CHATEAUX DE LA PEYRADE - Yves Pastourel et fils, 34110 Frontignan
Châteaux de la Peyrade is regarded the best producer of Muscat de Frontignan. Year after year they get a Coup de Coeur (hart beat) by the French wine bible Guide Hachette. This is the highest grade that is given to a wine.
The wine has been produced for hundreds of years and there has been very appreciated. In the 18th century this sweet wine was popular in Sweden and the Swedish national poet Carl Michael Bellman wrote about it in one of his songs. Also the Swedish poet and scientist Georg Stiernhielm mentioned this wine in one of his poems. Thomas Jefferson grew fond of this wine during his time in France and it is told that he made sure that his wine cellar never was out of it when he returned to US as president.
Another funny story is that Marquis de Lur-Saluces, who owned Château d’Yquem should have traveled to Frontignan to learn how to grow and produce sweet wine - Sauterne. The methods used were however not very feasible in Bordeaux because of the climate. The grapes in Bordeaux got affected by Botrytis cinerea, or noble rot as it is also called, which gives the wine its special character. It is told however that he could use the Frontignan bottle they used at the time, which now is known as the Bordeaux bottle.
At one time some of the producers started to use a twisted bottle for Muscat de Frontignan. The saga says that the giant Hercules came to Frontignan and was very thirsty. When he had emptied the last bottle he squeezed it in his hands to try to get the last drops of wine and produced this spiral formed bottle.
Muscat de Frontignan at Châteaux de la Peyrade is produced from Muscat petit grain and is produced under very strict rules when it comes to harvesting, handling and temperature. What makes this wine so special compared to many other sweet muscat wines is the very fresh acidity that elevate this wine over those who are just sweet.
Besides producing wine from muscat grapes, the château sells a large selection of wine from the Languedoc area. It is therefore a good place to go to get an overview of Languedoc wines, especially wines from Herault.
The little castle with its new wine-shop is easy to find. Leaving the motorway driving down to Sete, approaching the sea, you find it beside the first roundabout to the right.