MUSCAT DE NOËL, CELEBRATING THE RELEASE OF THE FIRST MUSCAT DE RIVESALTES OF THE YEAR – “INFINITELY ROUSSILLON”
Muscat de Noël: the perfect companion for your Holiday gatherings!
The Muscat de Noël, an AOC Muscat de Rivesaltes since 1997, marks the launch of the new vintage on the third Thursday of November. Released on November 15, this primeur fortified sweet wine (“VDN” = Vins Doux Naturels) magnifies the end of the year festivities and is winning over more and more consumers, thanks to its exceptional value for money. Over the past 10 years, sales increased by 23%.
Over 20 years of steady growth
Resulting from the work and dedication carried out by hundreds of producers, over 530 000 bottles of the Muscat de Noël will be made available to the public this year, which is 30 times more than 20 years ago when the total volume produced was averaging 20 000 bottles. Of these, 50% is intended to wholesalers and wine shops operating in the areas of Pyrénées-Orientales and Aude, whereas 45% will be distributed in wine shops throughout France, mainly in the Paris region and in the South of France. The remaining 5% will be channeled towards export markets, notably Northern Europe (Belgium, Germany, Netherlands).
Muscat de Noël, a history rooted back to the Middle Ages
In the Middle Ages, the first Muscat of the year was traditionally served to the Barcelona’s noblemen during the Christmas holiday. Practices evolved towards family settings which have perpetuated them since then, from generation to generation. In 1997, a handful of passionate winemakers have decided to make it available to the greatest number by creating, as a complement to the AOC Muscat de Rivesaltes, a specific designation: Muscat de Noël. This latter is commanding very precise production and commercial practices such as the requirement that the wine be bottled “at the property” no later than on December 1st, and an official release which cannot be initiated before the third Thursday of November, following a tasting by a panel of professionals that validates the conformity of every Muscat de Noël.
A wine aligned with the strategy developed for the wines of Roussillon
The Muscat de Noël may be representing only 5% of the total sales of the AOC Muscat de Rivesaltes, it is nonetheless an important pillar of the overall strategy for the wines of Roussillon. Released only a few weeks after harvest, it is an undeniable economic asset for the local producers. Plus, it generates additional media exposure and reinforces the notoriety of the wines of Roussillon in a highly competitive environment. It also allows to reach a broader public that is enchanted by its colorful and festive packaging, and the freshness of recently harvested grapes’ flavors. The Muscat de Noël, a versatile companion that will suit either a cocktail party or a more traditional meal… and why not accompany the festivities of the Epiphany!
ROUSSILLON, THE SOUTHERNMOST OF THE FRENCH VINEYARDS
Shaped like an amphitheater and nestled between the Pyrenées-Orientales mountains and the Mediterranean sea, the vineyard of Roussillon is covered by 20 900 hectares of vines classified in 14 AOCs and 2 IGPs. Overall, 375 vineyards (350 located in the Pyrenées-Orientales, 25 in Aude), 29 winegrowers cooperatives (25 located in the Pyrenées-Orientales, 4 in Aude), and 30 wine traders produce 75 million bottles annually; 29% of which is fortified sweet wines (“VDN” = Vins Doux Naturels), and 71% is still wines (reds, rosés, and whites).