About this WINE
Chateau de Fontareche
Fontarèche is one of the oldest vineyards of the Languedoc , with some of the plantings dating back as far as 1350. In 1682, the Mignard family purchased Château Fontarèche. Today, nine generations on, the family Lamy own and run the estate, with chief winemaker Vincent Dubernet at their side.
The 160 hectares of vineyards have a wide range of soil types, making it possible to grow a diverse number of grape varieties: Syrah, Grenache, Mourvèdre, Picpoul Rouge, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Alicante Bouschet and Caladoc, as well as the white Macabeu, Chardonnay, Viognier, Vermentino, Colombard, Roussane and Grenache Blanc.
Eleven hectares have been fully converted into organic vineyards.
It is a poor-yielding grape that is notoriously fickle to grow, being susceptible to a whole gamut of pests and diseases. Crucially it must be picked at optimum ripeness - if harvested too early and under-ripe the resulting wine can be thin, dilute and unbalanced, while if picked too late then the wine will lack the grape's distinctive peach and honeysuckle aroma. It is most successfully grown in the tiny appellations of Château-Grillet and Condrieu where it thrives on the distinctive arzelle granite-rich soils. It is also grown in Côte Rôtie where it lends aromatic richness to the wines when blended with Syrah.
Viognier has been on the charge in the Southern Rhône and the Languedoc throughout the 1990s and is now a key component of many white Côtes du Rhône. In Languedoc and Rousillon it is increasingly being bottled unblended and with notable success with richly fragrant wines redolent of overripe apricots and peaches and selling at a fraction of the price of their Northern Rhône cousins.