Languedoc-Rousillon has become a haven for many winemakers wanting to produce quality wines, free from the shackles of French appellation controls and restrictions.
From the border of Spain to the Costieres de Nimes, the region’s southerly, hot, mediterranean climate and dry growing conditions have encouraged a lot of organic and biodynamic winemaking practices, with disease pressure close to non-existent. There are a range of grape varieties grown here, producing very affordable whites and easy-drinking reds with concentration and character.
Around the towns of Carcassonne and Narbonne are villages Minervois, Fitou and Corbieres, producing rustic, earthy reds with brambly fruit flavours from Syrah, Grenache Mouvedre and Carignan, whilst St Chinain and Faugeres to the north of Bezier produce lighter, fresher, reds from similar blends. Towards the town of Sète lies Picpoul de Pinet, an increasingly popular dry white wine with zesty, green apple flavours.
International grapes such as Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier and Chardonnay are also grown here, but tend to be made in higher volume production for table wine consumption.
All in all, there is excellent value to be had from the Languedoc, with the red blends in particular offering much real personality and charm.