Gard Provence home page Gard Provence home page

Lirac's reputation goes back as far as the 17th century, and there is even considerable evidence that vineyards existed here during the Roman era. In fact, in the 17th century, this vineyard on the right bank of the Rhône was the only one that existed on the southern part of the river. Its wine was highly valued by the greatest connoisseurs from the royal courts and the leisure classes of Paris. At the end of the 17th and the beginning of the 18th centuries, the wine produced in Lirac was stored in barrels and shipped to the best tables in France.

In 1804, the family of Count Henri de Régis de Gatimel inherited a castle in Lirac through a succession of marriages. The estate was not exactly flourishing: it had grains, some silkworms, and a modest vineyard. In 1925, Count Henri de Régis decided to redevelop the estate's vineyard. In the 1930's, he thought of creating an appellation that would bear the name of the village at the center of the production region, following the example of the other AOC wines. In October of 1947, a decree approving the label of Lirac was issued by the government; it was the first of the Côtes du Rhône crus to produce red, white, and rosé wines.

The AOC Lirac includes four districts: Roquemaure, Saint Laurent des Arbres, Saint Geniès de Comolas, and Lirac. Situated on the southern part of the Rhône Valley, on the river's right bank, this vineyard covers an area of 2000 hectares at the heart of the Gard's garrigues and among Roman ruins.

The appellation includes 51 production units. Click to see them.

The vineyard of Lirac benefits from a typically Mediterranean climate, with hot, dry summers, low annual rainfall, and an average of 2700 hours of sunshine per year. The typical nature of this climate is accentuated by the mistral.

The appellation includes three types of soils:
- At its edges, there are limestone massifs, where successive erosions have deposited a thin layer of red clay and of gravel.
- The center of vineyards is composed of former alluvial terraces of the Rhône, a combination of river-rolled rocks and red clay, all placed on a bed of sand.
- The sloping surfaces of these terraces show sand mixed with small pebbles, resulting from successive mudslides.

The diversity of soils within this appellation permits the development of each type of grape variety and explains why Lirac wines come in three colors.
- White Liracs: produced from a vast range of grape varieties: white grenache, bourboulenc, and clairette, often accompanied by white ugni, picpoul, roussanne, marsanne, or viognier. Each kind of grape draws the complexity of its flavor from the earth of the garrigue.
- Grenache, cinsault, and syrah, used in the creation of Lirac rosés, draw their roundness and freshness from the sandy terrains.
- Black grenache, syrah, mouvèdre, and cinsault, used for the creation of red Liracs, are enriched by the clay plateaus that are full of river-rolled rocks.
Alcohol may be dangerous for your health. Consume with moderation.
 Click to visit town,
 village or monument :: Sainte Baume Montfaucon Roquemaure Sauveterre Pujaut Tavel Lirac Saint Genies de Comolas Laudun-l'Ardoise Saint Laurent des Arbres