Well established in the tradition of viticulture, the Skalli family visited California in the early 80s. In the famous Napa valley, north of San Francisco, they discovered a new approach to winemaking that emphasized character and quality in a number of “noble” grape varieties, rather than generic blends. On their return to the Languedoc in southern France, where the family had settled in 1961, they were faced with an unparalleled crisis in the regional wine business. Chaotic pricing and criticism of sub-standard wine quality threw winemakers into a state of disarray. Unrest brewed in the endangered vineyards.
The Skallis felt deeply committed to the future of Languedoc. Their experience in the New World gave them a different perspective. For them, varietal wine would save the region. The concept was revolutionary for French viticulture of the time, shaking up the well established AOC (appellation d’origine contrôlée) tradition, but what did that matter if it could save the world’s largest vineyard? Braving local scepticism, the Skallis went far and wide, rallying winemakers of the region to their cause. Growers were encouraged to take the plunge and pioneer in the development of high quality single grape varieties. Slowly but surely new varieties gained acceptance. Chardonnay, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc and Syrah were planted throughout the region.
Over the seasons and years, quality remained an ongoing pursuit. This involved the careful selection of grape varieties and terroirs, new vineyard practices and vinification techniques, and elaborate ageing processes. Combining traditional viticultural handcraft with modern techniques, the Skalli family poured energy into the transformations underway. They were driven by the desire to produce wines which no one could have imagined several years before.
By 1987, they had won their audacious bet on varietal wine. Growers had always assumed that it was impossible to produce excellent white wines in the Languedoc. Suddenly they were confronted with superb Chardonnays and remarkable Sauvignon Blancs. Excellent red wines made from Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah followed suit. Within ten years, varietal wines had gained full recognition in the vast winegrowing region of southern France. They had also found a name which reflects their southern vitality, “Couleurs du Sud “.
Couleurs du Sud varietal wines are an invitation to the senses. Their deep colour and rich bouquet evoke the sunny Mediterranean territories.
Excessive consumption of alcohol is harmful to your health, so please drink in moderation.