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Faugères

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Faugères is an appellation in the Languedoc-Roussillon area in southern France. While it covers white and rosé wines as well, the appellation is most famous for its rich, ripe red wines made from the classic Rhône varieties Syrah, Grenache and Mourvèdre, along with the more Mediterranean Cinsault and Lladoner Pelut.

The appellation covers the southern slopes of a range of hills just a few miles inland from the Mediterranean coast. The town of Faugères forms the centre of the zone, which stretches some 7 miles (10km) from east to west. The city of Carcassonne lies a short way to the southwest.

This position is very important to the terroir in Faugères, as the hills provide protection from cold northerly influences from the Massif Centrale as well as neatly orienting the vineyards toward the prevailing sun. This gives Faugères a warm, classically Mediterranean climate where even the later-ripening varieties like Mourvèdre are able to reach full maturity. As is often the case, the best sites are located on the steeper slopes higher on the hill, while the vineyards on the plains that stretch toward the sea make mostly lower-quality wines that are often sold under the regional IGP title.

Faugères benefits from its geological history – the schist soils are the result of an ancient sea bed that was compressed by the shifting of the Alps and the Pyrenees. These soils are deep and free draining, allowing them to absorb and retain warmth to aid ripening. Low fertility, long associated with high-quality wine production, is also a feature here, forcing low yields and concentrated fruit.

The wines of Faugères have drawn attention throughout the 20th century, and the area was granted VDQS status in 1955, and promoted to AOC in 1982. Most recently in 2005, the area's white wines, made from Grenache Blanc, Marsanne, Roussanne and Rolle were included in the AOC.

The area also produces Eau de Vie under the title Eau-de-Vie de Faugères.
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