May 10, 2003: The Languedoc-Roussillon region is dominated by 740,300 acres of vineyards, three times the combined area of the vineyards in Bordeaux and the region has been an important winemaking center for several centuries.
According to French Entree.com: Provence Cities & Villages, Rousillon is most famous for its magnificent red cliffs and ochre quarries. Its striking hills are made up of houses featuring various shades of ochre found naturally in the surrounding rock, giving this village its exceptional charm. It is the contrast of the blue Provençal sky against the red, brown and yellow shades of its ochre cliffs – an exceptional combination of colors – which make this village such a magical place. Situated at the foot of the Monts de Vaucluse in the Luberon, Roussillon is classified as one the most beautiful villages in France.
Ochre is a natural dye that has been used since prehistoric times. At one time, 17 different ochre tints were quarried in Roussillon. The ochre business was at its best towards the end of the 19th century and ochre from Roussillon was exported all over the world. The area of ochre in the Luberon valley is the biggest in the world, giving the area the nickname the “Colorodo Provençal”.