What is Languedoc?
Languedoc-Roussillon is located in southern France, spanning the Mediterranean coastline from the French border with Spain in the south, to the region of Provence to the east. It is the largest wine producing region and vineyard area in France. The region is home to several climate and soil types which factor into the wide variety of wines produced here.
The wines of Languedoc offer an exceptional selection of quality, value and character, reflecting the elements from which they come. The wines are blessed by an auspicious blend of natural factors, such as abundant sunshine, the Mediterranean Sea, mountains, as well as history and culture and a revolutionary spirit. These are some of the most authentic wines in France, and today’s pioneering winemakers are combining time honored traditions with new techniques to revitalize the region’s appellations. Consumers can feel confident with their purchases and afford to discover all that Languedoc has to offer.
The majority of the region has a Mediterranean climate and clay/limestone soils. However, there are pockets with more continental and Atlantic influences as well as schist and granite soils. The region is also characterized by low rainfall levels; some areas see the lowest rainfall in France. Strong winds area also prevalent and the combination of all of these factors mean that Languedoc lends itself to very natural methods of farming and wine production; 30% of all of France’s organic viticulture comes from Languedoc.
Facts and Figures
- Languedoc-Roussillon is the largest wine region in France: 560,000 total acres. 86,000 acres produce AOC wines.
- The AOCs in the Languedoc region account for about 10% of total production
- Languedoc AOCs produce roughly 1.3 million hectoliters per year
- 30% of all of France’s organic viticulture comes from Languedoc
- There are more than 30 AOCs in Languedoc, divided amongst the three main tiers of
- AOC Languedoc
- Grands Vins du Languedoc
- Crus du Languedoc
- Red – Red wines account for the majority of production from the AOCs of Languedoc; 76% of total production. The wines are primarily blends and feature Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre, Carignan, Cinsault.
- Rosé – Like all of the South of France, Languedoc produces lots of terrific rosé. These wines represent 14% of production.
- White – The still white wines of Languedoc are also primarily blends, featuring Grenache Blanc, Maccabeu, Piquepoul, Marsanne, Roussanne, Bourboulenc, Clairette. White wines represent 10% of total production.
- Sparkling – The traditional method of sparkling wine production was actually discovered in Limoux. There are written records which date to 1544 and describe this discovery. Today Languedoc’s sparkling wines are produced in Limoux from Mauzac, Chenin Blanc and/or Chardonnay.
- Sweet – There are four sweet wine appellations in Languedoc and all produce wines made from the Muscat grape and are fortified with grape spirits in the “vin doux naturel” style.
What is the CIVL?
The Conseil Interprofessionnel des Vins du Languedoc (CIVL) is the joint trade council of wines of Languedoc, representing the entire AOC wine sector as well as IGP. Languedoc is France’s most dynamic wine region and its wines are an exciting and accessible discovery for US wine drinkers. The CIVL is working to broaden the wines’ exposure within the United States and making the public aware of the quality, variety and incredible value the region has to offer.