A little history
For a long time, Languedoc wines were in the shadow of Bordeaux, Burgundy or Rhône wines. Before the revolution that took place some thirty years ago, Languedoc wine production was centred on wines rich in alcohol and without any taste interest. It is thanks to a movement of winegrowers and their perseverance that the terroirs of Languedoc now offer great wines.
It is obvious that the Languedoc vineyards benefit from an incomparable know-how, notably thanks to the great diversity of its terroirs and the marriage that takes place between the different climates of the region. Languedoc is best known for its ripe and intense red wines, such as Saint-Chinian, Corbières and Faugères, but there are also crisp white wines made from Picpoul (such as Picpoul de Pinet), sparkling wines from the Limoux region, as well as a growing number of dessert wines. The wines of Languedoc perfectly reflect the personality of the region, generous, well-balanced and with a wide aromatic palette. Enjoy them quietly and spread the good mood while you settle in and enjoy your view from the Pic Saint-Loup!
With twenty-three different appellations (Aude, Corbières, Fitou, Limoux, Muscat, Vins de France...), the wines of the AOC Languedoc are not the same. There are three types of designations; regional, sub-regional, and communal.
The regional appellation of Languedoc is the AOC Languedoc formerly known as Coteaux du Languedoc. Red, rosé and white wines are produced under this appellation.
The sub-regional appellations of Languedoc are divided between AOC Malpère, Limoux, Cabardès, Minervois-La Livinière, Costières de Nîmes, Crémant de Limoux, Saint-Chinian, Clairette du Languedoc, Corbières, Corbières-Boutenac, Fitou, Minervois, and Faugères.
The communal appellations are natural sweet white wines with four AOC Muscats but there is also a communal appellation in dry white wine, the Clairette de Bellegarde appellation.
The different grape varieties
In Languedoc wines we find many grape varieties. Several grape varieties are blended to produce wines with unique aromas and immense quality. The grape varieties are influenced by the different climates in the region. The Mediterranean, oceanic and Pyrenean influence makes it possible to use both northern and southern grape varieties more or less late.
There is only one thing they have in common: the aromas of the garrigue and their sunny notes. Grenache, Mourvèdre, Picpoul, Muscat, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cinsault, Carignan, Bourboulenc, Clairette and Syrah are the star varieties of Languedoc, which offer our taste buds structured and fulfilled wines.
Grenache: it makes it possible to produce natural sweet wines, great wines for keeping but also dry white wines with a beautiful length in the mouth.
Mourvèdre: this grape variety is planted in the South of France and produces high quality, full-bodied and colourful wines.
Picpoul: originating from the South, this grape variety makes it possible to produce distinctive and pleasant dry white wines.
Muscat: it is a very aromatic grape variety that makes it possible to produce wines that are very well balanced between sugar and acidity.
Cabernet-Sauvignon: this grape variety produces very colourful and long-keeping wines, it is one of the greatest French grape varieties.
Cinsault: it has a low yield and produces supple and fruity wines. It makes it possible to produce excellent rosés.
Carignan: planted throughout the southern Mediterranean, this grape variety produces powerful, colourful and sometimes slightly bitter wines. It is regularly associated with Grenache and Cinsault, which are finer varieties.
Bourboulenc: this grape variety is native to the Provençal region and produces wines with low alcohol content and very fine wines.
Clairette: this grape variety is mainly used to produce sweet wines but dry white wines and rancios are also produced. It makes it possible to produce powerful sweet wines, with aromas of pear, peach and honey.
Syrah: it produces powerful, aromatic wines, with an intense and slightly acidic colour.
Lou Dubois for Les Grappes