Picpoul de Pinet is the largest white wine producing appellation in Languedoc. The predominant grape is the white Piquepoul, sometimes known as “lip stinger” because of its natural acidity. The vineyards are situated at the edge of the Mediterranean in view of the Bassin de Thau and its oyster beds, so it is no surprise that the resulting wines make excellent companions to all types of seafood. The wines neutralize the salt and iodine in shellfish and other crustaceans, and are also surprisingly good with rich cheeses and charcuterie.
One of the oldest Languedoc grapes, the Piquepoul has been growing near the Thau Lagoon for centuries. White is the most common type of the grape, though both blush and black grapes can be found. The white Piquepoul grape is inclined to ripen late, so the warm, humid sea breezes help it mature in good conditions.
The weather pattern across the appellation is typically Mediterranean with low rainfall (600mm or 24 ins) and moderate winters. Summers are dry.
The maritime influence is influential in that it limits strong temperature variations :
- Sea breezes limit high daytime temperatures,
- The water in the lagoon protects the land from steep night-time temperature falls.
- Soil: Limestone, sandy soil deposits
For more information on the appellation, visit their website at http://www.picpoul-de-pinet.com/en