At the end of the 19th century, almost 500,000 hectolitres was produced here every year. In the Valley of the Tarn Gorges, on the hillsides of the Grands Causses, could be seen countless layers of bancels, dry-stone terraces for sheltering the rows of vines.
Living proof of thi wine-growing and wine-making era
- villages of half-buried caves such as those at Entre-deux-Monts or Contre-Pinet
- inside the village houses, cellars with fleurines (a natural fault in the rock allowing air to circulate permanently at an « ambient » temperature) like in Compeyre
The outbreak of phylloxera at the end of the 19th century didn’t spare the vines of the Tarn Gorges and those that « survived » were planted with varieties from the South, deteriorating the quality of the wine… Fortunately, over the past thirty years, the wine-growers of the Tarn Gorges have been replanting the traditional vine varieties, focusing more on qulaity rather than quantity and have been controlling the wine-making process at the co-operative…
And the reward for all these efforts came in May 2011: the Côtes de Millau were awarded the Controlled Designation of Origin!
Alongside the traditional red, rosé and white wines, the tree-growers and producers of the Southern Aveyron valleys also concoct other beverages:
- querilou (cherry wine)
- wild rose liqueur
- quince liqueur or apéritif
- nutmeg wine or liqueur
- prunelhou (plum wine)
For responsible drinking…