Friday, 9 April 2010

Languedoc Roussillon - Muscat de Mireval

Muscat de Mireval is a lesser known wine and the is smallest sweet wine appellation in the south of France. These vineyards are located on the slopes of the Massif de la Gardiole, at the edge of the Vic La Gardiole lagoon close to the community of Mireval. The soils were formed during the Jurassic period and have a high content of limestone fragments. The chalky Jurassic soil with its ancient alluvial deposits and rounded stones is protected from the weather by the 230 metre-high mountain and is influenced by the nearby Mediterranean sea.

The wine is made with the Muscat Blanc à Petits Grains grape which was recommended as an elixir for life under the Roman Empire and by doctors during the Renaissance. This source of well-being was even recognised by the Tax Office under the old regime, as Languedoc Muscats were exempt from taxes as they were considered "medicinal". The famous French Renaissance writer, doctor and humanist Rabelais was a great admirer of Mireval wines.

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