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Languedoc-Roussillon

The leading wine region in the world by surface area (288,000 ha)

Planted by the Greeks, vines quickly spread along the ‘Via Domitia’ (the old Roman road parallel to the Mediterranean). The region soon became a rival to Italy’s vineyards, so in 92 AD Emperor Domitien ordered half of the planted area to be pulled up, a ruling that had no impact and was rejected by Emperor Probus. After the Saracen occupation, the Church backed vine growing which expanded onto the hillsides. The developing transport network sustained this growth over the centuries: a port was built in Sète and the ‘Canal du Midi’ (Southern Canal) opened; the railways...

After a long history of volume production and the crises that come with it – the bloodiest was in 1907 – the emphasis has shifted to quality since the 1970s.

Benoît France

Benoît France

Languedoc AOC areas

The Languedoc’s vineyards spread across the Gard, Hérault and Aude ‘departments’.

Around Montpellier

Coteaux-du-Languedoc (CDL) and its subzones:

CDL Terres de Sommières

CDL Pic-Saint-Loup

CDL Grés-de-Montpellier

CDL Pézenas Cabrières

Clairette-de-Bellegarde

Clairette-du-Languedoc

Picpoul-de-Pinet

Muscat-de-Lunel

Muscat-de-Mireval

Muscat-de-Frontignan


Around Béziers

At the foot of the Causse du Larzac in the Hérault; CDL Les-Terrasses-du-Larzac

CDL Terrasses-de-Béziers

In the foothills of the Cévennes and Montagne Noire ranges: Faugères, Saint-Chinian (and the village zones of Berlou and Roquebrun)


Around Carcassonne

Saint-Jean-de-Minervois,

Minervois

Minervois-la-Livinière

From this area, Domus Maximus 2000 from Domaine Massamier La Mignarde was awarded the French Red Trophy for Syrah-Grenache-Mourvèdre blends in the International Wine Challenge 2005.

Cabardès
Côtes-de-la-Malepère

Limoux AOCs: Blanquette-de-Limoux, Blanquette-méthode-ancestrale (both sparkling), Chardonnay, red blends...


Around Narbonne

CDL La Clape et Quatourze

Corbières (mostly red but increasingly good whites emerging)

Fitou, which is split into two: coastal and inland Fitou

Producers’ association website for the whole region: Conseil Interprofessionnel des Vins du Languedoc or CIVL: www.languedoc-wines.com


Growers’ blogs

http://www.domainedelaprose.com
http://lisson.over-blog.com/article-1711078.html
http://www.vins-sigaliere.com/index.php


The Roussillon or French Catalonia

The Roussillon vineyards, with over 24,000 ha in the Pyrénées-Orientales (East Pyrenees) department/region either side of Perpignan, show a degree of uniformity within a mountain framework in the Pyrenees foothills; the Corbières (to the north), Canigou (to the west), the Albères (to the south on the Spanish border).

Mostly red wine: Côtes-du-Roussillon, Côtes-du-Roussillon-Villages to the north (with these villages named on the label: Caramany, Latour de France, Lesquerde and Tautavel), Collioure and its ‘Vins Doux Naturels’ (sweet fortified wines, white and red): Muscat-de-Rivesaltes, Maury, Rivesaltes, Banyuls.


Website

CIVR - Conseil Interprofessionnel des Vins du Roussillon (regional producers’ association)


Growers’ blogs

http://closdesfees.aquaray.com/dotclear/index.php
http://cecicela.typepad.com/vigneron_blog/2006/01/des_piquets_enc.html


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