Caves Byrrh

Production

More about Caves Byrrh

Status Operational
Established: 1892
Visitor Policy: Not generally accessible
Tel: +33 (0)4 6853 4586
Website: http://www.byrrh.com
This production facility is so named because its famous cellars were built in 1892 by the Violet brothers to make Byrrh, their successful aromatised wine brand which is still made here. The cellars are home to one of the world’s largest oak vats – which formerly held 1,000,200 litres of wine and took 15 years to construct. Since 1960 these cellars have also become the home of other famous aperitif wines including Dubonnet Red and Ambassadeur, along with Suze and Soho liqueurs. In 2013, Caves Byrrh also became home to Pernod Absinthe when a new alembic still was installed and the new Distillerie Henri-Louis Pernod established here.

Address

Boulevard Violet
Thuir
66301
France
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As the name of this production facility might suggest it was originally built to produce Byrrh aromatised wine. The plant has a huge capacity and several other aromatised wines are now made at Caves Byrrh including Dubonnet Red and Ambassadeur, as well as Suze and Soho liqueurs.

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Byrrh production

The main ingredient in Byrrh is red mistelle, a blend of grape must and wine alcohol. The grape must, mainly from Carignan and Grenache grapes sourced from wine co-ops in the surrounding Languedoc Roussillon region, is macerated with neutral spirit to around 15% alc./vol.. This fortification of the wine stops fermentation, so preserving some of the fermentable sugars giving mistelle a slight natural sweetness without the addition of sugar.

This red mistelle is aged in large oak vats to round the red grape’s tannins before being blended with grenache and macabeu red Roussillon wines, along with mascdet mistelle to produce a wine base that is aged for several months in vats. The aged wine blend is then stabilised using cold filtration.

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Separately, ten botanicals including quinine bark (quinquina), coffee, bitter orange peel, colombo and cocoa are infused in alcohol, and the result blended with the wine base. The final blend is left for a final marrying period before being filtered and bottled.

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