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Languedoc

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If you follow the Autoroute du Soleil from Nîmes to the south, you will soon breathe the enchanting air of Languedoc: a salty sea breeze and spicy herbal aromas that can also be sensed in many delicious wines of the Pays d'Oc.

 

Languedoc wine region: more wine is impossible

No other wine region in the Grande Nation produces as much wine as Languedoc: a good quarter of the French wine harvest comes from this part of the Pays d'Oc. The most beautiful thing about the abundance is the steadily growing quality of the wines from the Languedoc - from first-class appellations like Fitou or La Clape to the much underestimated Vins de Pays.

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Wine growing region Languedoc

The Languedoc wine region begins west of the Rhône Delta and extends over the Gard, Hérault and Aude departments. As a double region, Languedoc and the Roussillon bordering to the south form the largest wine region in France. In the Mediterranean climate of the Pays d'Oc, expressive red wines, harmoniously structured white wines and rosés, mildly fruity sparkling wines and simply wonderful Vins Doux Naturels thrive.

 

Languedoc wine region - diverse terroirs and numerous wine styles

From the Rhône delta to the foothills of the Pyrenees, the coastline of the Mediterranean is almost semicircular. Different soils and climates and numerous grape varieties produce a variety of unique wines.

 

Climate and soils in Languedoc

Hot summers, moderate temperatures from autumn to spring and long dry periods determine the typical Mediterranean climate of the coastal region. Further inland, increasingly Atlantic currents provide higher humidity and lower temperature fluctuations.

Close to the sea, the vines are rooted in sandy, calcareous alluvial soil, which also contains clay at the river mouths. On the gentle hills, low ridges and in the flat valleys at the foot of the Massif Central and the Pyrenees, there are slopes with poor, permeable soils, rich in limestone and shale, interspersed with pebbles.

 

The Languedoc grape varieties

In the AOCs and IGPs of the Pays d'Oc, a total of more than 100 grape varieties are authorized for vinification.

Some of the most important red grapes:

  • Carignan

  • Grenache

  • Cinsault

  • Mourvèdre

  • Syrah

  • Cabernet Sauvignon

  • Malbec

 

Have the largest share among the white grape varieties:

  • Clairette

  • Grenache Blanc

  • Roussanne

  • Marsanne

  • Mauzac

  • Piquepoul Blanc

  • Vermentino

 

The wine styles of the Languedoc

Red Wines 

The range of red wines of the Pays d'Oc with a protected designation of origin extends from strong, well-structured wines, some of which are tannic and have a high ageing potential, to "summer wines" with fresh fruit aromas - from Crusdu Languedoc such as the distinguished Domaine de L'Ostal Grand Vin Minervois La Livinière AOC from the Domaines Cazes to the uncomplicated IGP L'Or du Sud Merlot Pays D'Oc from Les Vignobles Foncalieu. 

 

Rosé wines

A strong sip of southern summer - this is the best way to characterize the typical rosé of Languedoc. From AOCs like Languedoc, Corbières, Minervois, Saint-Chinian come refreshing delicacies with aromas of red currants, cherries, raspberries and other summer fruits. 

 

White wines

Acrid notes ranging from a fresh sea breeze to full-bodied aromas of ripe fruit characterize the white wines of Languedoc. The most famous whites come from the AOCs Clairette du Languedoc, Minervois, Limoux, Corbières and Picpoul de Pinet (such as the pure Blue Mare Picpoul de Pinet AOP from Les Vignobles Montagna). 

 

Sparkling wines

The Limoux sub-region claims to be the true home of the bottle fermentation process, which has been adopted by the Champagne region as the "Méthode Traditionelle". The three AOCs Blanquette de Limoux, Blanquette Méthode Ancestrale and Crémant de Limoux range from nutty tones to apple aromas and ripe citrus fruits, such as the Crémant de Limoux AOP Château Martinolles from the Domaine Paul Mas.

 

Sweet wines

While the red Vins Doux Naturels (VDN for short) from neighboring Roussillon have long been appreciated outside France, high-quality muscats from appellations such as Frontignan, Mireval, Lunel and Saint-Jean de Minervois have only been attracting international attention for a few years.

 

Things worth knowing about Languedoc

How many Appellations d'Origine Contrôlees are there in Languedoc?

At the top of the hierarchy of quality levels are the five Crus du Languedoc AOCs Corbières Boutenac, Saint-Loup, Terrasses du Larzac, Minervois-La-Livinière and La Clape. Red wine from these AOCs - for example, La Clape Vignelacroix Côteaux du Languedoc from Château Ricardelle - is often characterized by aromas of dark forest berries and strong wood tones and is allowed to breathe a little.

The second stage is occupied by the twelve Grands Vins du Languedoc, from Cabardès to Fitou (the oldest red wine appellation in the Pays d'Oc) and Minervois to Saint Chinian.

The regional AOC Languedoc extends from Nîmes to the Département Pyrénées-Orientales. Thirteen Dénominations Régionales belong to it, which are defined regionally and geographically like the AOCs Languedoc Cabrières or Saint-Saturnin.

 

Why do so many high-quality wines from the Languedoc have no AOC classification?

The "Vin de Pays d'Oc" quality classification (country wine from Occitania) was introduced in the late 1980s and subsequently upgraded to the IGP. Since 1978, more and more winegrowers in Languedoc-Roussillon had abandoned the mass production of mediocre wines and shifted to the cultivation and vinification of higher quality crops. Classification as "country wine" allowed the production of excellent wines without having to comply with the rigid restrictions of the AOC standard. 

Le Grand Rêve Pays d'Herault Mont Baudile IGP from the Cooperative Saint Saturnin, for example, is an elegant, multi-layered cuvée from Carignan, Grenache and Syrah. The latter, but also other high-quality grape varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, Chardonnay, Viognier or Sauvignon Blanc, were not originally permitted for AOC wines from the Languedoc. The winegrowers in the Pays d'Oc IGP have around 100 grape varieties at their disposal.

 

Why are there so many certified organic vineyards in the Languedoc?

In the Pays d'Oc, Mother Nature protects the vines from putrefactive bacteria, fungi and pests. The low rainfall, warm to hot Mediterranean climate keeps the vineyards dry and creates an ideal basis for organic cultivation. Since the reduction of yields decreed by the state a good 30 years ago, careful cultivation and vinification have been the hallmark of many Languedoc wines. 

The increased demand for quality gives small wineries the chance to distinguish themselves with biodynamically produced wines. Increasingly, large estates (including Paul Mas with his Mas de Tannes Classique Blanc Bio Classique Rouge Bio) are taking up the trend towards less chemistry in the vineyard.

 

Discover wines from Languedoc online at VINELLO

Enjoy top wines from the Languedoc at reasonable prices from our online store. At VINELLO, you will find a representative selection of winemakers and wineries from Languedoc. With us you shop safely and can look forward to a fast delivery of your order. We also offer a variety of payment options from which you can choose your preferred method of payment.

Another advantage at VINELLO is that our sommeliers are available by telephone for a detailed consultation to introduce you to the world of Languedoc wines. This makes it easier and quicker for you to find your favorites, whether for a special occasion, an evening with friends, or for your own private consumption.

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