A Wine Cellar guide to Languedoc-Roussillon wines
The Languedoc-Roussillon produces some of the best value wines in France. Michel Chapoutier, one of the most talented vignerons of our generation, believes that this underrated appellation is the next great region for red wines as it has ‘some of the best soils in France and probably the world’.
The region has a hot Mediterranean climate and the biggest threat to wine production is drought. The soils vary, though limestone-based soils are common, and the French Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée classification system recognises sites of higher quality.
Common white varieties
Grenache Blanc, Clairette, Marsanne, Roussanne, Maccabéo, Marsanne and Vermentino
Common red varieties
Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre, Carignan, Cinsault and Lladoner
The Wines of Loire
The grape varieties planted here are mainly Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre, Carignan and Cinsault for red wines. For whites, Grenache Blanc, Clairette, Marsanne, Roussanne and Maccabeu dominate. As the reds from this sunny area tend to be quite tannic, many wineries use carbonic maceration to soften tannins.
Did you know?
Pinotage is a South African-born variety. It was created in the 1920s by crossing Pinot Noir and Cinsaut and has given rise to the Cape Blend, which is generally made from Bordeaux varieties along with a small percentage of Pinotage.