Domaine de Martinolles Village: Saint-Hilaire Appellation: 100ha Blanquette de Limoux Cremant de Limoux IGP D'Oc Grower: Jean Claude Mas Website: https://www.martinolles.com Downloadable PDF The Limoux wine region is at the western most point of the Languedoc and is located just south of the medieval city of Carcassonne. It has a unique geoclimate, a situation due to the dual influences of the Atlantic which brings cool and wet weather and the Mediterranean which delivers hot and dry conditions. The Domaine de Martinolles was owned by the Vergnes family from 1926 until 2011 when the estate was sold to the native Languedocoen vigneron, Jean Claude Mas. The vineyards lie on the same hillsides that the monks of St. Hilaire cultivated in 1531 when they produced the world’s first sparkling wine. The vines, which are planted in chalky soils at elevations ranging from 200 to 600 meters, are worked traditionally without herbicides or fertilizers. Domaine de Martinolles is a member of Terra Vitis, an organization that certifies the practice of sustainable agriculture. Le Berceau, Blanquette de Limoux The domain limits their yields in the vineyard to 40 hectoliters per hectare. Harvesting is done by hand and the Blanquette de Limoux is kept for a minimum of nine months on the lees before being disgorged. The “Le Berceau” which translates to “cradle”, a reference to the birthplace of sparkling wine, is produced from the Mauzac grape, a traditional grape of this region. It is produced using the Methode Traditionnelle (Champenoise). Chateau Martinolles, Cremant de Limoux Vintage The Cremant is produced only in the best vintages. The yields in the vineyard are limited to 40 hectoliters per hectare and harvesting is done by hand. The Cremant is produced from blending three grape varieties. The Chardonnay grape, accounts for 70% of the blend with 20% of Chenin Blanc and 10% Pinot Noir finishing it. The Cremant is produced using the Methode Traditionnelle (Champenoise) and it is aged at least 15 months on the lees before being disgorged. Chateau Martinolles, Cremant de Limoux Rosé Non-Vintage The Cremant Rosé is produced by blending 70% Chardonnay, 20% Chenin Blanc and 10% Pinot Noir. The yields in the vineyard are limited to 40 hectoliters per hectare and harvesting is done by hand. Whole clusters are put in the press and the juice is very gently extracted. Fermentations are carried out in stainless steel tanks at low temperatures. The Cremant Rosé is produced using the Methode Traditionnelle (Champenoise) and it is aged at least 15 months on the lees before being disgorged. It offers a floral nose with a palate that moves from fresh red fruit to a light citric finish. Vergnes Blanquette Methode Ancestrale Around the year 1531 when the monks of Saint Hilaire Abbey made the first sparkling wines, they employed the method now known as “Methode Ancestrale”. The Ancestrale is produced from Mauzac, Limoux’s local grape variety. The Methode Ancestrale employs one interrupted fermentation rather than the second fermentation induced in the champagne method. The Ancestrale Methode is produced by stopping the fermentation process through cooling the vats of wine, something that centuries ago would occur naturally. The partially fermented wine is bottled the following March at the time of the full moon and as the ambient temperature rises, the wine restarts its fermentation. Domaine de Martinolles, Chardonnay VDP de L’Aude The harvest is carried out at dawn to protect the grapes from the midday heat and oxidation. The crushed grapes rest with their skins for a day before pressing, giving the wine more body and texture. Domaine de Martinolles, Pinot Noir VDP de L’Aude One of the principal grape varieties in the Languedoc during the 15th century was the Pinot Noir. The Vergnes though are the first in the Aude region to experiment with the Pinot Noir grape during this current era. Their 25 acres of Pinot Noir vines are now ten years old and are starting to produce very flavorful wine. The vines are planted on limestone hillsides in cooler areas of the region hoping to find there an expression of Pinot Noir that is delicate, finely aromatic and balanced.