Everything You Need to Know about Languedoc Wine.
The Languedoc-Roussillon region in the South of France is one of the very biggest wine regions in the world.
In fact, this area along the French Mediterranean coast is the biggest wine-producing area with designated indication of origin in the world.
Historically, often a producer of cheap or affordable wines for the masses, Languedoc is now going through a complete renaissance, with many producers and vignerons re-thinking their wines, investing in vineyards and quality equipment, and bringing their production’s level of refinement right up.
Many are also shifting their traditional ways to supply the promising and ever-growing markets for organic wines, the local climate allowing positive results in this area.
Let’s discover the Languedoc region, its key features and figures, vineyards, soils, and more importantly: wines. Come along with Social Vignerons.
Languedoc region is located in the south of France along the Mediterranean Sea. Its borders spread from the south of Toulouse to the city of Montpellier’s suburbs.
The vineyard surface area counts with 223,000 hectares declared (550K acres). It is the largest wine growing region in the world.
The vineyards of Languedoc benefit from a Mediterranean climate with many hours of warm sunshine and fresh nights cooled by winds and sea breezes.
Languedoc is known for its long period of sunshine with a lot of wind.
These features enable vines to grow under relatively low pressure from diseases compared with other more Northerly and wetter regions. Thanks to this favorable climate, Languedoc has become one of the largest organic wine growing region in France.
Typical Mediterranean climate, albeit slightly different to the East.
Summers are hot, spring and autumn are rather warm. Winters are also quite mild and sunny with temperatures rarely falling below 0°c (32°F), despite occasional but rare snowfalls like below :-).
Rainfall levels are quite low, and the strong Tramontane and Mistral winds help drying up the grapes and prevent disease. This is the ideal climate for cultivating vines.
Languedoc was in 2016 the biggest French wine-producing region with an output of 12.4 million hectoliters (1.2 billion liters) that year.
It is also the first organic French vineyards with 2050 hectares of organic vineyards (little over 5000 acres) representing 9% of the region’s total organic wine growing area.
A great variety of soils
At the foothill of the Pyrenées in the south and the Cevennes and Causse in the North, the Languedoc region benefit a vast variety of soil types:
- vast pebble terraces
- sandstone and calcareous clay
- limestone and shale
- pudding stone
This variety in Languedoc soils provides the individual characteristics of each indication of origin (AOCs or AOPs).
Languedoc Wine Reviews & Related Posts
Check out below the wine reviews, scores and tasting notes of all the Languedoc-Roussillon wines we’ve tasted, there’s one for you 🙂
Grape Varieties by Wine Color
Picpoul, Grenache Blanc, and/or Viognier make the white wines.
Same varieties in the reds, but pink by design. The Languedoc rosés are very fresh, trendy and fruity wines.
Crémant de Limoux is said to have been invented before Champagne and often provides a good quality/price ratio.
Blanquette de Limoux which is produced with the Traditional Méthode (formerly called Champenoise) is also well known.
From white sweet wines like AOC Muscats, these wines are appreciated for their sweetness and richness of aromas. The grapes of Muscat petit grain are vinified as sweet natural wines for the AOC Muscats du Languedoc.
AOC & IGP Appellations
Languedoc vineyards count with:
- 7 AOC wines classified as Crus du Languedoc
Corbières-Boutenac AOC, Faugères AOC, La Clape AOC, Minervois-La Livinière AOC, Pic Saint Loup AOC, Saint-Chinian Berlou AOC, Saint-Chinian Roquebrun AOC
- 11 AOC wines classified as Grands Vins du Languedoc
Cabardès AOC, Clairette du Languedoc AOC, Corbières AOC, Fitou AOC, Languedoc AOC – Cabrières, Languedoc AOC – Grés de Montpellier, Languedoc AOC – La Méjanelle, Languedoc AOC – Montpeyroux, Languedoc AOC – Pézenas, Languedoc AOC – Quatourze, Languedoc AOC – Saint-Christol, Languedoc AOC – Saint-Drézéry, Languedoc AOC – Saint-Georges-d’Orques, Languedoc AOC – Saint-Saturnin, Languedoc AOC – Sommières, Limoux red and white AOC, Limoux sparkling AOC, Malepère AOC, Muscats AOC, Minervois AOC, Picpoul de Pinet AOP, Saint-Chinian AOC, Terrasses du Larzac AOC
- 1 regional appellation
- 3 sparkling wine appellations
- 4 Vin Doux Naturels (sweet wines here made from Muscat grapes)
Muscats de Frontignan, Lunel, Mireval or Saint-Jean-de-Minervois.
- 11 Languedoc appellations (IGPs) that may be granted direct AOC one day.
3 IGP named by departments
Aude, Hérault, Gard. Aude are vinified under the Terres du Midi brand.
19 IGP de Territoires (Territory PGI)
Named after heritage sites (like Pont du Gard or Cité de Carcassonne), place of Natural beauty (Cévennes, Côtes de Thau) or stories of men…(Côtes de Thongue, Vicomté d’Aumelas).
Viticulture is the largest economic sector in Languedoc-Roussillon.
The region counts 22,000 wine growing estates. 2,500 wineries are registered for producing IGP wines, and 400 shipping companies.
In terms of volume, the Languedoc produced 5% of the word’s wine. The volume produced in this region are higher than those of Chile, Australia or South Africa.
Languedoc Rosé Wines
Learn more about rosé wines from Languedoc, grape varieties, production methods, appeallations and on The Other French Rosés: Languedoc Rosé Wines or click on the image below.
Biggest Wine Region in the World!?!
Click on one of the images below for more information and key statistics about Languedoc wines.
The information in this post and all images were provided by Languedoc Wines exclusively for Social Vignerons.