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What's a Garrigue?

If you’ve been reading about French wine, you may have encountered the term “garrigue”, and you may be wondering: qu’est-ce que c’est?

Garrigue is an ecological term for the low-lying, wild hillside vegetation found in parts of the Mediterranean Coast, including France. (It's also known by the Greek name “phrygana”.)

Garrigue typically springs forth from limestone soils, and grows in the wake of what were once evergreen oak forests that stood in the same spots until around 4500 years BC. These areas were deforested for cultivation of crops (like grains and olives), as well as animal-rearing and charcoal-making, which exposed the land to erosion and giving way to the scrubby growth that characterizes the terrain.

These days, instead of mighty oaks, garrigues are coated in a low blanket of oak bushes, lavender and herbs.

In wines, this terroir tends to translate into aromas of juniper, lavender, rosemary, sage and thyme (no parsley, though). Often, they lend “resinous”, “earthy” or even “barnyard-like” qualities to the final product.

Often, you’ll see the term used “garrigues” in appellations or on labels to telegraph this wild scrubland influence.

Our own Garrigue, a Proxies Club limited release, aims to capture the terroir of the wild Mediterranean coast—without any of the alcohol found in a traditional wine. This big, fresh red features pomegranate and raspberry blend with rich syrah grapes for a robust-yet-fruity base complemented by a hint of floral lavender, cooling licorice, a touch of smoke from lapsang souchong, and a hit of spice on the finish courtesy of black peppercorn.

Garrigue was a limited-edition Proxies Club selection. Join the Club today.

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