Terrasses Du Larzac - History

History

The Romans first planted vines in the Terrasses du Larzac area. The land around Lodève had great appeal, stretching as it did along the busy Roman road which linked Cessero (St Thibéry) with Segodunum (Rodez).


Benedictine period

The foundation of the Monastery of Aniane in 782, the main of the European Benedictine order lead the reintroduction of vines to the vast unoccupied hinterland in the area around Clermont l’Hérault and Lodève. The influence of the Benedictine monks of Aniane and Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert, evidenced by the number of Romanesque churches and priories stretching up to the Buèges valley, was accompanied by the growing of vines on terraces overlooking the Buèges valley and the production of wine made in the cellars of Benedictine priories founded by the Abbey of Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert in the 10th and 11th centuries. Local producers emerged later, using glazed stone vats blocks for vinification in vaulted cellars of village houses.


The 16th-19th century

From 16th century onwards, the landowners authorized the clearing of scrubland in the foothills to allow vines, olives and almond trees to be planted, frequently on stone-covered terraces (faysses.) In the 17-18th century, the growth of eau de vie production brought a greater prosperity to grape growers leading to the establishment of a distillery in most villages. Development of trade with those living in the Massif Central (who exchanged metal from local mines, meat, milk and cereals for wine, as well as dried fish and spices from the coast) lead to Montpeyroux becoming an important trade centre. Later Pas de l’Escalette above Lodève came into being, and the landscape around Pégairolles de l’Escalette is covered with little horizontal stone walls dug into the vertical, rocky hillsides as well as the construction of ‘capitelles’ (stone huts) where grape producers or shepherds could store material and shelter where a long way from home. The Marly decree in 1770 allowed for greater land clearance, with the vineyard planted on the garrigue and allowed for the production of wine to become a serious economic activity.

19th-20th century

Disaster struck in 1850. First oïdium, then phylloxera. As throughout much of France, the vines of the region were almost totally destroyed with most producers choosing to dig up older vines and replant grafting onto American root stock.

Late 20th century

Pioneers such as Aimé Guibert - Mas de Daumas Gassac (Aniane) in 1974 and Olivier Jullien - Mas Jullien (Jonquieres) in 1985, and later Laurent Vaille - Domaine de la Grange des Pères (Aniane) in 1992 led the way to a rediscovery of quality growing in the region inspiring countless other growers and interest from foreign investors such as Robert Mondavi, whose wish to make ‘one of the world's finest wines’ in the appellation’s Massif de l'Arboussas is well documented.

In 2008, Andrew Jefford (Author of The New France) wrote of the appellation:

"Where is the greatest terroir in Languedoc? You could make a case for Faugères, for Pic St Loup, for parts of St Chinian, for Minervois La Livinière, maybe for La Clape, but after my trip I have to say that if you were to write me out a cheque for a million euros and tell me to go to find somewhere to make great red wine, I would look most closely of all at Terrasses du Larzac."

Read more about this topic:  Terrasses Du Larzac

Other articles related to "history":

History of Computing
... The history of computing is longer than the history of computing hardware and modern computing technology and includes the history of methods intended ...
Voltaire - Works - Historical
... History of Charles XII, King of Sweden (1731) The Age of Louis XIV (1751) The Age of Louis XV (1746–1752) Annals of the Empire – Charlemagne, A.D ... II (1754) Essay on the Manners of Nations (or 'Universal History') (1756) History of the Russian Empire Under Peter the Great (Vol ... II 1763) History of the Parliament of Paris (1769) ...
Spain - History - Fall of Muslim Rule and Unification
... The breakup of Al-Andalus into the competing taifa kingdoms helped the long embattled Iberian Christian kingdoms gain the initiative ... The capture of the strategically central city of Toledo in 1085 marked a significant shift in the balance of power in favour of the Christian kingdoms ...
Casino - History of Gambling Houses
... in some form or another has been seen in almost every society in history ... From the Ancient Greeks and Romans to Napoleon's France and Elizabethan England, much of history is filled with stories of entertainment based on games of chance ... In American history, early gambling establishments were known as saloons ...
Xia Dynasty - Modern Skepticism
... The Skeptical School of early Chinese history, started by Gu Jiegang in the 1920s, was the first group of scholars within China to seriously question the traditional story of its early history "the later the ... early Chinese history is a tale told and retold for generations, during which new elements were added to the front end" ...

Famous quotes containing the word history:

    The history of men’s opposition to women’s emancipation is more interesting perhaps than the story of that emancipation itself.
    Virginia Woolf (1882–1941)

    There are two great unknown forces to-day, electricity and woman, but men can reckon much better on electricity than they can on woman.
    Josephine K. Henry, U.S. suffragist. As quoted in History of Woman Suffrage, vol. 4, ch. 15, by Susan B. Anthony and Ida Husted Harper (1902)

    Classes struggle, some classes triumph, others are eliminated. Such is history; such is the history of civilization for thousands of years.
    Mao Zedong (1893–1976)