Find a property for sale in Languedoc

 

Properties for Sale

Search hundreds of properties for Sale across the region.

Property Guide eBook

Download 'French Property: An Insider's Guide' and save time and hassle when you buy a property.

Useful Advice

Advice for Buyers

Advice for Sellers

Find a holiday rental or B&B in Languedoc

 

Holiday Rentals

Browse holiday villas and apartments.

B&Bs, Resorts, Hotels

Find the perfect place to relax.

Useful Advice

Advice to Renters

Advice to Owners

 

What to see and do in Languedoc

 

Sightseeing in LanguedocSightseeing

Information on the region's many tourist attractions.

ActivitiesActivities

See what activities are available, from ballooning to walking.

Eating and drinkingFood & Wine

Taste great cuisine & discover the Languedoc's wine.

Holidays and tours in the South of France Tours & Courses

Choose from many activity-based courses, tours and holidays.

Mediterranean BeachesBeaches

Reviews of sea, river and lake beaches. Beach restaurants & bars.

Travel and flight information for the LanguedocTravel Information

Flights. Car Hire. Books. Weather.
And much more.

What to see and do in Languedoc

 

Languedoc Wine History Wine Tours

Learn more about Languedoc's wines with a guided tour.

Languedoc Wine RegionsRegions

Read about the wine regions, & what makes them unique.

Languedoc Wine CertificationsLe Terroir

How technique, soil and weather shape a Languedoc wine.

Languedoc Wine HistoryThe History

From the Romans through to Phylloxera to today.

Languedoc Grape Varieties Grape Varieties

Discover the differences between appellations.

Buying Languedoc WineCertifications

The complex and confusing part of wine in the Languedoc.

wine tasting in languedocWine Tasting

Taste fine wines. The best wine domaines to visit.

wine courses exhibits Courses & Exhibits

Learn more about everything to do with Languedoc wine.

Buying Languedoc WineWine Shop

Languedoc's best wines - cherry-picked by expert Wendy Gedney - delivered with no excise duty.

Hotels in Languedoc
Hotels in Languedoc

SORT BY:

Choose your criteria below


TYPE:


STYLE:


WINE DOMAIN:



 

Languedoc wine - what makes it so special?

I was recently asked if I thought the wines of the Languedoc-Roussillon sit in the shadow of those from the Rhône valley just around the coast. Are the wine makers of Languedoc copying their successful neighbours or do the wines have their own unique personality? Now, although I love the wines from the Rhône and admire how that region maintains its excellent level of quality and produces wines of great character and reliability, I do not think producers of both regions have the same aim. So what Languedoc wine and Rhône wines so different? Surely the climate is similar and the grape varieties are too? Yes those things are true but what makes Languedoc-Roussillon wine stand out from the crowd is something called Vin du Pays. This category of wine was introduced in to France in the 1980’s and is made all over the country to a lesser or greater degree.

Back in the days when the New World started marketing their wines in Europe the main selling point was not the place where the wine came from but which grape variety had been used to make it. Before then, most people drank European wines that were named after the place where they came from and the grape variety was rarely mentioned with the exception of the Alsace. New World producers have always had the freedom to choose the grape and initially many of them chose from the 7 International grape varieties, making them household names. How many of us have never heard of Chardonnay or Cabernet Sauvignon for instance? But in the pre-1980’s when AOC wines were the only option in France wine makers were unable to use the International varieties unless they were part of the tradition for their region. So Chardonnay stayed the choice of Burgundy and Champagne and Cabernet Sauvignon was reserved for Bordeaux and parts of the Loire Valley. Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot, Syrah, Pinot Noir and Riesling were all reserved for wines from their traditional homes. However New World wine consumers became familiar with these grape varieties and found this a much easier way to buy wine.


‘Vin du Pays’ and the rise of Languedoc wines


France was losing market share but was reluctant to alter the AOC to allow the grape variety to take centre stage and so was born a new category of wine called Vin du pays which allowed the grape to become the star of the show. With the emergence of Vin du pays most wine makers in France now have over 30 grape varieties they can choose from depending on their location which must also be part of the label. They can experiment with varieties and blends or make single varietal wines if they choose, so these days it’s only appellation wines that are restricted to the traditional varieties growing in their location.

Well known wine regions such as the Rhône Valley, Bordeaux and Burgundy were not so attracted to the Vin du pays category because their wines were selling successfully without the grape variety being stamped on the label. People were familiar with these names and they were and are a trusted brand whereas Languedoc was not. In fact many people had never heard of Languedoc wine and if they had they associated that name with bad wine..!

Vin du Pays D’Oc has been the saviour of Languedoc-Roussillon wines for many reasons. It was at the forefront of the movement to create better quality wine to replace the industrially-produced bulk wines that this region had been famously making in the early 1900’s after Phylloxera devastated the vineyards. The first step to improve the wines was the implementation of the AOC during the 1940’s and 50’s. This lowered yields and introduced measures that helped increase quality but still the Languedoc region struggled to be seen as a quality wine producer. Then with the emergence of New

The wines of Languedoc are now some of the world’s most innovative


World wines whose main selling point was grape variety, Languedoc seized the chance to create wines in a similar vein by embracing the Vin du Pays designation. Soon international varieties of wine were being planted all over the region and Languedoc was dubbed the ‘New World’ of France. As time went by, lured by the warm climate and low land prices, Languedoc attracted many good wine makers who wanted to make their mark producing interesting and sometimes unusual wines, many of which break the rules of appellation in some way. Thankfully, under the Vin du pays rules these wine makers have flourished, bringing us Languedoc wines that could not have been made under the traditional label of AOC. Wines such a 100% Carignan, the grape that took much of the blame for the bad wines of the region, which has now proved its worth in the right hands.

These days a Languedoc Vin du Pays D’Oc can be anything from cheap and cheerful international varietal wine to one of the finest bottles you will find in France. It is a designation that allows wine makers a great deal of liberty to choose the style of wine they wish to produce. Some are made using Mediterranean varieties such Grenache, Carignan and Mourvèdre and others by outsiders using international varieties such as Merlot and Chardonnay. Vin du Pays D’Oc has allowed innovation and creativity to seep into the Languedoc wine region and invigorate the style, quality and reputation of the wines produced here - providing a platform from which Languedoc wines can stand out from the crowd.

 

 

PROPERTY
SALES

 

Property in the south of France

 

Advice on buying & selling

Property guide eBook

 

Terms & Conditions

 

HOLIDAY
ACCOMMODATION

 

Villas in the south of France

B&Bs and Hotels in the south of France

 

Find a holiday rentals agent

Canal barge hotels

Our Facebook page

TOURISM
INFORMATION

 

Introduction

 

Sightseeing

Activities

City Guides

Beaches

Travel information

Weather

Best books & maps

OWNERS
& AGENTS

 

Advertise your property

Advertise your business

 

Owner Sign-in

 

Advice to owners, buyers
and renters

Press coverage

Testimonials

OTHER
LINKS

 

Home

Contact us

 

About us

Site Map

Sign-out

 

Follow us:

Visit our FaceBook page Visit our YouTube channel Visit our Twitter page