to ten days. His legacy is stunning, with a slew of producers all falling under the ‘Pfifferling school of thought’ and breathing new energy into Tavel with their darker, more traditional wines. As well as this long carbonic maceration, the wines usually undergo malolactic and are typically aged in oak for several years.

One of the best Pfifferling-inspired producers is Gaël Petit’s Moulin de la Viguerie, whose wines we feel best encapsulate the philosophy, while still making a wine that is recognisably a rosé and a Tavel. Other producers to know in this school of thought are the Clos des Grillons, Romain le Bars, and Alexandre Hotte. Domaine Lafond Roc-Épine, although not there yet, are certainly drifting in that direction too.
The single best recommendation we can make is for the Tavel cooperative’s range of single-terroir rosés: the Trésor des Sables (sandy soils), Cuvée Royale (galets roulés), and Lauzeraies (limestone). Together they represent an invaluable tasting tool in understanding the appellation’s three terroirs.

History

“Ah you think [rosé] is your ally? You merely adopted the [rosé]. I was born in it, molded by it. I didn’t see the [pale direct-press rosé or over-extracted tannic reds] until I was already a man, by then it was nothing to me but blinding!”

The villain Bane in Batman: The Dark Knight Rises, probably not actually talking about Tavel’s relationship with rosé

Vines have been planted in the area since the 5th century BC, originally by the Greeks, then 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.

Situated close to the Medieval Papal palace at Avignon, meant that successive popes enjoyed the wines. In the middle of the 14th century, Pope Innocent VI, had those of the Prieuré de Montézargues delivered for his personal pleasure. This winemaker still exists today at the heart of the Tavel AOC. King Philip IV, le Bel, is supposed to have travelled through Tavel on one of his tours of the kingdom. He was reportedly offered a glass, which he emptied without getting off his horse and afterwards proclaimed Tavel the only good wine in the world. Following the return of the Papacy to Rome and up until the Revolution, wines from Tavel and the region were exported to Italy.

Throughout the middle ages, the right bank of the Rhône was the Royaume shore, part of the Kingdom of France, unlike the eastern bank, part of the Holy Roman Empire. Whereas parts of the east bank are arguably Provence, crossing the river brings us firmly into the Gard and the administrative Languedoc.

The Sun King, Louis XIV, is also supposed to have been fond of the wine, which helped maintain its reputation. “Les habitants de Tavel n’ont ni commerce ni industrie mais ont une grande ressource dans la vente de leurs vins qui par leur grande qualité sont infiniment recherchés.” Extrait des rôles de la capitation 1734 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.

Until the early nineteenth century, the vineyards of Tavel were concentrated on the sandy alluvial soils to the south of the village. These soils were easier to cultivate than the limestone soils to the north or the rocky hills to the east. In the early 1800s, the forests on the limestone lands were cut down turned over to agriculture. At this time grains, fruits, vegetables and vines made up the polyculture of every village. The terroirs of the sandy and limestone soils produced very fresh light wines. In ‘The American Farmer’ (1826) Tavel wines were described as being a red wine with ‘Bright rose colour, flavour and aroma, delicate’. This was still the description in the 1849 edition.

In 1834, a poetic ‘epistle’ describes Tavel wine as pale red in colour and suggesting that the grapes were laid out to dry on straw mats before crushing. This was possibly an attempt to make richer more concentrated reds than to make actual sweet wines.

‘… the liquid ruby, Tavel;

The juice of paler grape which loves the gravel;1

Or that which runs in purer stream, which gushed

From clusters richer, riper, and uncrushed;2

The footnotes say 1. ‘Vin de grave or gravel wine’ and 2. ‘Vin de Paille so called from the juice of which it is made spontaneously from grapes laid upon hurdles and straw.’ George Hodder Tinsley reminisced about drinking Tavel in the 1860s when, ‘In ordering his dinner his great fancy was for quelque chose appétissante, as he called the lighter form of entrées, and a bottle of Tavel – the latter because he said it was ‘the Frenchman’s port,’ and that it was lighter and dryer than our own.’ Is the reference to Port a reference to the grapes having been dried on straw? Were there several styles?

In 1872 the wines were described as ‘First Class: Red wines, not vatted. Tavel – Very dry, very light-coloured wine; improves much by age. Annual produce 3,000 pieces of 280 litres measure, and about 50 francs each. Lirac – Very dry wine, more firm than Tavel, of a lively rose-colour. Annual produce 1,000 pieces of 50 francs value each.’ This is equivalent to 8,400hl, or about 200-250 hectares at modern yields.

Phylloxera

In 1870, the owner of Chateau Clary in the neighbouring village of Roquemaure brought over some American vines to plant in his vineyard, and with the vines, introduced phylloxera to the area. Tavel was accordingly one of the first area to be hit in France. It slowed down a bit in the sandy soil, but not the same as coastal sands and the phyllloxera took over.

In 1873, ‘the rose colour wines of the Cotes du Rhone, such as the dry and insiduous Tavel, the firm and generous Lirac, and the robust Roquemaure, with the luscious Chusclan and St Geniés, and pleasant sparkling Laudau, the majority made [by?] default, the district being more or less overrun by the Phylloxera vastarix.’ The reference to ‘rose colour’ does not mean this was a rosé wine but more a dark rose petal pink. Many vineyards were abandoned and not replanted immediately. In the early years of the 20th century, the forests on the on the stoney plateau were cleared to make way for new vineyards.

Phylloxera, hit Tavel like other viticultural communities across Europe. To survive, winemakers discovered they had to group together. In 1902, Tavel winemakers formed a union of vineyard owner-winemakers, the ‘Syndicat des Propriétaires Viticulteurs de Tavel’. To build the reputation of their wines, union members participated in various national and international fairs, including those in Lyon, Marseille, Strasbourg and Liege. Chateau d’Aqueria was founded in 1919 and Domaine Mejan-Taulier (now Domaine Florence Mejan) in 1920.

Birth of the AOC

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. On 23rd January 1928, the producers of Tavel set about deliminating their wine and region.

In ‘Les Grands de France’ (1931) wrote that the wines of Tavel were of an amazing dark pink colour, similar to the great wines of the Cotes du Rhone. The vineyards lie in the recently defined region in a warm and sheltered amphitheatre mongst the hills on chalk and limestone soils, surrounded by forests of evergreen oaks and aromatic garrigue. The definition of vineyard territory being essential to prevent less good quality wines from being produced. This concern over inequal quality was obviously an issue, with the writer saying that while many complain great Tavel exists, he assures the reader that it does, but the right estates need to be selected. With only 2500hl actually produced, much that claimed to be Tavel was from further afield. Tavel wines were cultivated by numerous small producers, of varying quality, primarily from Grenache blended with Clairette, Cinsault, Carignan and Bourboulenc. Rootstocks varied depending on the soils, but the most frequently used was Monticola.

Amongst the best was Chateau d’Aqueria, a 20ha estate owned by M Jean Olivier. With phylloxera still a relatively recent event, the rootstocks are mentioned and here the vines were grafted onto Monticola, 1202 and R31. Other top producers included M Héraud, M Roudil, M Fraissinet and Chateau Montézargues.

Particularly interesting is the detailed description of the wines. Tavel rosés, had a quick ‘cuvaison’ of 12 to 24 hours in order to achieve the required colour – a little darker than the final colour wanted. The wines then rested at least one year in barrique, often for two years. The wines were regarded as having good ageing potential, lasting uoto forty years! But, they lost their pink colour with ageing and became the colour of yellow quartz. After three to five years of age, they still had all their Tavel qualities ‘capiteux et corsés’ with high alcohol of 13% – 15%. At this age the colour was a beautiful golden pink – ruby with hints of topaz, not dissimilar to the wines of Arbois. Aromas of wild strawberries and iris developed with age. The wines were very dry ‘excellents vins de rotis, moelleux, délicats a l’estomac.’ They were best drunk fresh rather than at room temperature. And was an excellent accompaniment to bouillabaise and oysters. Proof of the wines ability to age could be seen in that recommended vitages went back to 1904! Other good years were 1908, 1918, 1920, 1924, 1926 and 1929.

In May 1936 Tavel was one of the first few regions to be granted an appellation by decret in 1936 – its close affiliations with Chateauneuf-du-Pape helped. The official notice was published on 19th November 1937. In 1938 the co-operative was opened.

What is particularly interesting here, is that in writing up the definition of Tavel wines, the light red style of the sandy soils was encapsulated as the essential character of the wines. Even though, with greater awareness of how to make more roubust reds, and with the expansion to different terroirs more likely to produce bigger reds, the delicate red – stronger rosé style continued.

Larmat’s 1943 map of Tavel

This is the time during which Tavel most dominated the area and influenced the style of the Côtes du Rhône rosés surrounding it, especially Chusclan (which deserves its whole own section!) and Signargues, although today these two have moved on, leaving Tavel a somewhat isolated distinctive style. A little further south, but on galets roulés terroir, is the right bank’s second major influencer, Costières de Nîmes, where one can still today find dark, Tavel-influenced rosés.

Post-war boom and bust

After the Second World War, Tavel was able to take advantage of its AOC status. New domaines were created such as Domaine Lafond ‘Roc Epine’ in 1948 and estates such as Chateau Aqueira started to export to America through Kobrand, a working relationship which has continued for over seventy years.

Ernest Hemingway claimed he could not have lunch without a bottle of Tavel and frequently mentioned it being served with meals.

‘What I want to be when I am old is a wise old man who won’t bore ,’ he said, then paused while the waiter set a plate of asparagus and an artichoke before him and poured the Tavel.

In a letter from his friend A E Hotchner in 1955, Hotchner wrote

The turtle steaks preserved beautifully and were consumed with cold Tavel and nothing repeat nothing, can go up against that. What makes Tavel so much better than any other rosé? Just the soil or is there some other secret like a special bee, indigenous to the area, who shits on each grape.

Hemingway reciprocates by calling Tavel the wine of love in ‘The Garden of Eden’. In 1960 he wrote of his journey in Valdepenas in Spain where he describes the wine as the ‘poor man’s Tavel but it does not need to be chilled [unlike Tavel].’ The Valdepenas is a ‘wine with no pretensions. It tastes roughly smooth and clean… it grew and was pressed to be drunk at all temperatures and it travels in a wineskin.’

In the mid 1960s the chalk and limestone hills were once again cleared of forest and prepared for growing vines.

Unlike the general run of rosé wines, both Tavel and Lirac is made from a mixture of red and white grapes, fermented together. The poorness of the soil on which the vines grow assures the finesse of flavour so necessary for quality white or rosé wines; they age well in bottle, particularly Tavel.

Before the 1970s Tavel was darker. It was fermented in foudres, which gave colour, but was difficult to control temperature so more red wine in style. De Pez remembers when he started in the mid 1970s, all the wine was fermented in wood. The first tank was cooled to 20Cm and they would move onto the next tank. The first started to warm up… it was non stop running between the fermenting barrels trying to cool them down. Inox and temperature control helped make fermentation much more scientific.

Ten year later, in 1977, the praise is less forthcoming, with criticism of the quality of the exported wines and the first mention that the colour of these long oak aged wines were out of kilter with other pink wines being made.

Across the Rhone River from Chateauneuf-du-Paper, near the town of Tavel, Grenache is grown by itself and is used to produce a pink wine. It is well known in France and occasionally exported to the United States. Unfortunately some Tavels are rather highly sulfured to reach the American market in good condition, and they have a tendency to oxidation and development of a bitter aftertaste. They are better drunk in France than in this country and even there tend to be a little alcoholic for a rosé and of orange-brown rather than pink colour.

Chateau Aqueria was regarded as a quality example in 1982: ‘While France produces many fine rosés, most of the better ones are rather expensive… for picnic drinking. If price is no object, Chateau d’Aqueria Tavel Rose, Domaines Ott Bandol ‘Cuvee Marine’ and Chateau de Selle ‘Coeur de Grain’ are excellent choices.’

Tavel is the only Grand Cru of rosé, yielding a spicy, solid, aromatic wine that can stand up to food.’

André Gayot in 1996

De Pez said trade to the US started to decline from 1984 when Zinfandel Blush started to become popular. It was not until 2012 that Tavel started to regain its popularity.

In 1987/revised 1997 – so from when is this description? Robert Parker said:

The local co-operative has proudly embellished across its roof line a huge sign proclaiming ‘Tavel, 1er rosé de France’. Perhaps it should add the words ‘Most expensive and frequently undistinguished’ Tavel is like no other rosé. Does it really taste so good because it is the only thing that brings relief in the relentless hot son and slashing wind that sems even worse in Tavel than in nearby Chateauneuf-du-Pape? Or is it that this famous wine, championed … [by many] is really exceptional? Certainly its fame, past and present, has given the growers a great deal of leverage in getting the prices they want, but today few Tavels justify their lofty price. Regardless of how one answers that question, there is no argument that the wine is distinctive, although it does have its critics, notably Hugh Johnson, who claims ‘never to have been attracted to its dry, full-bodied style.’ The tiny village of Tavel, which seems to exist only to produce wine, is full of tasting rooms and ‘caves’.

Robert Parker

Parker goes on to say that the co-operative makes classic Tavel. Even today, it has over 140 producers, and about half of the appellation’s area: over 450ha. It was at this time considered a bit of a dinosaur and their quality level today is still not universally appreciated. Mr Pfifferling was a member of the co-op and left. One often voiced comment is that Tavel is “not facing a marketing crisis, we are facing a wine [quality] crisis”.

Gael Petit was head of the appellation, a lawyer and keen on history. Researched history as proof of evidence of traditional styles. Tavel has evolved, but regulations have slowed down the evolution.

Since the rise of the success of the pale Provence rosé, Tavel has felt under pressure from what it perceives as aggressive marketing that pale = good rosé. Tavel producers seem a little angry. Maby had thought of approaching the Rosé Research Station in Vidauban but in the end felt they would not help Tavel. Some producers try to compete with the Provence rosé, with earlier harvesting, very short maceration. However, there are strict rules on Tavel rosés being too pale or too dark. Problem if the rosés are too pale can mean under ripe and can lead to unstable colour. Unlike pale rosés, no treatment is needed to make the rosés artificially paler.

De Pez says there is currently a big discussion amongst producers in Tavel. Should they become more like Provence rosé or should they keep their uniqueness. De Pez supports the latter. It is difficult to know how Tavel would be classed in a position.

The production area covers 916ha (website 2013 says 902ha). The 933ha produce an average yield of 42 hl/ha. The maximum yield is 46hl/ha, the average though is 38hl/ha.

Total production in 2013 was 33,731hl. 24% of production (2013) was exported.

Technical Information

Global warming has had an impact on the wines of the region with 2003 marking a divide. Pre-2003, the galet stones of the easterly vineyards provided essential heat in ripening the grapes. Even so, Tavel wines struggled to achieve 13% before 2003. In the 1930s top alcohol was 12.5%. Alcohol fits the Tavel style contributing to roundness. Victor de Pez at d’Aqueira commented that with global warming, it is increasingly essential to cool the grapes when they come into the cellar to preserve colour and perfume.

Harvest was in early October for maximum ripeness and in one in three years the wines had some chaptalisation. Since 2003 chaptalisation is not required and harvest of phenocally ripe grapes is in mid-September. Now, by late September the grapes would be over-ripe and reaching 15% alc. Tavel wines are all rosé wines and must have between 11% and 13.5% alcohol. Originally yeasts had been developed to increase alcohol, now need yeasts which will restrain creation of alcohol. Maby uses yeast developed by the Institute Rhodanéens who have developed a local Tavel yeast.

In comparison, Provence roses are harvested mid August to early September. Because Tavel has an extended maceration period, the skins and pips have to be fully ripe to avoid bitter greenness. Some producers who are choosing to make a Tavel more in a Provence style and who choose to do the minimum maceration of 6 hours do pick earlier for greater acidity – but this is not a typical Tavel style. The longer maceration gives structure and fruit with some tannin.

So – if producers want the extended maceration for the fruit and structure AND need the fresh acidity – they cannot harvest earlier, they have to find other ways to increase the acidity. Maby says this means greater work in the vineyards making sure the soil is well turned over and removes leaves to reduce over production of sugar. Since the 1980s, malolactic fermentation has been stopped by most producers, although Mr Demoulin of Chateau Trinquevedel who has vines only on the sandy soils. He says that the soils gives sufficient freshness to allow malolactic fermentation.

Tavel wines are dry (maximum 4g/l RS) and tend to have more body and structure than most rosés. They can be cellared, but are usually drunk young. Tavel is one of the few rosé wines that traditionally can benefit from aging, although some producers prefer the wines when they are young, fresh and fruity.

Wines are showing well from May, but buyers want the wine from January.


Noteworthy producers

This is not an exhaustive list or an indication of quality or even our tastes – merely a list of the essential-to-know names, and some basic information on them. We hope that after everything we have said about Tavel so far,

  • Château Aqueria

    Tavel’s most famous exporter, Aqueria is located right at the eastern edge of the village, with the entrance to the estate itself being located in the commune of Lirac. One of Tavel’s big four, Aqueria was recently bought by Guigal, although it is unclear how much of a shakeup this will result in. The Aqueria […]

  • Château Manissy

    Manissy is one of Tavel’s big four historic estates, on sandy soils. It has been run by a small brotherhood of rather discreet monks for most of its recent history. All of their wines are excellent. Their two most noteworthy cuvées are the Langoustière, a single-parcel wine from the Vallon du Juge, an excellent, classic […]

  • Château Trinquevedel

    Trinquevedel is one of the appellation’s more historic estates, and is one of the old four that all have their land on Tavel’s sandy soils. Owner Guillaume is also a serious mover and shaker within the appellation, and is currently the president. His old-vine Les Vignes d’Eugene is a classic sandy-soil-malo-oaked ageworthy Tavel.

  • Domaine Amido

    Run by fourth-generation Dominique, Domaine Amido produces some of the darkest mainstream Tavels on the market. Dominique is adamant however that Tavel is a rosé first and foremost and should continue to embrace this identity. She harvests amongst the first in Tavel, leaving wines with 13-13.5abv, and usually blocks malo. Like most of Tavel, the […]

  • Domaine de l’Anglore

    Anglore is at the heart of the modern, natural Tavel renaissance. A member of the cooperative for a long time, he realised that he didn’t really care for the wines his grapes were going towards, and broke away, starting his own garagiste estate. His rosés are the darkest of the appellation, and at one point […]

  • Domaine de la Mordorée

    Mordorée are one of Tavel’s more recognised brands, partly due to their having one foot firmly in Châteauneuf, as well as producing Côtes du Rhône rosés. Their house style of Tavel is decidedly on the lighter, paler side – although the top Reine des Bois packs a punch and has lovely extraction.

  • Domaine des Carabiniers

    The Domaine des Carabiniers is one of Tavel’s most outspokenly biodynamic producers, with an awareness for the ecosystem permeating their winemaking philosophy. They are amongst the earliest to harvest, with wines that are accordingly fresh and with good acidity. As a result they are best left to soften for a few years – the wines […]

  • Domaine la Rocalière

    Third-generation viticultrice Séverine runs the estate organically and, for the most part, biodynamically. The single rosé is from parcels spread across the appellation, including all three terroirs.

  • Domaine Lafond Roc-Épine

    Currently run by two young brothers, this fairly historic estate is now amongst the movers and shakers, and see themselves as increasingly Pfifferling-inspired in their vinification. The wines are lovely, and they are not afraid of experimenting and playing with terroir – going so far as to carve a fermentation tank out of local Tavel […]

  • Domaine Maby

    Richard Maby of Domaine Maby’s single vineyard Prima Donna, planted on the galets with old vine Grenache and Cinsault, illustrates the distinctive character of this terroir. The natural extra ripeness of the terroir is balanced by fractionally longer maceration for greater structure. The wine has opulent ripe raspberry, blackberry and black cherry and hints of […]

  • Moulin de la Viguerie

    Owner Gael Petit is one of those rare intellectuals who happen to make some rather stunning wine on the side. His wines have much in common with the light reds of Anglore, a style which he says reminds him of the wines his grandfather once made. Recent vintages have been a blend of direct-press and […]

  • Prieuré de Montézargues

    One of the few Tavel estates under outside ownership, the rather gorgeous Priory is one of the big-four old estates. Although the quality is thoroughly respectable, the wines are undoubtedly the lightest and palest of the appellation, and struggle to carve out their own identity or personality. For such a historic Chateau, mentioned in papal […]

  • Vignerons de Tavel et Lirac

    Tavel’s cooperative single-handedly defines the appellation – its members produce about half of all the wine made here, especially after a recent merger with the cooperative in Lirac. Similarly to Bandol’s Moulin de la Roque, they produce a range of single-terroir Tavels, with the three cuvées (Les Lauzeraies, Trésors des Sables, and the Cuvée Royale) […]

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