A Guide to the Languedoc

A Guide to the Languedoc

by Anthony Lynch

Ask wine drinkers around the world, and the word “Languedoc” is sure to elicit mixed reactions. On the one hand, the region is still strongly tied to its past as a producer of cheap, insipid bulk wine in the eyes of many consumers. On the other hand, it is the source of countless great values providing affordable everyday pleasure, with an increasing number of higher-end wines capable of rivaling the best from other parts of France.
     While there’s no denying the Languedoc’s history as a major contributor to France’s surplus “wine lake”—indeed, it remains by far the country’s most productive region, with an output by volume doubling that of Bordeaux—the last two decades have seen a noticeable shift to fine wine, with a greater emphasis on terroir. Ambitious growers have sought out vineyard sites with poor, well draining soils in hilly zones, curbed back on irrigation and the use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, and looked to balance traditional production methods with technological advancements to craft wines with elegance, balance, and a clear sense of place. Today, the overall quality and variety of wines being made in the Languedoc is as high as ever.
     The region’s diversity is one of its great strengths: with over 40,000 hectares under vine spanning eighteen distinct AOCs, every style is represented. Shaped like a crescent hugging the Mediterranean coast, it boasts an enormous variety of soil types and microclimates depending on elevation, exposition, and relative distance from the coastline and the cooler foothills farther inland. While the warm Mediterranean climate is conducive to the production of reds, there are world-class whites and rosés to be found as well, along with stunning dessert wines revered by connoisseurs for centuries.
     So where to begin in the vast world of Languedoc wines? We invite you to browse our selection below and get to know this bountiful region one bottle at a time—and certainly don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions.

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