Roquemaure, Gard - Wine - Winemaking Cooperative

Winemaking Cooperative

The winemaking cooperative, "Les Vignerons de Roquemaure", was established in 1922. It now has 60 members who cultivate 360 hectare of vineyard in nine different communes. Roughly half the vineyards are classed as Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée (AOC) and the remainder as Indication Géographique Protégée (IGP).

The cooperative produces wine in a number of categories or appellation with each appellation having an associated set of legal regulations. The most restrictive appellation is for the cru or vintage wines that are labelled as "Tavel" or "Lirac". Tavel is a small village 8 km southwest of Roquemaure that produces grapes for rosé wines. Lirac is a small village 7.5 km to the west of Roquemaure, but the wines labelled as "Lirac" come from grapes grown in 715 hectare of designated vineyards that are scattered over the four communes of Lirac, Roquemaure, Saint-Laurent-des-Arbres and Saint-Geniès-de-Comolas. AOC Lirac is produced by 44 winemakers and 5 different cooperatives including the cooperative in Roquemaure. The cooperative in Roquemaure also produces a wine classified as "Côtes du Rhône Villages" with the village specified as Laudun. Laudun is 11 km northwest of Roquemaure and is one of 18 villages in the "Côtes du Rhône Villages" appellation that is allowed to add the village name. Wines with the Côtes du Rhône appellation are produced using grapes grown in vineyards designated as suitable. Vineyards outside these "Côtes du Rhône" designated areas are used to produce wines classed as Indication Géographique Protégée.

The vineyards for Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée wines are planted with traditional grape varieties: Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre and Carignan for red wines, Clairette, Viognier, Grenache Blanc and Bourboulenc for white wines. The proportions allowed of each variety are specified in the regulations for each appellation. The regulations for red wines specify a minimum percentage of Grenache grapes of between 40 and 50 percent. For Indication Géographique Protégée wines a wider range of grape varieties are grown including "international" varieties such as Merlot, Cabernet-Sauvignon and Chardonnay.

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