8th step in our Trip in the French vineyards: Languedoc! Located in the south of France, on the Mediterranean coast and nestled at the foot of the Pyrenees, the Languedoc vineyard produces a wine that has been unlike any other since ancient times thanks to the Mediterranean and its seasonal sweetness.
How well do you know Languedoc vineyard?
The vineyard extends over four departments: Aude, Gard, Hérault, and Pyrénées-Orientales. In thirty years, the vineyard has been restructured from 450,000 to 218,000 hectares. The main wine categories are: wines without geographical indication, PGI, AOC and regional denomination.
There are 36 AOCs in the Languedoc and their 13 regional denominations: forming a total of 70,000 hectares of vines. In addition, the 16 Sud de France PGI’s are distributed according to their strong points: sites and heritage, natural areas and human history.
With such a large surface area, it is obvious that the vineyard has a wide variety of different terroirs with different soils, grape varieties and climates: this gives Languedoc wines all their characteristics!
Indeed, the soils tend to be sandy, calcareous or clayey on the seaside. They are schistose and marly with terraces of rolled pebbles at the level of the valleys. The climate here is Mediterranean with oceanic tendencies as one moves away from the sea.
In order to produce exceptional wines, the grape varieties authorized for red wine are as follows: Syrah, Grenache, Carignan, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cinsault, then Cot, Malbec, Chenin and Rolle in smaller quantities. The red grape varieties represent nearly 75% of the vineyard. For white wine, the grape varieties are Chardonnay, Sauvignon, Muscat, Viognier, white and grey Grenache, Macabeau…
It is not for nothing that the Languedoc vineyard is France’s leading producer of red (8.2 million hectolitres), rosé (2.6 million hectolitres) and white (2.8 million hectolitres) wines (source CIVL).
What wine and food pairings?
It’s time to get to the point and taste these delicious Languedoc wines…
Salad composed with gizzard and foie gras to be served with a red wine of character with powerful aromas such as Minervois or Saint-Chinian.
White meat with small vegetables spiced with Provençal herbs, served with a fresh and tasty rosé wine in the mouth like Languedoc and Corbières.
White wines will go perfectly with any type of cheese: their black fruit bouquet will bring out the aromas of the cheese.
Serve a sparkling wine, such as a Blanquette de Limoux, to enjoy a fruit dessert. You will discover a fine bouquet of hawthorn, apple and hazelnut.
What to visit in Languedoc?
“To discover the Languedoc and those who shape it is a promise of simple and authentic encounters with passionate craftsmen-winemakers for whom respect for the environment and landscapes, family spirit and village solidarity are key words.”
The Languedoc winegrowers open their doors to you and are happy to share their passion and know-how with you. Discover the art of living in the Languedoc, rich in its cultural and architectural heritage.
A place not to be missed? Carcassonne and its city! This territory has been marked for centuries now by the cultivation of vines. The Grand Carcassonne area shines with the diversity of its appellations, which represent as many variations in its wines as sumptuous landscapes!