I’m hesitant to write about French wine — what is, in my eyes, the foundation for pretty much all wines. It has a bit of a celebrity status I suppose. One of the best ways to “unintimidate” myself is to focus on one specific region in reference to a few wines I’ve had opportunity to taste, putting this educational experience into context. So, please join me as we travel overseas to France’s Languedoc-Roussillon wine region.

Courtesy of chemins-vignerons.com

The Languedoc-Roussillon AOC spans along the Mediterranean coastline, from the southern border with Spain up toward France’s region of Provence. In total, the AOC has about 700,000 acres planted to vines and is one of the biggest wine-producing regions in the world.

The terrain and climate characteristics are similar to that of the Southern Rhône region (located to the north and slightly west of Languedoc) and Provence (located to the north, arching toward the east along the Mediterranean Ocean.) Thus, the whole of the Languedoc-Roussillon region produces a wide variety of grapes and wine styles — from your classic “Bordeaux” varietals (Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc) to your typical Rhône varietals (Grenache, Syrah, Viognier).

There are several appellations and sub-appellations within Languedoc that, for the most part, were originally separated based more on politics than wine-related reasons — though this seems to be changing even as we speak. However, a lot of wines from this area will still simply state “Languedoc” without any other regional or varietal information on the bottle. So, let’s just jump right in with some tasting notes from a few “Languedocs.”


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