Coteaux Languedoc – Wines of the Languedoc Region:
The south of France is one of the most popular regions for travelers to France, but most people don’t even make it into the Languedoc area. We sometimes describe the region to people as what Provence may have been like 30+ years ago – before Peter Mayle.
One of the big draws is the Mediterranean coast and agreeable climate. Because of the climate, grapes grow well in an amazing variety and the Languedoc region therefore has a lot to offer the wine connoisseur. We offer cycling tours, hiking tours, as well as cooking tours/self-drive and wine discovery tours in the region. Here is some more information about the wines of the region:
The Coteaux du Languedoc are the oldest vineyards of France, dating back to the Greek era five centuries B.C.. The Romans developed them and the wines, largely praised by Cicero, Columelle and the Pliny the Younger were exported in amphorae throughout Mediterranean regions. Hundreds of archaeological sites are to be found where amphorae were manufactured. Vine culture was rehabilitated by the monastic movement in the Middle Ages around the Benedictine et Cistercian abbeys which were founded in the area.
During the XVIII century, the Midi canal stimulated the exportation of Languedoc wines. AOC recognition in 1985 confirmed the Coteaux du Languedoc producers’ confidence in the quality and style of their appellation’s wines.
Appellation production area
The A.O.C. Coteaux du Languedoc area extends along the Mediterranean coast from Narbonne in the west to the edge of the Camargue area to the east and stretches over the foothills of the Montagne Noire and the Cevennes.
Faugères, Saint Chinian and Clairette du Languedoc are recognized as specific growths with their particular decree rules. The diversity of rocks and soils and the style of the Coteaux du Languedoc wines have led to a new range structure with three levels :
– The Coteaux du Languedoc Appellation
– Specific climatic zones currently under study.
– Specified terrain areas
- Principal varieties for red and rosé wines : Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre (50 % minimum), secondary varieties Cinsault and Carignan.
- For the Pic St. Loup : Syrah, Grenache, Mourvèdre (90 % minimum).
- For La Clape: Syrah, Grenache, Mourvèdre (70 % minimum).
- For white wines : Grenache, Clairette, Bourboulenc, Piquepoul, Roussanne, Marsanne and Rolle.
- For Picpoul de Pinet: 100 % Piquepoul
The red wines are velvety and elegant, with raspberry aromas, blackcurrant, spices and pepper. Top of the range red wines for aging will develop notes of leather, bay-tree and Mediterranean scrub land scents (cade, genever, thyme, rosemary).