We have been visiting Fontès since 1997 and having an interest in wine (of the drinking aspect!)  have noticed a real change in the production and marketing over that time.

In Fontès, as in many of the surrounding villages, there is a Cave Co-operative. The Cave (cellar) was started in 1930 by 30 wine growers and has grown to 200 today.

Vineyards occupy 95% of the arable land area of the municipality and therefore are a major influence on the local economy.

Production is 4 million litres, equivalent to 5.3 million standard 750ml bottles. 60% of this production is Rosé which is a consistent medal winner.

We have noticed that in some villages their cellars have closed but in Fontès there has been the opposite with a growth in the cellar and a real change in how the wines are presented. Labelling in particular has had a transformation and there has been the addition of a modern retail outlet. This was a major improvement as the old retail outlet was in a freezing cellar area which was quite uninviting and did not encourage one to stay & sample.

The wines are Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée (AOC). Historically, AOC were set up to protect well known wine styles such as Champagne, Chablis, St Emilion and Chateauneuf du Pape. Since the 1930’s a large number of wines which represent particular styles from particular areas have been granted AOC status. All AOC wines are controlled in terms of geographical location of the vineyard, grape varieties allowed, maximum yields and prohibition of irrigation. In most cases there are additional rules regarding methods of viticulture and winemaking. The wines have to pass a test by chemical analysis and panel tasting.

In the Languedoc-Roussillon the AOC’s are large and often don’t have the prestige to command a high price. The AOC status is not a guarantee of higher quality, just style.

We prefer the Fontès reds. They reflect the schist, basalt & limestone soils. The Mediterranean climate lends itself to the production of high quality wines without the high price tag. The wines are certainly value for money.

We recommend you visit and sample.