Langudeoc - Roussellin wines - quality and value. Internationally popular grapes combine with modern wine making techniques.
The Wine Routes of Languedoc Roussillen Offer Fantastic values for good wine while touring one of Europes most beautiful and historic regions.
Langudeoc - Roussellin offers Provence Weather - Beautiful Scenery - Historical Villages, Castles ( once- home to the great Knights Templar ) and great Med. beaches with lower prices and less crowds.
The vineyards of this sunny region are one of the largest expanses of vine growing region in the world. A long history of wine making and favorable natural and climatic conditions explain why wine is so important in Languedoc Roussillon. .
Languedoc-Roussillon region produces mainly red wines, a good share is "Vin de Table" but most of it is "Vin de Pays", i.e. county wine from the Languedoc.
These wines, chosen with care, represent some of the best values in Europe However, if you want true individualism, and to be shown what specials the Sud really has to offer, it’s worth seeking out the AOC’s. These areas, although having to adhere to much stricter guidelines, can rival even the most talked about regions of France, and at often less than half the price.
Change brings quality toLangudeoc - Roussellin Wines
At the beginning of the 70s, it became clear that the region was not ready for the changing wine market. The quantity exceeded the demand. The quality was mediocre. The price too expensive compare to Italian, Spain and now new wine countries. Languedoc Roussillon wine makers had to change or their wine region would die. They began to use new techniques such as aging the wine in oak barrel. They replaced poor quality grape varieties with noble grapes such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, Chardonnay and Viognier. They selected the best vineyards and decided to go for quality. Today, Languedoc Roussillon is one of the most successful wine regions in France.
The main grapes used in Languedoc Roussillon are:
- Red: Carignan, Cinsault, Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre. Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot have replaced other mediocre grape varieties such as Aramon and Alicante.
- White: Macabeu, Clairette, Roussanne, Marsanne, Ugni blanc, Bourboulenc. Viognier and Chardonnay have been introduced with success in Languedoc Roussillon. Chardonnay is now the most widely used grape in the region. For sweet white wine: Muscat blanc, Muscat romain or d'Alexandrie and Grenache are blended.
By blending, excellent individual wines are now being produced by small wineries along side popular blends and single varietal wines of cooperatives and larger wineries often owned and managed by corporate wine companies based in other regions. -.
Regions of special Interest.
Situated around the village of Minerve, the wines from Minervois are some of the best Languedoc has to offer. Reds dominate with Grenache, Syrah and Carignan, although the latter has been limited to make up no more than 40% of blends. Some well-polished whites also have started appearing from Marsanne and Roussanne grapes.
Upgraded from VDQS status in 1998, and located directly adjacent to Minervois, Cabardes concentrates on red made from Bordeaux and Rhone varieties of Cabernet and Merlot,Grenache and Syrah. Roses make up about 10% of wine production.
As it’s one of the largest appellations in all of France, the Corbieres region has been divided into 11 “unofficial” zones, in a move to differentiate its many wines.
Carignan makes up around half of the plantings, and is often usually blended with Cinsault,Mourvedre, Grenache and Syrah. The step by some producers towards oak aging indicates a marked step toward quality.
Imagine an area with villages clinging precariously, to the steep slopes of the mountains. Colour that picture in with an intense summer heat It seems like a scene of "genuine" Provencal steps. But, this isn't Provence, it is the Parque Regionale de Haut Languedoc and around these designer villages, bordering the national park, lie the vineyards of St Chinian. The region of St. Chinian is nestled between Minervois and Faugeres, and has a viticultural history that dates back to the 9th century. The usual suspects of Carignan, Syrah, and Grenacheshine through, with wines that are typically fuller in body and spicier than other Languedoc wines, although typically lighter than those from Faugeres.
To the North-East of St Chinian lies Faugeres. These challenging vineyards are home toCarignan, Mourvedre and Cinsault vines, and are reputably some of the strongest coming out of the Languedoc. Also look out for barrel-aged Syrah, which although sometimes a little more expensive, can be comparable to a well-made Rhone red. White AOC Faugeres also started appearing since 2004.