This Languedoc wine producer is creating quite a stir in the south of France. North-east of Béziers, this innovative vineyard lies in the Saint Chinian appellation.
From Romans, to Revolution and beyond
The Romans who built Via Domita first planted vines at Cazal Viel. Ruins of villas from this period and even an ancient well still lie within the vineyard. From 1202 the monks of Abbaye de Fontcaude made wine here. Following the French Revolution, the Miquel family acquired the estate. Laurent Miquel now leads production.
Challenging the perceptions of Languedoc wine
The Languedoc’s Mediterranean climate is a challenging one for wine producers. Many vineyard owners achieve balance by growing ripe fruit to maintains higher acidity levels. Some wines can be a little rough around the edges, overripe or over-extracted.
A Bordeaux château owner once told Laurent that Languedoc wine would never have the ‘finesse’ of his wines. This was like a red rag to a bull. Ever since, Laurent has worked to prove him wrong. Through vine selection and building on the existing legacy he producers some extremely elegant wines. His father Henri first planted the Syrah varietal over 35 years ago. The vineyard now has some of the oldest Syrah in the region.
Château Cazal Veil’s motto is “each glass begins on the vine.” Château Cazal Veil’s unique take on planting helps achieve acidity and balance. The poor stony soils of the vineyard give naturally low yields of concentrated, complex fruit. By planting Bordeaux’s noble grape varieties here, the Miquels are creating a new identity of fine wines from the Languedoc.
The vineyard practises sustainable agriculture. They grow grass to limit soil erosion and spray only when necessary. A review of their packaging means Château Cazal Veil now produce lighter glass bottles. This helps reduce transport costs and therefore their carbon footprint.