Created by the Violet brothers from Thuir in 1873, and otherwise known as ’vin tonique et hygiénique au quinquina’, Byrrh used to be a world renowned Catalan apéritif. The brothers apparently started off as travelling salesmen, selling various things including ’tonic’. With the arrival of the railway in Perpignan in 1858, they saw the chance to take full advantage of the new industry that it brought to the region, and put together the recipe for Byrrh, which was to become famous throughout the world. It is created from good quality Roussillon wines and quinine water, and said to be medicinal. If you visit Thuir, take a tour of the Byrrh winery, which takes in what they claim is the largest wooden vat in the world.



All photos © Jon Davison 2014.

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