The soils of the vineyards of Roussillon are very complex and variable: chalk, clay, shale, gneis, granite, and alluvial deposits, causing great variety in the types and tastes of these French wines. The climate is extremely hot in summer and mild in winter but rain does not fall evenly throughout the year. An entire vineyard can be destroyed by a cloudburst. Winemaking in Roussillon in the past decades has changed greatly with significant improvement of the regulation of temperature before and during fermentation. The white French wine is light, fresh, and fruity: drink it at 10- 12°C (50-53.6°F) .
The rose is produced by the saignee methode, meaning that the red French wine is drawn off early and then vinified as white wine. Because the wine is drawn off so quickly, the grape skins have had just enough time to impart their wonderful red colour without adding tannin to the wine. This rose is very fruity. Drink this taste French wine at 12°C (53.6°F) .
There are two different types of red wine. A light wine is often produced by steeping in carbonic acid gas maceration carbonique), which is fruity, slightly spicy, and particularly pleasing. For a good taste drink this French wine at 12- 14°C(53 .6-57.2°F) .
The traditionally made red French wine is stronger and more rounded. The bouquet tends towards red cherry, plums, preserved fruit, and spices. This French wine can be kept for some time because it is aged in wood. Drink this French wine at 14- 16°C (57 .2- 60.8°F) .
Cotes du Roussillon Villages
The difference of this red French wine from the other Cotes du Roussillon wines is its specific terroirs, which mainly consist of the sides of hills or terraces of shale, chalk, and granite. The grapes used are the same as ordinary Cotes du Roussillon but the output per hectare is much lower. The appellation Cotes du Roussillon Villages may be used by 32 communes in the north of the department on vineyards extending to 2,000 hectares. These French wines are stronger, more powerful, and more complex than Cotes du Roussillon, and can be kept longer. For a good taste serve this French wine at 16°C (60.8°F) .
Among the 32 communes of Cotes du Roussillon Villages, there are four which are permitted to bear their name on the label, in recognition of their higher quality.