The development of the Languedoc Vin de Pays Wines
The Languedoc has gone through tremendous changes in the last 25 years from being the region that produced vast qualities of cheap to wines to one that produces huge qualities of high quality wine. This transformation has been largely due to the introduction of the Vin de Pays classification in 1979. This has led to extensive replanting on more suitable sites, a real reduction in permitted yields and crucially reducing the dependence of red wines on the difficult Carignan grape required in Appellent classification wines. This has enabled producers to not only focus on new grape varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon, merlot, Cabernet Franc or Viognier, but to also adapt New World wine-making technology and equipment. Vin de pays wines give the customers what they wanted - namely, clearly labelled international varietals like Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon.
Modern Languedoc vineyards focus on less production, more quality, more grape varieties and more new techniques. Today, Languedoc is one of the most look-after wine regions in the world.
FACTS ON GRAPE GROWING & WINE-MAKING in the LANGUEDOC
Size of the vineyards: 160,000 hectares (400,000 acres)
including 70,000 hectares (173,000 acres) in AOC
Vineyards: 50,000 vine growers working with 400 co-ops (70% of the regional production)
2,800 private wineries
Soil: Mainly limestone, sandstone, pebbles, clay, granite can also be found
Weather: Mediterranean (mild winter and hot summer)
Red Grapes in Languedoc:
The grape of the South, Grenache loves sun and heat producing wines that have aromas of red fruit, lavender and thyme.
Makes powerful Rose, often blended with Syrah to give big reds, and essential in excellent sweet wines.
Another grape that thrives in the sunny warm conditions and produces wines with aromas of blueberries, spicy and often coffee tones. A great blending wine with Grenache
The typical Bordeaux blend varieties, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc, can be found in the Languedoc
as excellent single variety wines as well as blends.
White Grapes in Languedoc:
The grape of the famous A.O.C Picpoul de Pinet, a dry white wine to be enjoyed with shellfish.
Only 50 years back this grape was limited to two vineyards but today it is proving to be a white grape
that in the Languedoc produces a fine wine with tropical fruit flavours and excellent body
Also known as by the Italian name of Vermentino, Rolle produces a wine with good acid balance and body, fruity with notes of tropical mango
and lemon. A wine of growing popularity and excellent with fish and seafood.
Production: Over 2 billion bottles
less than 25% in AOC, 50% vin de pays, over 25% vin de table
Types of Wine:
A range of wines with quality and variety to please the palate of any wine drinker.
Wonderful deep intense Red wines blended for a range of grapes, fruity, fresh Rose wines,
citrus lively whites, plus quality sweet white wines, fortified blends in red and white.
79% red; 12% white; 9% rose