These, however, are suddenly excit-
ing times in the south of France, with
foreign investment, visionary veteran
producers, and coordinated communi-
cation stirring to life the long sleeping
giant that is Languedoc-Roussillon, and
earning these wines new respect from
wine lovers around the world.
Unfortunately, there is no simple sound
bite to sum up Languedoc‐Roussillon.
White, red, rosé, sparkling and sweet
wines—all of them are found here. “It
is always difficult and frustrating to
describe this region in a few words,”
laments Christine Molines, export di-
rector for the Conseil Interprofession-
nel des Vins du Languedoc (CIVL). “I
think we have done a good job first let-
ting people know where in the world we
are. And the message now is that our
wines are very much to the taste of the
American consumer. We are not Cali-
fornia, but we are closer to California
than to Burgundy in terms of climate,”
says Molines. The unifying quality of
these wines can’t be told, but must be
tasted. It’s in their style and their soul,
the way they capture the freedom and
joie de vivre
of the south.
The sunny disposition and ripe fruit
of Languedoc‐Roussillon is reflected in
wines at every quality and price level.
While the abundant and affordable Pays
d’Oc (the region’s most basic designa-
tion, established in 1987) have made
inroads for the region in the U.S., with
Southern Exposure: Languedoc-Roussillon
Wines from France’s Breadbasket are Earning More Attention
Through Value and Diversity
BY JEFFERY LINDENMUTH
n the south of France, on a swath of land bordering the Mediterranean
Sea, stretching to touch Spain, the world’s largest demarcated
vineyard area has been satisfying the demand for characterful and
affordable wines with little fanfare for decades. With abundant sunshine
and growing conditions so favorable that the region contributes 30%
of all of France’s organic wine, Languedoc-Roussillon is not prone to
splashy headlines and sensational vintage reports. Each vintage is
generally good. Life goes along with little drama.
Image courtesy of Rone Bez
for Paso Robles Wine Country
pormotional use only.
Languedoc-Roussillon is steeped in
history, scenic beauty and wine-friendly
growing conditions. Pictured here, the
iconic Pont Vieux de Béziers dates
back to 1134.