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The terroir

Come visit us and taste the flavours of the South of France thanks to quality meals made with local products.

There are many local products produced in livestock, dairy and arable farms: the Pays de Sault potato, locally grown meat and many more. In order to reward the quality of these products, various seals of approval are awarded, for example, the internationally renowned “Rosée des Pyrénées” veal.

The Aude department has also created a quality award: the “Pays Cathare” quality seal. The regional, equivalent seal of quality is called “Sud de France”.
The Sud de France quality seal
Sud de France covers all product and wine grown under the sun on the Mediterranean coast. Intended to promote the Languedoc Roussillon and its flavours in France and abroad, this seal is part of a collective drive towards quality. More information...

The Pays Cathare quality seal
The "Pays Cathar" is a seal bringing together farmers, craftsmen and women, wine-growers and tourist professionals, who are concerned about offering guarantees of quality and authenticity regarding their products and services. The Pays Cathare seal sets apart a group of quality products and services offered by passionate men and women working in the Aude area, covering a complete range of products and services. Altogether, 32 areas of production and services are covered by this seal, ensuring that almost 1000 professionals have committed to a quality charter. More information...


Land of valleys and mountains, our region has many farms, in particular gascony cattle, sheep, goats…
These farms are also open during the event "De Ferme en Ferme" which takes place on the 1st of May every year. Those wishing to discover life in a farm and the homemade products will find what they want.

More information...


Vineyard and wine: an internationally-renowned tradition

The Languedoc-Roussillon vineyards are among the oldest and most wide-spread in the world. They extend from the right bank of the Rhône to the foot of the Pyrenees. Nowadays, the wine is produced by passionate wine-growers. Bathed in the Mediterreanean sun, Languedoc Roussillon wines are a real explosion of flavours.
In the Pyrénées Audoises area, you can taste numerous Controlled Designation of Origin wines and "Vins de Pays" which are less renowned but very pleasant to the palate.

Controlled Designation of Origin Limoux

The oldest designation in the Languedoc area is the Controlled Designation of Origin Limoux, known for the "Blanquette" (made of 3 grape varieties - mauzac, chenin and chardonnay) but also for its Chardonnay. The annual festival "Toques et Clochers" is a festival where selected barrels of Chardonnay are sold by auction. The money raised on that event is used to restore a bell in the village where the festival is taking place. It is a celebration to promote the local Chardonnay, a still wine with an growing reputation for its finesse. The chardonnays are differenciated by their designation area (41 villages) in 4 "terroirs":

* Terroir d'Autan
Characteristics: 150 - 200metres altitude, 570mm of rain per year. Located between two mountain ranges, the Corbières and the Chalabrais, the climate is hot and dry. Out of the four terroirs, this one is the second one to be harvested.

* Terroir Méditerranéen
Located to the East of Limoux, near Montpellier, the climate is warm and tempered by sea winds. It produces a high ambient moisture level. That level can sometimes rise, causing a rapid increase in sugar in the grapes. This terroir is harvested first.

* Terroir Océanique

Characteristics: 200 - 300metres altitude, 780mm of rain per year. Located west from Limoux, near Toulouse, this wet and temperate climate is exposed to the warmth of the west, resulting in a 2-week later maturation in comparison with the Autan and Méditerranéen Terroirs.

* Terroir Haute Vallée
Characteristics: 300 metres altitude, 750mm of rain per year. Near the Pyrenees Mountains along the Aude River, the climate is colder and wetter, with late springs and cool autumns.
The History of the Blanquette of Limoux
In 1531, in the cellars of the Benedictine Abbey of Saint-Hilaire, a monk noticed that the wine he had bottled and sealed with a cork was starting to "fizz". There were bubbles in Limoux wine! The first dry sparkling wine in the world was born, due to a mistake. It is possible to uncover the secrets of the making and blending of these Controlled Designation of Origin wines in one of the numerous Pays Cathare cellars.

Controlled Designation of Origin Malepère

This is a unique "terroir" in the Languedoc due to its Western position and the exposure of its slopes. These caracteristics have made the Côtes de Malepère - the latest wine to be granted a Controlled Designation of Origin in November 2006 - a wine combining the mildness of the coastal climate with the heat of the Mediterranean climate. The wine has a ruby robe, an intense nose and marries perfectly with red meats, game and ripened cheese. The wines can either be bottled young or aged in oak barrels.

Comité Départemental du Tourisme de l'Aude
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