A region with its local riches and its exceptional wines
If there is a vineyard in France that combines all extremes, it is certainly the one of Banyuls and Collioure. This place is a world of paradoxes, where nature acts in unpredictable ways.
The vineyard of the Vermeille Coast covers 1,600 hectares for the production of certified wines "Apellation d'Origine Contrôlée" (controlled for designated origin) and "de Pays" (controlled for "from the country") : AOC Collioure, AOC Banyuls Grand Cru, AOC Banyuls, IGP Côte Vermeille which come in red, rosé and white except for the "Banyuls Grand Cru" which is produced only in red.
Today - despite the "agricultural industrial revolution" - the vines are still handcrafted by a multitude of small winegrowers. They maintained a way of asserting the "complantation", a practice used in cultivation which dates from the ninth century and which has withstood all the wine crises in recent decades.
For centuries, the question about conservation and management of the wine landscape did not arise. Each family owned at least one vineyard which was cultivated next to a professional activity, allowing these families not only to transmit their heritage to the next generations but also to provide for additional earnings. The maintenance and cultivation of the vineyards was therefore based on continuous social and family transmission, passed over from the old to the young generations.
It is this transfer of know-how which has helped to preserve a landscape heritage in which each slope is terrace shaped with low walls to increase the cultivable flat surface. Narrow triangles or expanded rectangles, these lines form a vineyard landscape as in a "puzzle". The micro-fragmentation of the vineyard accentuates the mosaic phenomenon.