Fronton & Villaudric Red Wine

It was the Romans who planted the first vines on the terraces overlooking the Tarn Valley. But it was only in the 12th century that the Négrette appeared, the variety which was to write Fronton’s history.  At this time, the vines belonged to the Knights of the Order of St John of Jerusalem. They were the ones who, on one of their crusades,
discovered and brought back a local grape from Cyprus, the Mavro (which means black in Greek), out of which the Cypriots used to make a wine to "increase their valour." The Knights introduced this grape to their commanderies in the Occident, including that of Fronton. Over the years, the Mavro became the Négrette and is the origin of the typicity of Fronton wines, the only area in France where this variety has become perfectly and durably acclimatised.  When Calisstus II, 160th Pope after St Peter, came to consecrate the church in Fronton on 19th July 1191, he was so enthusiastic about the wine that he demanded that its praises be sung on parchment.
Much later, the two neighbouring parishes of Fronton and Villaudric quarrelled over the supremacy of their soils. The story goes that in 1621, during the siege of Montauban, Louis XIII and Richelieu, having each taken quarters in one of the two towns, sent each other a gift of the respective wines.


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