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The appellation is located in the west of the French wine-growing region Languedoc between Minervois and Faugères, The red wine was classified in 1982, the white wine in 2004 as AOC. The wines belong to the second quality category "Grands Vins du Languedoc". The origin of viticulture lies in a 794 founded Benedictine on the left bank of Vernazobres. The wine was already famous in the 14th century and in the 19th century it became known to patients in the hospitals of Paris as sick wine administered for strengthening. The vineyards cover 3,100 hectares of vineyards. They span 20 municipalities in the département Hérault,
The area is divided into two different sections. In the southern part near the commune of Saint-Chinian with clay and limestone soils grow fuller, milder wines. In the northern part above the two communities of Berlou and Roquebrun, slate soil dominates, producing mineral wines. Here in 2004 two sub-appellations were named Saint-Chinian Berlou (communes Berlou, Cessenon sur Orb, Roquebrun, Predes sur Vernaobres, Vieussan with 250 hectares) and Saint-Chinian Roquebrun (communities Cessenon sur Orb, Roquebrun, St. Nazaire de Ladarez, Vieussan with 400 hectares). The red wines of these two areas are classified in the highest quality category "Crus du Languedoc".
The two sub-appellations apply only to red wines. Saint-Chinian Berlou is made from the varieties Carignan Noir (30% to 40%), as well as Syrah, Grenache Noir and Mourvèdre (maximum 70%). Saint-Chinian Roquebrun is produced from Grenache Noir, Mourvèdre and Syrah (70%) and Carignan Noir (30% maximum).
There are over 100 producers and eight cooperatives. Domaine Borie la Vitarèle, Domaine Canet-Valette, Château Cazal-Viel, Domaine de Fonsalade, Château Guiraud, Domaine des Jougla, Marquise des Mûres, Mas Champart, Château Maurel Fonsalade, Château Milhau-Lacugue, Château Moulinier, Domaine Navarre, CV du Rieu-Berlou, CV de Roquebrun, Château Val d'Orbieu and Château Viranel.