Foncalieu set to become a major rosé producer

Les Vignobles Foncalieu unveiled an ambitious new goal at Wine Paris in February.

Michel Servage in front of a rendering of the new label (translator right)
Michel Servage in front of a rendering of the new label (translator right)

Languedoc producer Les Vignobles Foncalieu has set itself the goal of becoming one of France’s top producers of rosé.

“Foncalieu’s major goal is to become on of Languedoc’s major rosé producers,” said board chairman Michel Servage. “Foncalieu is proud of its latest product, a rosé. It’s unusual in the southwest, where 40% is red.”

He made the declaration at the launch of a new limited-edition rosé under the Le Versant label, at Wine Paris in late February. “The wine has been made in cooperation with a local artist,” he said. It’s a Grenache blend.”

Rosé consumption is growing, he said, and the new goal is part of an ambitious plan to accelerate overall production from 8m bottles to 10m by 2025. At present, 60% of production is white and rosé.

In addition to the Le Versant rosé, Servage also launched three new “Green Gang” wines. “The Green Gang is a wine designed to help winemakers struggling to leap from non-organic to organic,” he said. “They’re organic but not yet able to sell as organic. They are following the procedures without the benefits. It is very difficult.”
Les Vignobles Foncalieu is a cooperative founded in the Aude department of the South of France in 1967. 

It has about 160ha that are certified organic, with many more in conversion. Another 1,00 ha of vines are certified as Valeur Environnementale III; HVE is a three-tiered system introduced in 2011 that encourages growers to reduce chemical inputs, increase biodiversity and manage water better. “Our Foncalieu wines will all be HVE certified by 2021 – that’s 3.2m bottles,” said Servage.

He added that growers are not only trying to reduce the amount of pesticides and herbicides, but to replace as many vines as possible with hybrid varieties. “The biggest challenge is with the nurseries,” he said, which are presently unable to supply demand.

Since its founding, Les Vignobles Foncalieu’s membership has expanded to include Les Vignerons du Pays d’Ensérune near Béziers, Les Celliers du Nouveau Monde in Puichéric and Les Vignerons de la Cité in Carcassonne.

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