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The Languedoc-Roussillon Wine Region

The truth of the matter is that good French wine can often be too expensive for some budgets.

 

However, there is a way around this dilemma. 

This article takes a look at the Languedoc-Roussillon wine region, home to the production of tasty wine at a great price which is becoming popular with wine enthusiasts.

 

The Languedoc-Roussillon Wine Region

To get a well-rounded picture of the region, let us backtrack a bit first. 

While the Languedoc-Roussillon wine region is known today for producing good cheap wine, back in the 1970s it overproduced cheap “jug wine”. 

In order to change its reputation in the winemaking community, old Grenache vineyards were ripped out and were replaced with grape varieties such as Carignan.

Today, the Languedoc-Roussillon wine region, in the south of France, is the country's largest wine-producing region.

 

There are five different areas of the region which are considered the most popular:

 

St. Chinian: located in the middle of Languedoc Roussillon, Known for using lighter varieties of grapes such as Carignan, Grenache and Cinsault.

Faugères: known for aromatic reds such as Grenache.

Picpoul de Pinet: produces a zesty white wine variety. 

Corbières: home to fruity and juicy red wines.

Limoux and Blanquette de Limoux: makes sparkling white wines similar to Champagne.

 

When it comes to winemaking in the Languedoc-Roussillon wine region, it is all about blends. 

So many varieties of grape grow together that it is difficult to produce a single variety of wine, hence why winemakers shift their efforts to blends. 

 

A Short History of the Languedoc-Roussillon Wine Region

Despite its earlier reputation for “jug wine”, Languedoc-Roussillon has been an important winemaking region in France for many centuries. 

In fact, some historians actually date winemaking in Languedoc-Roussillon back to the Roman times. 

 

Over the years, the Languedoc-Roussillon wine region has not been without its problems. 

Back in the late 1800s, vast vineyards were destroyed by the deadly phylloxera bug. 

Then, in 1907, there was the rise of the militant winemakers who took to the streets to complain about cheap wine imports. 

Six people died during the protest, and there was another death in 1976 during another protest.

 

Today, wine production in Languedoc-Roussillon is at its finest. 

Currently, there are more than 3,700 winemakers in the region. 

Most of these are independent producers who work on a scale of 6 to 15 hectares. 

The popularity of the region today is often accredited to the “Vin de Pays” label.

The production of Vin de Pays has allowed Languedoc-Roussillon to integrate the market and produced more defined quality wines.

 

What Defines a Languedoc-Roussillon Wine?

It is hard to define in just one sentence the wine of Languedoc-Roussillon. There are a number of popular wines in the region, which are outlined below:

 

Corbières

It is actually quite hard to define the style of wine that comes from the Corbières appellation due to its size and the diversity of its soils, altitudes, microclimates, and grape varieties. 

However, it can be said that the majority of the wine produced here is red. Grape varieties include:

  • ●    Carignan
  • ●    Syrah
  • ●    Mourvèdre
  • ●    Cinsault

 

Minervois

Minervois wines have increased in popularity since its quality was improved and AOC status gained in 1985. 

Red wine produced here is soft and supple, with notes of black fruits and spices. 

The wine is usually drunk after two years but there are some tasty eight and ten-year old vintages on the market. 

Grape varieties include:

  • ●    Syrah
  • ●    Mourvèdre
  • ●    Grenache

 

Fitou

Only red wine is produced in Fitou. 

With the blends known for their distinguished aromas. 

Fitou wine is best described as spicy with a backdrop of ripe fruit. 

Grape varieties include:

  • ●    Carignan
  • ●    Syrah
  • ●    Mourvèdre
  • ●    Grenache

 

Faugères

Faugères produces full-bodied wine with rich flavours. 

Eighty percent of the grape production in the area is used to produce powerful red wines.

Grape varieties include:

  • ●    Syrah
  • ●    Carignan
  • ●    Cinsault
  • ●    Grenache
  • ●    Mourvèdre

 

The white wines produced in the area have citrus aromas when drank young. 

As they mature, the aroma becomes more complex. 

Grape varieties include: 

  • ●    Grenache
  • ●    Marsanne
  • ●    Vermentino

 

St-Chinian

St-Chinian produces light rosés and rich red wines. 

Grape varieties include: 

  • ●    Grenache
  • ●    Syrah
  • ●    Mourvèdre
  • ●    Lledoner Pelut
  • ●    Cardigan
  • ●    Cinsault

 

Muscat

Muscat is often made as a Vin Doux Naturel, a naturally sweet wine from semi-fermented grape juice fortified with brandy. 

Other varieties of wine include:

  • ●    Muscat de Frontignan
  • ●    Muscat de Lunel
  • ●    Muscat de Mireval
  • ●    Muscat de St Jean de Minervois

 

Clairette du Languedoc

Clairette du Languedoc is named after the grape used to produce the wine over centuries. 

Wine here tends to be fresh and fruity. 

 

Cabardès Appellation

Red wine is almost exclusively produced in Cabardès Appellation. 

The produce tends to be dark, complex and rich. 

Grape varieties include:

  • ●    Rhône
  • ●    Bordeaux
  • ●    Malbec
  • ●    Cinsault

 

Limoux

Limoux wines are produced in a cool microclimate which enhances acidity in a white wine. 

It is known for its wonderful Chardonnay white wine. 

Food Pairings with Languedoc-Roussillon Wines

Depending on the wine you choose, different food pairings will work best.

 

Corbières: best with grilled red meat or game.

Minervois: enjoyed with any meat as well as Brie and Pelardon cheese.

Fitou: young wines are best served with grilled meat. More mature bottles pair well with game and cheese.

Faugères: red wines with red meat and game, Rosés with fish and Asian dishes and whites with fish and Pélardons cheese. One particularly delicious pairing is a glass of Faugères rosé with pâté de pézenas, made with a mix of lamb, brown sugar and lemon.

St-Chinian: best with duck and venison.

Muscat: delicious with cold appetizers and Roquefort, Stilton or Gorgonzola cheese.

Clairette du Languedoc: goes well with Mediterranean cuisine and grilled fish.

Cabardès Appellation: paired well with grilled or roasted meat. One particular dish recommended if you happen to be in the south of France is cassoulet, a hearty bean stew.

Limoux: best served with grilled meats when young and with simmered dishes when mature.

 

Unable to travel to Languedoc-Roussillon but would still like to taste its wine? 

 

—> Then make an instant purchase at our online store!

 

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