Languedoc Wine - Visiting Vineyards
Languedoc wine terroir
About Languedoc wines
The Languedoc Roussillon is one of the largest wine producing regions of the world. As of 2000, this one part of France produces more wine than the entire United States combined. One third of France's wine comes from the Languedoc Roussillon, dwarfing the production of more famous regions like Bordeaux and Bourgogne.
Languedoc wine is probably best known for Mediterranean varietals like Syrah, Grenache, Carignan, Mourvedre and Cinsault. These are grape varietals that easily exhibit pepper, spice and everything nice. You can get deep, ripe fruit flavors and a lot of mineral qualities too. But it's sort of hard to generalize because the Languedoc is so large and so varied. Some parts of the Languedoc like the Malpere and Cabardes actually produce typically Atlantic varietals in their AOC blends (i.e. Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc).
Terroir is also hard to generalize because of the extreme geological diversity in the Languedoc. It's really a large region with a lot of different soil conditions that change very quickly over small spaces. Several parts of the Languedoc exhibit almost schizophrenic soil composition that juxtaposes Mediterranean sea fossils and mountaintop calcium deposits. Many people don't realize, but the Mediterranean Sea used to cover a large part of the Languedoc and Provence. Inland cities like Montpellier and Arles used to be coastal when they were first founded. It's a good illustration of just how fast things can change in the Languedoc.
Visiting Vineyards in the Languedoc
Visiting vineyards in the Languedoc is an extremely worthwhile pursuit for any wine-loving traveler. But it's not as easy as you might think. The Languedoc wine producers are still developing their touristic potential and are a few years behind more commercialized areas like Napa Valley and Bordeaux.
If you don't speak French, your best bet is to find a seasoned wine guide or to follow an online review like Love that Languedoc. If you do speak French, you can try to just call different wineries to see if they accept guests and learn important information like pricing, open hours, etc.
It might be a little inconvenient, but the very lack of commercialized tourism is what makes visiting Languedoc wineries so charming. You can easily avoid the huge "disney-fied" tours that are just theme park rides with a gift shop at the end. You can meet real winemakers who get their hands dirty and love making wine more than anything else in life.
- Languedoc wine - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
I helped write this article on Languedoc wine and it's a good overview on some of the intricacies of the world's largest wine producing region.
More by this Author
This web page will teach you how to craft several different types of balls out of folded paper using different origami techniques. Try the easiest and build up to the hardest.
A lot of people would love to have a vineyard. The simple bucolic life of a winemaker and the romantic draw of the Old World vines is too much to resist for many of us. But how on Earth can anybody afford to get into...
The Count of Monte Cristo is a serialized novel that has been adapted many, many times. It is often seen as a classic tale of revenge in which a young, promising and innocent youth is wrongly imprisoned for life. He...