Our history Une tradition depuis 2000 ans

A 2000 year-old tradition

Clairette du Languedoc wines are considered to have existed for as long as living memory. Mentioned by Pliny and later by Rabelais, they were King Louis XI's favourite. Today, AOC Languedoc's smallest appellation deserves to be rediscovered.

The nearby Greek colony in Agde explains the enduring winemaking tradition of the Hérault Valley. The Greeks introduced techniques for managing the vines and making the wines. In the first century BC, Roman settlers in the region brought new varieties including "Aminum", which is very famous in Italy and was served in Rome's finest restaurants. Bunches of Aminum grapes identified as the Clairette through grain morphology and DNA analysis were discovered recently at the bottom of a Gallo-Roman well. The two largest known wine villas in the Roman world were established on the soil of Clairette du Languedoc and exported their wines throughout the Empire.

From the end of antiquity and during the great invasions, the vineyards were partly neglected. It was the abbeys that dealt with maintenance in the Clairette du Languedoc region. However in 1472, King Louis XI's master sommelier was seduced by this wine with its aromas of pear, honey and peach. He bought the dry white (Picquardentz) and soft white (Cleratz) and thus began a renaissance. In the 18th century, the wine was much sought after; Clairette du Languedoc became fashionable and was much more expensive than other regional products.

From the 19th century until the early 20th century, Clairette du Languedoc was widely used to develop vermouth. However this lucrative trade didn't improve the image of the appellation and little by little, Clairette du Languedoc lost its reputation, becoming known more as the base wine in vermouth.

Following the efforts of a number of winemakers, Clairette du Languedoc was recognised as an AOC (appellation of controlled origin) on 28th September 1948. Today, a handful of winemakers continue to produce Clairette du Languedoc and are determined to restore its acclaim.