Marcillac Red Wine

Marcillac lies on the Aveyron river just north west of Rodez, is linked historically to the Abbey of Conques and is the only appellation in the Aveyron region to enjoy AOC status. To the north are the barren plateaux called les causses. This is wild mountainous country gutted with deep river gorges. For nearly a thousand years vineyards were the base of the region’s economy. In 1868 phylloxera destroyed the vineyards by ninety percent. The economy was devastated and many natives of the region moved away. The style or philosophy of the wines is connected to the area and the grape variety. The vineyards are grown on terraces with very steep gradients; the soil is the reddish-purple le rougier with a schist underlay; the grape variety is mansois, otherwise known as fer servadou; only old barrels and traditional methods are used; minimal sulphur is required in the fermentation. The result? Violet-tinted, brilliant fresh reds packed with fresh currant fruits, provocative acidity and a medicinal minerality, the vinous equivalent of Chalybeate water. The medieval citizens of Rodez used to take Marcillac for their health, because it was preferable to drinking the local water.  More recently, Pascal Monestier, the son of a pharmacist in Marcillac, in a thesis on the prevention of cholesterol by the consumption of wine discovered especially high concentrations of cathecine and procyamidol – anti-cholesterol agents. Well, as the bible says, “Take a little wine for thy stomach”!