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Roussillon

Base map data ©2017 Google, Inst. Geogr. Nacional

Categories: Quinquina/Chinato, Banyuls, Rancio Sec/Vi Ranci, Maury, Red Wine

Now incorporated into the greater Languedoc-Roussillon region, Roussillon has always had a distinct identity, culturally and geographically. The region begins in the dark hills of the Pays Cathare to the north, where the French Midi and Aude department give way to the Pyrénées-Orientales. Mount Canigou and the eastern Pyrénées serve as sentinel to the west; the Mediterranean Sea to the east, with a small, fertile plain around capital Perpignan between them. Part of the Kingdom of Majorca until 1659, its people are Catalan, sharing a language—as well as culinary and wine traditions—with their brethren south across the Spanish border.

Roussillon is the warmest and driest of all French wine regions, and the vine is one of few crops that can survive the heat and the Tramontana wind that rages across the landscape. Vineyards were planted by the Greeks as early as 500 BC, and were further developed by the Romans. Today, Roussillon is simultaneously one of France’s most traditional and dynamic wine regions, producing exciting white, rosé and red wines—including Collioure—while honoring the legacy of the Rancio Sec and the Vin Doux Naturels (Rivesaltes, Banyuls, Maury) which are its patrimony.