The appellation is produced in 32 districts in the north of the Hérault, backed by the Causses du Larzac rising to 800m with the Pic Saint Baudile at its peak. The soils are quite varied: sandy clay soil packed with stones, red ruffes (rocks containing iron oxides) in horizontal layers – limestone marl dominated by high Jurassic limestone cliffs and terraces of pebbles. Recognized in 2004 as a designation within the Coteaux du Languedoc appellation, it is best known for its very special climate which greatly influences the quality of the wines. It is the climate zone which experiences the greatest contrasts in temperature. Its distance from the sea and its location near the Causse brings relatively cool air straight down from the plateau of Larzac on summer nights. This helps slow and gradual maturation of the grapes beneficial for their colour, for the wines’ aromatic profile and creating the sensation of freshness. The average altitude is between 80 and 150m with a maximum of 400m in the district of St Privat.
Only red wines are produced here, made from a minimum of 60% Syrah, Grenache and Mourvèdre, individually limited to 75%, and Syrah and/or Mourvèdre 20% minimum, Cinsault and Carignan 30% maximum. A blend of at least two grape varieties is required.