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.
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.
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.