montagne_vue_du_ciel18_cirque_de_cilaos_-_credit_irt_-_serge_gelabert_dts_12_2017.jpgPhotographePhotographe© Serge GELABERT
© Serge GELABERT

Cilaos wine

A VINEYARD IN THE INDIAN OCEAN

Cilaos wine is a mountain wine that has been produced for several years in the Cirque de Cilaos. Vines were introduced to Réunion by early colonisers. Some of the founders of the Indian Ocean trading posts noted that ‘the wheat produces fine, full ears and the vines produce very good grapes, from which we make wine’. But until 1850, vines were located only in the leeward area between Saint-Paul and Saint-Denis.

The origin of Cilaos wine

Vines were initially introduced to Cilaos, around 1860, only for their fruit. The vines cultivated were Vitis labrusca, Isabelle cultivar. The temperate and dry climate of Cilaos is very well suited to this grape variety, which is very disease resistant and high yielding. Later, at the instigation of Father Teigny, winemaking trials were carried out in 1915.

Today, Cilaos wine is increasingly finding its place on Réunion tables. The Cilaos wine-growers hope to eventually cultivate around 20ha of vines. The winery makes a diverse range of wines and is constantly researching new products. Its red, rosé, dry white and early wines have been classified as Vin de Pays since 2004, making the Cilaos vineyard the leading European vineyard in the southern hemisphere.

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A tropical vineyard