Saint-Hilaire Blanquette de Limoux Brut
100 years before the invention of Champagne, Benedictine monks at the abbey of St. Hilaire, in a tiny town in the foothills of Pyrenees, detailed the production and distribution of their own sparkling wine in a document.
The Mauzac grape, native to the Languedoc, develops a white down on the vine leaves - hence "blanquette" or “little white” in the Occitan language. Blanquette de Limoux must contain at least 90 percent Mauzac, with small percentages of Clairette, Chenin Blanc, and Chardonnay.
While we now think of Champagne as the king of sparkling wines, the wines of Limoux were renowned for centuries in France and England. When Thomas Jefferson died, about 10% of the wine cellar at Monticello was comprised of Blanquette de Limoux (and no champagne!).
Blanquette is now made in the same method as Champagne, and many feel the quality is as high or higher than its much more famous northern sister.
None of this history would mean anything if the wine weren’t delicious. This is a sparkler fit for end of the year celebrations. A shop favorite!