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The Rose & Crown Hotel
Le Huret, Alderney
UK Channel Islands

Delivery on Alderney is free :-) we deliver Monday to Saturday between 10am and 1pm. Please note that we cannot deliver off-island.

Vignerons Beaumes de Venise


The history of Beaumes-de-Venise can be traced back the famous natural history encyclopaedia by Pliny the Elder, where he calls Muscat 'The Vine of the Bees'. The name of Beaumes-de-Venise comes from the caves above the village ('Balmes' which becomes 'Beaumes' in Provençal). The adjective 'Venise' comes from the Comtat Venaissin, the territory of several tribes of Gauls, which belonged to the Vatican from 1229 until taken over by France in 1791 at the same time as Avignon. 'Muscat' is a Provençal word meaning 'Odour of Musk'.

The Greeks brought the famous Muscat grapes to the Rhône Valley, probably the oldest known vine inthe world. Winemaking at Beaumes-de-Venise is strongly traditional and is cariied out in accordance with the wine makers' CHARTER V.I.V.R.E (Vignerons Investis en Viticulture Raisonnée et Environnementale i.e. wine makers who have promised to respect the Environment).


The vineyards stretch over the villages of Beaumes de Venise, Suzette, Lafare and La Roque Alric in the department of the Vaucluse; 'the Province fo the Popes'. The soils consist of soft limestone, scattered with zones of sandstone and molass. These give light soil with few pebbles. The climate is Mediterranean, and hot because the hills protect the area from the Mistral wind.

The argicultural land of the Rhône Valley has a very long history: an integral part of the history of Beaumes-de-Venise where peasants have sculpted the landscape, separating the soil from the rock of construct the 'faysses' or 'restanques', terraces enclosed within dry stone walls which stripe the slopes.

The "faysses" became terraces, and the Muscat growing area was established mainly on sandy soils with no pebbles, coming from Helvetian safre (middle Miocene) going back about 14 million years. These chalky soils have a predominantly sandy texture.

The matrix, usually less than a metre deep has a maximum thickness of 500 metres. This area corresponds to the Northern beaches of the gulf of Carpentras and follows the collapse of the Gulf du Lion. For about 10 million years, a shallow inlet of the Mediterranean came gradually up the present day Rhône Valley, giving the area its own geological personality between the Cévennes and the Alps.

The hybrid storage capacity of such soil is low. Nevertheless, because of the low permeability of the safre, it is not unusual to reach saturation level. Tests done on the safre show particularly high levels of an iron which is easily removed. This allows a reduction of the risks of ferric chlorosis.

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