For me one of the most beautiful areas close to Carcassonne is the Corbières. It’s a region of many differing landscapes from rolling hills in wide open countryside to deep river gorges and craggy cliffs. There are areas of forest and towards the Pyrenees some impressive mountains and close by the land stretches to touch the Mediterranean Sea. The Corbières is large and the terroirs it contain are so diverse that the wines are considerably different from one end of the region to the other.
Terroir is a beautifully evocative French word used to describe the place where wine is grown and the influence it has on the wines style. The two most important elements of terroir are soil and climate, they are the most influential factors however there are many others such as the shape of the land and if rainfall easy escapes or if the earth traps it and other aspects such as what else is growing naturally in the area. Across Languedoc and spread across the Corbières hills is a low scrubland called garrigue. It enjoys limestone soils and is made up of a dense thicket of aromatic, lime tolerant shrubs including holm oaks, juniper, broom, fennel and cistus intermingled with lavender, rosemary, thyme and sage. The wines grown in the region often have a herby character due to the close proximity of the vineyards and the garrigue.