Love the Languedoc – Stellar Wines, Great Value
Cradling the Mediterranean Sea is France's southernmost wine region, the Languedoc-Roussillon. It's an ancient region whose legacy stretches back to the before the Roman era. Given its location, it's no surprise that the Languedoc boasts a Mediterranean climate. This makes it an excellent region for producing a wide variety of grapes in a number of different styles. Truly, the Languedoc has something to offer for every wine lover.
A Wealth of Grapes
The Languedoc covers a massive area with many microclimates suitable for all manner of grapes. Popular Languedoc varieties include classic Rhône grapes like Syrah/Shiraz, Grenache, Carignan, and Mourvèdre (aka Mataro in Australia) for reds and Grenache blanc, Marsanne, Roussanne, local grape Picpoul, and Muscat for whites. The latter is used for the ultra-decadent fortified dessert wines made in the region.
The modern face of Languedoc winemaking has seen many winemakers plant international grape varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Sauvignon Blanc, and Chardonnay in their vineyards. The Languedoc is a good place to look for warmer climate Chardonnay and ripe, tropical fruit tinged Sauvignon Blanc. Most wines are blends and the red blends are especially excellent.
If you love the intensity imparted by old vine wines, the Languedoc is definitely a region to explore. The region is home to some of the oldest Carignan vines around and the wines they produce are exceptionally concentrated and intense.
Because its such a large region, there are literally dozens upon dozens of appellations which make up the Languedoc. There are definitely a few standouts which should be on your radar.
For crisp, easy drinking white wines, Picpoul de Pinet is an outstanding choice. It's a clear winner with seafood but also makes a good sipper on warm days. For red wine, Minervois, Fitou, and Corbieres are the stars of the region with their fantastic red blends.
Once upon a time, the Languedoc was a region to give a miss, known for inexpensive bulk wines that failed to impress. Today, this is no longer the case. The quality of wine produced in the Languedoc is now fantastic thanks to a major overhaul in the industry that saw new plantings, lower yields, and skilled winemakers make inroads throughout the region.
The best part of this new and improved Languedoc is that while the wine has gone from meh to marvellous, the prices remain very, very affordable indeed. Many people have yet to catch on to the fact that the Languedoc is home to delicious, nuanced wine you can pick up for next to nothing.
With their accessible ripe fruit flavours and reasonable prices, the wines of the Languedoc are brilliant options if you're looking to gather friends round for a few glasses of wine and some light bites. They also make excellent weekday wines if you like to enjoy a glass with dinner. Our advice? Discover what the Languedoc is all about before everyone else catches on!