The Winery on the Edge of the Pyrenees
In the south of the Languedoc-Roussillon, at the very last vineyard before Spain, you will find Domaine Sol Payré. This is a Catalan country, where the Sol-Payré family tend their vineyards at the edge of the Pyrenees. The winery has been in the family-run since 1913 and so far, five generations have cared for it. Now is the turn of Jean-Claude with his wife Pascale, daughter Margaux and son Bertrand. They believe it is vital to maintaining the company’s independence no matter what challenges arise. Celebrating their 100th anniversary in 2013, the winery used the slogan, “Resist!”
The Exceptional Position of Domaine Sol-Payré
The winery has two distinct types of terroir. The first, is a seven hectare site in the Agly Valley located at an elevation of 300 meters, where the soil is rocky, formed of gneiss, granite, and schist. Further south, the other is in the Aspres area where they have 40 hectares of clay-limestone soil. The combination of the soil, high temperatures and lack of rain with carefully chosen grapes brings fine rewards. All of the Domaine Sol-Payré wines come under the Côtes de Roussillon appellation. They use mostly Grenache, Mourvèdre, and Syrah grapes. They also use Carignan, a Spanish grape variety that is more common in French wines.
Using the Green Harvesting Method to Improve Quality
The winery uses the green harvest technique to maximize yield. This means picking some grapes when still green in order to thin the vines. This allows the remaining grapes to get more sunlight. They typically ferment the reds in thermo-regulated stainless steel vats before aging in wooden barrels for 12 months.