Languedoc Wine Tasting
You won't find a better region in France to go wine tasting - the wines here not only (increasingly) good, they're also very interesting, and there are plenty of wine makers keen to show off and talk about their latest creations. You'll also find a lot less of the awful snobbery that surrounds wine further north in France - Languedoc is the 'wild south' when it comes to wine, and the 'vignerons' here tend to be more innovative and less formal about the wines they produce.
Languedoc also offers a greater variety of wines than anywhere in the world - from the fruity and delicious reds of St Chinian, Faugères and the Corbières, to crisp white PicPouls of the coast, honeyed Viogniers, the delightfully bubbly Blanquette and Crémant de Limoux, superb muscats of Frontignan and Minervois, and increasingly good rosés produced just about everywhere. There's also a huge degree of variety within each type of wine. Whereas turgid tradition dominates in Bordeaux, Burgundy and Champagne, the winemakers of Languedoc - often from the 'New World' - are happily experimenting with all sorts of exciting combinations of grape varieties, flaunting age-old rules as they go, and producing some truly spectacular results. At the end of the day, that's the really fun thing about tasting wine at its source - getting to chat to the wine makers themselves about their wine-making philosophies and how they went about producing the wines on offer in their tasting rooms. It all makes for superb dinner-party conversation when you serve up that delicious bottle of vieux Carignan that you discovered in the back of beyond.
No longer pot luck
There are literally hundreds of wine domains in the Languedoc-Roussillon, as Languedoc was, until recently, the world's largest wine-producing region. You'll see endless signs for them as you drive around the area, enticing you to turn off and give them a go. Unfortunately, chances are you'll end up disappointed. Most offer rather mediocre wine, assuming of course they're even open. And the chances that the wine makers are present and willing and able to talk about their creations are slim (even if you speak French fluently). With holiday time so fleeting and precious, we'd recommend instead that you use the listings on this page when wine tasting in Languedoc. We've cherry-picked what we feel are your 'best bets' in terms of wine tasting - wine domains that actively seek out wine tasting visitors, whose wines are of a high standard and who are well set-up for wine tasting in that they have a tasting room and give visitors access to their wine making facilities. Not all offer 'drop-in tastings' - so make sure to give them a call before you set out to make sure they're open and that the wine makers are around.