In 118 BC, shortly after the Roman victory in the Punic Wars against Hannibal's Carthage, general Gnaeus Domitius Ahenobarbus built the Via Domitia, a military road linking Italy with Rome's new Spanish posessions. The road ran (and still runs) right through the vineyards of Pinet in the Herault Departement of coastal Languedoc. Today, the region is known for its eponymous Picpoul de Pinet, a delightfully refreshing white grape variety that produces a crisp and elegant wine.
Picpoul (Piquepoul) de Pinet was first mentioned in the literature in 1618, but the variety is undoubtedly older than that. The Cave de l'Ormarine dates its origin to the original association of 53 growers who came together in 1922 to focus on the Picpoul grape and improve the quality of the region's wines. Granted VDQS status in 1954, it was elevated to AOC Picpoul de Pinet in 1985. Today, the AOC includes some 1400 hectares of vineyard just inland from the Thau Lagoon around the village of Pinet.