AOP Crémant de Limoux vs AOP Blanquette de Limoux, sparkly nuances.

 French sparkling wines are world-renowned, and among them, AOP Crémant de Limoux and AOP Blanquette de Limoux occupy a special place. In addition to their shared sparkling character, these two appellations offer distinct taste experiences, in part due to their different ageing times on lees.

The lees: Guardians of time and complexity


The lees, true guardians of time and complexity in sparkling wines, play a crucial role in the formation and maturation of these sparkling nectars. Once blended, the wine is gently bottled, marking the beginning of its transformation into a captivating sparkling wine. This metamorphosis is the result of a new fermentation, triggered by the addition of a liqueur de tirage, made up of still wine, sugar and yeast.

During this period of maturation, the lees remain, soaking the wine with a rich aroma and characteristic texture. This stage is known as maturing on laths. This is the longest stage in the traditional winemaking process. It lasts a minimum of nine months, and up to 36 months at Château Martinolles for our Grande Réserve. Once the wine has matured on its lees, the lees need to be extracted from the bottle so that the wine is clear and free of sediment. This is done in two stages: riddling and disgorging.

The aim of riddling is to collect all the lees in the neck of the bottle, using small rocking movements and gradually bringing the bottle from a horizontal position to a vertical, upside-down position.

The pinnacle of this dance with the lees is revealed during the disgorging phase. Disgorging, which is specific to the production of Champagne, Crémants and traditional methods, is the final stage in the winemaker’s work.


The magic happens during the second fermentation


It follows riddling, a technique in which the bottles are upside down. Immersing the neck in a bath at -25°C creates an ice cube that captures the deposit. This ice cube allows the bottle to be turned upside down and uncorked without fear of the deposit returning to the wine. When the bottle is opened, the ice cube is ejected by the pressure of the sparkling wine and the deposit disappears with it.

Disgorging, immediately followed by dosage to adjust the sweetness of the wine, it’s the signature of each winemaker. Then comes corking, capping, and sealing the bottle, marks the completion of the process. These operations, often mechanised, embody the technical mastery of the winemakers. Manual disgorging, reserved for prestige cuvées, underlines the meticulous attention paid to these exceptional wines, where every detail counts in the quest for excellence. Disgorging then becomes the final step towards presenting a sparkling wine that is ready to reveal its unique character at every tasting.


AOP Crémant de Limoux: Freshness & Liveliness


Making Crémant de Limoux Appellation d’Origine Protégée (AOP) is a meticulous process that begins as soon as the grapes are pressed. The first juices form the heads of the cuvées, selecting the quintessence of the fruit. After an initial alcoholic fermentation, the crucial stage of blending takes place, creating the harmony of the Chardonnay, Chenin, Pinot Noir and Mauzac grape varieties.

The magic happens during the second fermentation in the bottle, triggered by the addition of a liqueur de tirage. For twelve months, the bottles rest on the lees, a period during which the wine acquires its distinctive maturity. During this period, the sediment left over from fermentation is meticulously brought back to the neck by the daily riddling process. The bottles remain stationary throughout this ageing period and are then stirred to return the lees to the neck of the bottle.

After riddling, the bottles are placed upside down, ready for disgorging. This stage aims to expel the deposit, preserving the wine’s clarity while intensifying its aromas. Before the final corking, liqueur d’expédition aka dosage is added to give the Crémant its brut character. After this stage, each bottle is left to rest for a further two months in the cellar, allowing the liqueur to integrate perfectly with the Crémant, before being presented for tasting.

Each stage of the production of AOP Crémant de Limoux is carefully orchestrated, resulting in an exceptionally elegant sparkling wine, imbued with maturity and complexity. Tasting this nectar reveals the richness of the Limoux terroir and the expertise of the winemakers who carry on a centuries-old tradition with passion and precision.

AOP Blanquette de Limoux: Freshness & Liveliness


Blanquette de Limoux embodies freshness and liveliness in every bubble, following a meticulous production process using traditional methods. As soon as the grapes are pressed, the first juices are carefully collected to form the heads of the cuvées, capturing the purity of the fruit. A first alcoholic fermentation is then orchestrated, before moving on to the blending, creating a harmonious marriage of grape varieties. Blanquette de Limoux is an ode to Mauzac grape variety, which makes up 90% of the blend. This historic grape variety from this terroir develops fruity aromas and a lovely vivacity. Chenin Blanc and Chardonnay complete the blend, the former adding minerality and tension, the latter roundness, and floral notes.

The key moment comes with the second fermentation in the bottle, triggered by the addition of the liqueur de tirage. For nine months, the bottles rest on the lees, a period that adds roundness and balance to the wine.

The cork is then released to gently expel the deposit, preserving the wine’s clarity while intensifying its aromas. Before the final corking, a final touch may be added in the form of a liqueur d’expédition, giving the wine its brut, dry, or semi-dry character. It is this final stage that completes the personality of each bottle, allowing consumers to choose a Blanquette de Limoux that matches their taste preferences.

Blanquette de Limoux seduces with its freshness, liveliness and versatility in terms of character, making each tasting a memorable sparkling experience, imbued with the unique terroir of Limoux.

Limoux terroir


Limoux terroir, in the foothills of the mountains, offers ideal climatic conditions for sparkling wines. The marked temperature variations, between cool nights and hot days, encourage optimum ripening of the grapes.

The cool nights preserve the grapes’ lively acidity, giving Limoux sparkling wines a delicate vivacity. At the same time, the intense daytime heat sculpts a rich aromatic palette, giving the cuvées a seductive complexity.

The terroir of Limoux, thanks to its balance between cool nights and warm days, provides an ideal setting to produce Crémants and Blanquettes of exceptional quality. The wines of Limoux, the fruit of this perfect alliance, seduce experts with their elegance and finesse, making the region a benchmark for sparkling wine connoisseurs


Food and wine pairing


AOP Crémant de Limoux: Elegance at the table 

Crémant de Limoux, the jewel of Château Martinolles, stands out for its maturity and complexity. It goes perfectly with delicate dishes, revealing the finesse of its bubbles and harmonising aromas with elegance. Seafood, particularly oysters and scallops, are a perfect match, highlighting the subtle nuances. Soft cheeses and refined appetizers complete this gastronomic symphony, creating a fine dining experience. Served between 6-8°C, this Crémant is ideal as an aperitif and will also enhance your fish meals with a touch of sophistication.

AOP Blanquette de Limoux: Freshness in the spotlight

Blanquette de Limoux, the iconic wine of Château Martinolles, shines through its freshness and liveliness, making it a perfect match for lighter dishes. Fish, poultry and fresh cheeses go beautifully with the Blanquette’s aromatic palette. A seafood salad or a platter of fresh cheeses becomes a taste experience where the freshness of the bubbles enhances every mouthful. Served at 6-8°C, this Crémant can also be enjoyed as an aperitif, and goes wonderfully well with sushi, smoked salmon, red tuna tartare, fresh goat’s cheese, or Parma ham, creating a delicate culinary experience

Whether you opt for the Crémant with its mature nuances or the Blanquette with its immediate freshness, every culinary choice at Château Martinolles promises a unique taste adventure. By exploring these food and wine pairings, enthusiasts will have the opportunity to create unforgettable tasting moments, where the rich flavours of Limoux wines blend harmoniously with the diversity of the cuisine, plunging into the very essence of Château Martinolles terroirs.

Château Martinolles Grande réserve Crémant de Limoux

     Château Martinolles        Grande Réserve

AOP Limoux

Chardonnay, Chenin, Mauzac

Martinolles Blanquette de Limoux

            Martinolles            Blanquette de Limoux
Blanc de Blancs

AOP Blanquette de Limoux

 Mauzac, Chardonnay

Martinolles Crémant Brut de Limoux

            Martinolles              Crémant de Limoux Brut

AOP Crémant de Limoux

Chardonnay, Chenin, Pinot Noir, Mauzac

Martinolles Crémant de Limoux Rosé Maison Vergnes


Crémant de Limoux Rosé

AOP Crémant de Limoux 

 Chardonnay, Chenin, Pinot Noir