St Chinian wines have a very long-standing reputation, going back as far as the fourteenth century.
The revolution put an end to the cloth trade and the village had to rely on the wine for its fortunes. After the phylloxera crisis of the 1860's, the Languedoc region was producing huge amounts of cheap wine.
It was then necessary for the vignerons to begin to concentrate on quality rather than quantity.
A VDQS since 1945, St Chinian acquired AOC status in 1982. The appellation area covers twenty communes and produces primarily red and rosé. The vines grow on hillsides facing the sea, at an altitude of 100 - 200m.
Drink wonderful wine, swim in the Med, mountain streams, discover castles, abbeys and artists and musicans who came - André Derain, Georges Braque, Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, C R Mackintosh, and Tsuguharu Fujita; or go a few steps to Spain and Catalonia land of Salvador Dali - Cadaquez, and BarcelonaGo to Lagrasse and discover Corbieres
This little village is easily passed when one is driving to Spain, or to the ski slopes of Font Romeu. Its location is almost hidden amongst the gaunt surrounding peaks. Villefranche is an eleventh century medieval town that lies strategically between France and Spain, in the lands of the Conflent. Its fortress walls defeated Jaume III the son of last king of Majorca in 1374, and it took six days for French troops to take the town in 1654. Consequently it was heavilly fortified by Vauban in the seventeenth century. It lies at the foot of the Canigou at the heart of the Pyrenees. Classed as one of the 'Most Beautiful Villages in France', Villefranche is one of the 14 Vauban sites retained for UNESCO World listing. Within the fortifications, its a lovely experience to walk down the narrow lanes, where there are a myriad of shops, artists, and crafts people selling their wares.Discover the Cathars