The village of Cases de Pène in Roussillon is some ten miles West of Perpignan. Pena means rock in Catalan and referred in the Middle Ages to the castle perched on a rocky mountain spur which dominates the valley of the River Agly. Here vines rub shoulders with olive trees, almond trees and maquis in a typical Mediterranean landscape.
Chateau de Pena is a local wine co-operative that began in 1942 and now employs 6 people on behalf of more than 60 co-operative wine growers. With vineyards that extend over 1,000 acres and 80% of the surface classified as Appelation d’Origine Contrôlée, they are relatively large for one of our suppliers.
The terroir is mainly marl clay and black schist which face due South on the lower foothills of the Corbières and they provide an ideal soil for many grape varieties: Syrah, Carignan and Grenache Noir which go into their AOC Côtes du Roussillon Villages; Alexandria Muscat, Small-grain Muscat, and Macabeu which together with Grenache Noir are used for the production of their naturally sweet AOC Rivesaltes and AOC Muscat de Rivesaltes; varieties such as Merlot, Cabernet, Chardonnay and Viognier are used in their Vin du Pays.
Wine production is a mixture of traditional hand picking and modern production techniques including dry ice and thermovinification controlled by Master Winemaker Lionel Rodenas to produce good quality, drinkable wines that represent very good value for money. I have chosen their Ninet de Pena red and white as well as their Chappelle de Pena red wines as I felt they gave a good introduction to their production. In addition I have selected their more up market red and white Pierres-Noirs wines which are well worth sampling. We will extend their range over time to include the local sweet Rivesaltes and Muscat de Rivesaltes wines