Majorie Gallet purchased her small domaine in 2001 at the ripe old age of 23. She renamed the estate Roc des Anges (angel’s rock) in honor of the white, quartz-veined soil. The farm is about 18 miles from the vibrant, French-Catalan city of Perpignan on the southwest coast of France.

Ms. Gallet grew up near Côte Rôtie in the Northern Rhône, doing apprenticeships with Yves Cuilleron and Pierre Gaillard, and studied eonology in Montpellier before setting off on her own. She farms roughly 50 acres of vineyards spread out over 43 different parcels in this dry, stony landscape. All the farming is organic.

Les Vignes Métissées Rose is a rich, barely pink, dry rosé composed of a single-vineyard, field blend of old Carignan, Alicante and Grenache. Very tiny amounts are produced.

quick pairing recommendations for white, rosé, and sparkling wines from this region
Grilled Shrimp or Langoustine, Olive Oil-Laced Seafood Stews

quick pairing recommendations for red wines from this region
Roast Leg of Lamb with Rosemary and Garlic, Grilled Butterflied Leg of Lamb, Grilled Steaks

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regionThe Languedoc-Roussillon on France’s Mediterranean coast forms an arc beginning west of the Rhône to the Spanish border. France’s first vineyards were planted here in what is now Narbonne.

By the late 1800s, the area produced 44% of France’s total output of wine. Greed (and the region’s relatively quick recovery from the devastation of phylloxera), transformed the region into a “wine lake,” known for producing huge amounts of thin wine-often pumped up with richer, imported wines from Algeria and southern Italy.

In the 1970s and early 1980s, smaller, high quality farms began producing substantial, traditional wines and the trend continues today.

Appellation Côtes du Roussillon-Villages covers an area rich in Spanish and Catalan influence – Catalunya (more a cultural identification than geographic) extends from Nîmes (just southwest of Avignon), and south through Barcelona in Spain. The hot, wind-blown, sun-drenched climate and harsh soils are ideal for olives, vines and little else.

Perpignan and the small towns to the south are distinctly Catalan in their culture – natives still speak the Catalan dialect, signs are posted in French, Spanish, and Catalan, and the pungent, salty food often combines meat and fish – typical dishes include lamb with cuttlefish, and paella.

Excellent produce, proximity to the sea for fish, olives and olive oil, hot pepper, local tomatoes, oranges and garlic are some of the ingredients typically grown in the region.

The many styles of wine produced here are indicative of the broad variety of foods available. Muscat Rivesaltes, is the local aperitif, drunk chilled. Rosés accompany the langoustine and even lighter meat dishes. The powerfully flavored red wines accompany everything from paella to lamb. The local sheep milk cheeses, foie gras, and Roquefort are served with the delicious, sweet wines of Maury, Banyuls and Rivesaltes.

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