The sweet, fortified dessert wine has a very old history, the origin is in the French region Roussillon in the eastern Pyrenees. The invention goes to the famous doctor and scholar Arnaldus de Villanova (1240-1311), who experimented with spirits and wine production at the Templars' winery around 1285. He found that adding alcohol to the fermentation stopped and residual sugar is preserved in wine (see under Spriten ). That was when VDN was born and this wine was already very popular in the Middle Ages. When the Kingdom of Mallorca (now Roussillon) came to France in 1659, the Sun King served Louis XIV (1638-1715) this wine to his guests in Versailles. Also the philosopher Voltaire (1694-1778) and the later US president Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) raved about him.
The name and the manufacturing methods of the VDN were first protected by law in 1872. In 1936 these wines received the AOC classification, the individual areas are divided among the departments Aude. Hérault. Pyrenees-Orientales and Vaucluse in the south of France and on the island Corsica, The two main varieties are permitted as grape varieties Muscat Blanc à Petits Grains and Muscat d'Alexandrie, such as Macabeo, Malvoisie du Roussillon ( Torbato ), Grenache Blanc ( Garnacha Blanca ), Grenache Gris ( Garnacha Roja ) and Grenache Noir ( Garnacha Tinta ). The other provisions concern Mostgewicht (at least 252 g / l), maximum yield (30 hl / ha and less), alcohol content (at least 15 to 18% vol), residual sugar (at least 45 to over 100 g / l for some variants), vinification and minimum aging (up to 30 months in barrel).
It is the responsibility of the cellar master when the pure, tasteless alcohol is added to the fermenting must. With the best wines, the spirit is poured over the grape mash (mutage sur grains); The maceration can take up to four weeks. Only then does that happen Press the mash. The traditional vin doux naturel age in large wooden barrels with a volume of 600 liters, in which they are deliberately made oxidation exposes. This takes place in the open air, where they are subject to large temperature fluctuations. Since 1975 the new type of vintage (in Banyuls they are called Rimage) has been produced from particularly good vintages. These mostly deep red wines are bottled early and age like large red wines. They have an intense cherry and berry aroma.
The appellations in the region Roussillon (with 90% of French VDN production) Banyuls. Maury. Muscat de Rivesaltes and Rivesaltes where these wines in red and white variants with different grape blends or unmixed getting produced. The best Grenache Noir VDN are the red ones, which can be stored for up to 20 years and longer. In the region Languedoc VDN's are produced in four appellations, the best known of which Muscat de Frontignan, the very first VDN to be promoted to AC rank. From the southern area Rhone two VDN come from the appellations Muscat de Beaumes-de-Venise and Rasteau, A must that is already enriched before fermentation begins Vin de liqueur,
The term "Vin doux naturel" (naturally sweet wine) is confusing or even wrong because it is Spriten represents an "artificial intervention", which actually contradicts the "natural". The "naturally sweet" refers to the fact that none sweetening with appropriate funds. The term is also used in other countries, among others, in Greece for sweet wines Samos and Vinsanto common. Terms also used here are "Vin doux" (sprites after just a short fermentation) and " Vin naturellement doux "(Without sprites - a" real "naturally sweet wine). Spriting mainly takes place in southern European countries such as at Malaga. Madeira and port wine, for which these French names are not common.