According to Richard James, Château de Quéribus and Château de Peyrepetuse are “crazy hilltop Cathar fortresses perched either side of the village of Cucugnan, lost at the southern end of the Corbières area.” An experienced British wine writer, Richard currently lives near Perpignan, lived previously in Montpellier and writes all six of the Languedoc micro-region guides for Wine Travel Guides. The moody photo, by the way, was taken by Mick Rock of Cephas – one of the largest specialist wine photo libraries in the world – Mick’s launching a new DVD of photos of French wine landscapes soon, which promises to be awesome viewed on a big screen.
Back to Quéribus – this area is also the part of Corbières that overlaps Fitou, as Richard explains: “The Fitou appellation is a bit confusing: there’s the maritime or coastal part around Fitou town itself; and a second chunk (arguably the best terrain) around Tuchan, divided by the Corbières appellation in the middle.”
If I’m really honest about possible answers to the quiz, this crazy château is not that far from the AC Côtes du Roussillon Villages either, so I was prepared to accept any two out of three of Corbières, Fitou and Côtes du Roussillon Villages, three red appellations in southern France that are really going places if reading Richard’s guides is anything to go for. With the advantage of being on the spot, he has sought out an excellent range of producers with a large proportion working their vineyards on organic or even biodynamic principals. A big fan of organics, Richard is attending the annual organic wine show Millésime Bio (for professionals only) next week in Montpellier instead of writing the updates to his guides or writing a blog post here – can’t say I blame him …
Congratulations to Jeff Bashford, an Australian living in Canada, who’s a professional fan of so-called ‘natural wines’. He correctly answered the two red wines – Fitou & Côtes du Roussillon and wins a PDF wine travel guide of his choice from the 48 micro-region guides currently on line (soon to be two more as two micro-region guides to Rioja are due to be made live very shortly).
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