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Fronton, South West France
Domaine le Roc is situated between the Garonne and the Tarn at the heart of the Fronton AOC region. We produce wines with a strong character including “Negrette”, the grape variety that has become our emblem. Our philosophy has remained unchanged for more than 30 years. We aim to work intelligently and with respect for living things. We don’t farm under an organic label , but our agriculture is responsible and environmentally friendly . We work respectfully and with sincerity, guided by ‘country’ common sense and the knowledge that the land does not belong to us. Jean Luc Ribes, a self proclaimed “Bluesman” at night and viticulturist by day, is perfect for his job harmonizing the soil and vines. He is a real pioneer in the way he uses grass. All the vines have been under grass since 1981 and in the winter there are sheep grazing on the land.
Négrette is a black-skinned variety predominantly found in Fronton, southwestern France. It is a descendant of Mavro, an ancient variety from Cyprus, and legend has it that the vines were carried back from there to Gaillac by the Knights Templar. Over time, the variety spread to nearby Fronton, which today is its undeniable home. Négrette is used in the production of both reds and rosés. Its rosé wines are very fruity, with a distinctive violet flavor and a spicy finish. They tend to be more full bodied than southeastern French rosés. Négrette reds are soft, silky and perfumed, with the same distinctive violet aroma as the rosés, along with certain animal and undergrowth flavors.
Fronton Wine Fronton is an appellation in southwest France for rustic red wines (around 85 percent of output) plus rosé. The vineyard area lies around the town of the same name, just to the north of Toulouse. At least 50 percent of any Fronton vineyard must be planted with the local grape variety Negrette. It is almost exclusive to this part of France and said to have been brought here by the Knights Templar returning from the Crusades. The variety must account for at least 40 percent of the blend of any wine. The landscape is marked by hills and valleys, ranging from 100 to 200 meters (300-600ft) above sea level. This altitude is sufficient to increase the already high sunshine levels enjoyed by the area's vineyards.
The Ribes are moving toward organic farming, and train their vines by the Cordon Royat method, leaving eight spurs on each shoot. They have also increased planting within the vineyards, from 4,000 vines per hectare to nearly 7,000.
• Grapes are pressed
• Placed in vats without added sulphites, then racked slightly.
• The fermentation happens naturally.
• Before the end of fermentation, when there is about 20-30g sugar the wine is cooled to 3°C, lightly
filtered to calm the yeasts and to obtain a clear juice. This is an ancient method, rural and natural as possible.