The Maury wine :

This is a sweet label of origin wine, produced in an area which extends for about 20 km. This little valley is surrounded by long limestone outcrops [Urgonien limestone to be precise].  A multitude of little hills with soils of black shaly calcareous Albien clays bring about  an environment very special to this spot full of contrasts: the softness of the successive undulations, the harshness of the black soils.

The climate is also tempered: if, by definition, the Mediterranean insinuates being layback, the Tramontane, wind from the North, whose strength is accentuated by the corridor topography, comes to remind us that this corner of the earth is quite wild. Climbing up the valley from West to East, temperatures become cooler and  the rainfalls more frequent. The altitude of the vines, between 140 and 350 m, and their exposure strongly affect the individual characteristics of each small block. 

The Maury vineyard extends over 4 towns: Maury, Tautavel, Saint Paul de Fenouillèdes and Rasiguères. The first written works reporting a vineyard in the area date back to 1668, a time in which there was a little more than 100 hectares of vines. In 1820, the first land register states 1100 ha of vines around the town of Maury. Grenache was already the main grape variety being particularly suited to thin soils. In 1933, the Maury Wine Association was created and, in 1936, the Maury Label sweet natural wines were recognised.

Only 4 grape varieties have been authorised for the production of these Maury sweet wines: Grenache Noir [100%] for the Maury red, Grenache Gris or Grenache Blanc and Macabeu for the Maury white.

Today, the Maury Label of Origin vineyard covers 800 ha.

In 2011, the Maury dry Label wine was also recognised for red wines. Produced from a blend of Grenache Noir, Carignan, Syrah and Mourvèdre in which the Grenache is dominant, they are usually big, powerful and aromatic wines with a tannin structure, proof of excellent growth and care.

The Quéribus Castle:

This “Boxwood rock”, this “Dice placed on a finger”, this “Citadel that makes you dizzy”, with its height of 729 m, has been looking over the Maury Channel, the Corbières massif, la Fenouillèdes and the Roussillon plain for more than 100 years.

As far back as 1021, the fortification was part of the viscount of la Fenouillèdes, the linked to the Barcelona county in 1111 and to the Aragon crown in 1162.

At the time of the crusade against the Cathars, the castle was held by Knight Chabart de Barbaira, notorious and vigorous heretic who opposed these crusades; the castle then became  a refuge for the Cathars who were able to hide out here till 1255. It was then that Louis.IX commanded the seneschal of Carcasonne, Pierre d’Auteuil, to take over the castle thus ending a siege that had been going on for 3 weeks.

After the Corbeille Treaty in 1258, the castle became a main stronghold for the French defense on the border between France and Aragon, under Carcasonne. It thus became one of “Caracasonne’s 5 sons: Quéribus, Aquilar, Peyrepertuse, Puilaurens and Termes”. It played this strategic role until 1659, when the Pyrénées Treaty was signed, defining the permanent French-Spanish boundary.

After this date, the castle gradually deteriorated and became a hide-out for bandits. This continued till its classification as a “Historic monument” in 1907. From this date on, it has undergone continual restorations and archeological diggings.

Today, it consists of 3 walls arranged in layers on the top and along the cliff, allowing us to discover the evolution of 4 centuries of defensive art. The keep is a polygonal tower with very thick walls, the interior being a gothic room with a superb pillar supporting the ribbed vault. 
From up on the terrace, found on top of the rectangular tower next to the keep, there is a fabulous view over the Pyrénees mountains, the Mediterranean sea and the Corbières vineyards.