History

Blanquette was first produced in 1531 by the Monks of St. Hilaire perhaps more than 150 years before the Champagne Region produced their bubbles! It was these Monks who first tied the corks to the bottles. Producers of the Blanquette Ancestrale still follow tradition and bottle at the time of the full moon in March ready for the warmer weather to start the secondary fermentation that produces les bulles (the bubbles) the fabulous sparkle within the bottles. 

It is of no coincidence that another Monk, Dom Perignon (1638 -1715) spent time in the Limoux area before returning to the Champagne region, where the process methode champenoise was fully developed and recorded many years later (c.1668-1690).
All the grapes for Blanquette have to be harvested by hand into small boxes to prevent bruising, and the regulations also limit the yield to ensure a quality product. Growers who can produce and market Blanquette are limited to a set area of 41 villages around the 2000 year old town of Limoux.


Many producers follow an organic code for growing the Blanquette grape which is also know as Mauzac.

 
In more recent years the Chenin and Chardonnay grapes have been introduced enabling the production of the blended Blanquette de Limoux and the Crémant de Limoux.

 Although little known in the UK, as we are so attached to the sparkling wine from the Champagne Region, Blanquette in all its forms is now exported and enjoyed world wide. This was definitely not the case up until 1728 when French regulations did not allow any bottles of wine of any type to be transported. Only barrels!