Moroccan Wine And Vineyards
Previously a French protectorate, it is perhaps no surprise that Morocco is a wine producer, and in fact has produced wines since the Romans planted the first vineyard in the 2nd century . After independence the production decreased, as a Muslim country, there is a prohibition of alcohol consumption for Islamics. With the general Moroccan open-minded emphasis on personal choice (and tourists, of course, are welcome to the wine), the vineyards are again flourishing, with 'appelations' and 'chateaus' starting to appear. The vineyards are to be found in Northern Morocco, covering the hills of Meknes where the weather is particularly suitable.
The Château Roslane is Morocco's first controlled appellation, and produces a Fairtrade wine - the Château Roslane Les Coteaux de l'Atlas Rouge Premier Cru AOC. This is a dark ruby red wine produced from Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot & Syrah grapes grown at 700 meters in the Atlas mountains, aged a year in French oak, and matured for another two. The Chateau has over 2000ha of vineyards (there are over 12000ha of vineyards in Morocco), producing a variety of wines, and is larger than most European producers.
The Castel in Meknes obtained agreement in 1994 from King Hassan II to utilise land in the Boulaouane and the Meknes regions with the aim of restoring the vineyards to the production levels of the 1950's. The first wines were produced in 1998, again using grape varieties of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah (red and rosé). The land has a sandy, clay-lime soil, and covers three AOC regions to produce mature grapes whose wines are sold under the 'Halana' brand.
Should you wish to visit a vineyard, and get a taste for the Moroccan wines, we recommend starting from a base in Fes, or close at hand in Meknes, and we can help you make the arrangements. Please talk to our specialist travel advisors on 00212 617 393 665 for more advice and to plan your trip.
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