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How technique, soil and weather shape a Languedoc wine.

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The complex and confusing part of wine in the Languedoc.

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Buying Languedoc WineWine Shop

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

Relocating to France

Relocating to Languedoc - for a better quality of life?

 

Improve your life - in LanguedocThere is a huge irony inherent in the idea that moving to Languedoc-Roussillon will deliver a less stressful lifestyle.

 

Moving to a foreign country is up there with marriage, divorce and redundancy when it comes to stress-inducing life events. Oddly enough, people who get divorced or lose their jobs often add to their short-term stress levels by upping sticks and moving to the south of France.

 

So it’s Catch 22 - to achieve a better quality of life, you have to undergo a stressful life event. In our experience, the first 12-18 months can be tricky (a mixture of honeymoon highs and “what on earth have we done?” lows). After that, it all falls into place.

 

There are steps you can take to make your move smoother, and your integration quicker and easier.

 

BEFORE YOU MOVE TO LANGUEDOC

Take an intensive French language course (check out the Alliance Française for details of courses near you).

 

Take an active interest in all things related to France, its culture and language. In London, the Institut Français organises heaps of events and activities (films, debates, lectures, wine tastings), all in French.

 

Join a library with a good selection of foreign language reading material (the Institut Français has a good library, and many larger public libraries may stock some French language materials), and start reading!

 

Tune your radio into French stations and get used to hearing rapidly-spoken French (try this on the drive to or from work), to develop your “ear”.

 

Check out the many ways you can access French TV programmes from the UK by clicking here.

 

Put up a notice in your local library, community centre, university or social club, asking for French conversation lessons or exchange.

 

AFTER YOU MOVE TO LANGUEDOC

Sign up for free French language tuition (available nationwide for anyone who has not gone through the French education system – ask at your Mairie).

 

Find your local branch of AVF (Accueil des Villes Françaises), a nationwide association of volunteers who welcome newcomers to France’s major cities. In Languedoc there are 14 AVF offices, present in locations including Montpellier, Nîmes, Carcassonne, Perpignan, Uzès, Olonzac, Limoux and Mende; see .

 

Take up a new hobby, or join a gym or any other group that will expose you to a cross-section of folk (of any nationality) already established in France. Prime Languedoc examples include BritsNîmes, and two Montpellier-based groups – the British Cultural Association, and American Women’s Group of Languedoc-Roussillon.

 

Retiring to a crime-free zone/a better place ?

Few people relocate from an urban centre (where crime rates tend to be higher) to another; most are looking to downshift or retire to a “better” place.

 

France (and the Languedoc region) has crime, just like anywhere else. We moved from a rather edgy London suburb to Montpellier, where you can still find “edge” if you poke around certain streets after dark. But generally speaking, there’s less edge than in London (as you’d expect).

 

Similarly, we know older couples who have retired to peaceful, sun-kissed Languedoc villages where very little happens – but the inhabitants still steal each other’s mopeds, wives or what-have-you.

 

And as you drive some of the more forsaken stretches of Languedoc’s coastal or rural roads, you’ll often see a scruffy car parked by the roadside, occupied by someone waiting for their next client. It happens, and you’d have to be wearing rose-tinted spectacles not to see it.

 

THE BOTTOM LINE

Don’t let us put you off. Languedoc is a pretty safe place. Indeed, crime rates in Languedoc’s Lozère département are amongst some of France’s very lowest, and Lozère was voted France’s Best Place for Retirement by L’Express magazine (read more here).

 

Other parts of the Languedoc are equally secure. There are plenty of French areas to live out your Golden Years in peace and (crime-free) quiet.

 

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