March 2, 2017

Françoise Ollier on Faugères

It is the smallest appellation of Languedoc and the only one delimited around a single terroir: schist. When it is no longer schist, it is no longer Faugères. It is then called “AOP Languedoc” or “IGP Pays d’Oc”.

Schist is why the wines of Faugères are very recognizable: a texture of tannins very soft and silky, low acidity, minerality (this smoky aroma that is found in our wines is linked to schist), freshness due to the fact that the roots are very deep and the vines rarely suffer from water stress, freshness also due to altitude for those fortunate enough to have the highest vineyards (we are so fortunate). The wines have a lot of balance and elegance.

It is an appellation where winegrowers are stubborn and obstinate. When the area of appellation Faugères was delimited in 1948, it must be understood that throughout the plain growers earned a lot of money with big yields in soils much more fertile than schist!!!

The men and women of Faugères clung to their terroir and believed in it.

1955, passage into VDQS.
1982, recognition and passage into AOC.

The neighboring villages, on the more fertile ground, looked at us and took us for madmen. So it was necessary for us not only to love our land and our craft, but also to be a little obstinate to stay on this soil of schist so poor with yields so weak.

The obstinacy of our grandparents, then of our parents, has paid off. Today, 60 years later, many vineyards of neighboring terroirs, more fertile, have been torn up … while in contrast the appellation of Faugères is becoming more and more known!

At Domaine Ollier-Taillefer, it was our father Alain Ollier who started bottling the domain’s wines with the 1976 vintage. It was exactly 40 years ago.

Photo of Françoise Ollier by Jeff Bramwell.