A vine-growing area with a long history
In the South-West of France, between the rivers Tarn and Garonne, the Fronton vineyard extends across twenty communes around the old town of Fronton.
On this small appellation, covering barely 2400 hectares, the “terroir” yields honest, genuine wines, for which the people of Toulouse are the principal ambassadors. Going down the left bank of the Tarn towards Toulouse and the Garonne, you can see three former terraces of the Tarn, forming three separate “terroirs” which give Fronton wines their identity :
- > les boulbènes : alluvial soils composed of pebbles, gravel, sand and silt.
- > les rougets : silty clay soils
- > les graves : lots of pebbles and gravel on the surface, with deep layers ofbclay underneath
The Frontonnais area’s climate also plays an important role. Just think : with over 2000 hours of sunshine per year, Fronton enjoys plenty of sun, plus fairly low rainfall and relatively cool nights. These conditions, coupled with the “vent d’autan” (a hot, dry southerly wind) keep the vines healthy and help the grapes to ripen fully.
Amongst the forty or so independent wine-growers/makers of the appellation, about ten have chosen to use organic methods. But not only the organic producers : every single one, whether independent or in a co-operative, practises sustainable agriculture through careful control of the amount and type of fertiliser used. In any case; the specifications governing the Fronton AOP define precisely the conditions of production. Yields ( 50 hl/ha for reds, 55 hl/ha for rosés) are amongst the lowest in the South-West ; which demonstrates that high quality is always the priority.