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Description to Languedoc

The northern part of the Languedoc-Roussillon area in the deep south of France on the Mediterranean coast. It includes, from north to southwest, the three départements of Gard, Hérault and Aude. The much smaller Roussillon in the département of Pyrénées-Orientales connects to the west, and the wine-growing regions of Provence and Rhône to the east. The name derives from "langue d'oc", which means "language of the Oc" (oc = yes). This Occitan language was spoken south of the Loire in the Middle Ages; to the north, "langue d'oil" was spoken ("oil" developed into "oui"). The regions of Languedoc-Roussillon and Midi-Pyrénées were merged in 2016 to form the new political region of Occitanie. Long before the much more famous Champagne, a sparkling wine was produced here, today's Blanquette de Limoux. A special form of a high-alcohol, sweet vin de liqueur in the Languedoc is the Cartagène. Until the 1980s, the Languedoc had a reputation as a wine-growing region that mainly produced cheap mass wine. From the beginning of the 1990s, there were EU-sponsored grubbing-up programmes. This led to an extremely strong reduction of the vineyards in only 10 years.


The vineyards cover a total of over 200,000 hectares of vines. They extend over 200 kilometres along mostly near the coastline of the Mediterranean from Nimes with the appellation Costières de Nîmes, which belongs to the Rhône region in terms of wine law, in the east to Narbonne with Limoux and Corbières in the west. Most of it lies on low-lying alluvial soil, and this is also where most of the clearing took place. The vineyards in the foothills of the Pyrenees in the west, which are a few hundred metres high, lie on slopes of slate and limestone. As in the Roussillon area, the climate is Mediterranean with dry and hot summers. The division of the vineyards according to quality levels:






Languedoc 201.400 54.500 134.300 12.600
Roussillon 22.600 15.300 6.500 800
Languedoc-Roussillon 224.000 69.800 140.800 13.400

Grape varieties

The most important red wine varieties are Grenache Noir (Garnacha Tinta), Mourvèdre (Monastrell) and Syrah; secondary varieties are Cabernet Sauvignon, Carignan Noir (Mazuelo), Cinsaut, Counoise, Llladoner Pelut (Garnacha Peluda), Morrastel (Graciano), Piquepoul No ir and Terret Noir. The most important white wine varieties are Bourboulenc, Clairette and Grenache Blanc (Garnacha Blanca); secondary varieties are Carignan Blanc, Chardonnay, Grenache Gris (Garnacha Roja), Macabéo, Marsanne, Piquepoul Bl anc, Rolle (Vermentino), Roussanne, Terret Bl anc, Viognier and Ugni Blanc (Trebbiano Toscano). For red wines, the carbonic maceration method (carbonic maceration) is common. Languedoc is the main French supplier of simple wine and produces 80% of IGP wines (country wines). The fame of such wines was established by Mas de Daumas-Gassac, among others.

Quality pyramid

A new classification for the region's wines was drawn up by the CIVL (Comité Interprofessionnel des Vins du Languedoc), which came into force in 2011. The pyramid-shaped hierarchy in ascending order is Languedoc, Grands Vins du Languedoc and Crus du Languedoc. The basis for the classification is qualitative and economic criteria (among other things, certain distribution channels and minimum sales prices are prescribed). A wine has to fulfil certain characteristics and pass a test above the simple AOC Languedoc in order to be classified in the higher category 2 or 3. This is to strengthen the small appellations in their emphasis on terroir.

AOC Languedoc

The first level AOC Languedoc was created in 2007, replacing the former AOC Coteaux du Languedoc (the old name could still be used until 2017). Confusingly, however, the new AOC covers most of the dual region of Languedoc-Roussillon. Specifically, there are 195 communes in the Département of Aude, 19 communes in the Dep. Gard, 160 communes in the Département of Hérault and 122 communes in the Département of Pyrénées-Orientales.

The vineyards cover about 10,000 hectares, from which about 20% of the production comes. Red and rosé wines are blended from Grenache Noir, Mourvèdre and Syrah (max. 50%), as well as Llladoner Pelut, Carignan Noir, Cinsaut, Counoise, Grenache Gris, Terret Noir and Piquepoul Noir (max. 50%). White wines are produced from Bourboulenc, Clairette, Grenache Blanc, Piquepoul Blanc, Roussanne, Marsanne and Rolle (max. 70%), as well as Carignan Blanc, Macabéo, Terret Blanc, Viognier and Ugni Blanc (max. 30%). Maximum permitted yields are 50 hl/ha for red and rosé wines and 60 hl/ha for white wines.

Grands Vins du Languedoc

The second tier, Grands Vins du Languedoc, accounts for about 70% of wine production. These include (except of course AOC Languedoc) most of the appellations listed below. These are structured, aromatic growths typical of their terroir. The regulations regarding blends of grape varieties are individual and are listed for each appellation. The maximum permitted yield is 48 to 50 hl/ha.

Crus du Languedoc

At the top of the pyramid are the Crus du Languedoc with about 10% of the production. These expressive wines have "rarity value and bear the signature of the producer". White wines must be aged for at least six months, red wines for at least twelve months. A sensory test is mandatory. At least 70% of the production must be sold directly from the winery. Maximum yields are 45 hl/ha for red wines and 50 hl/ha for white wines.

Appellations (AOC) and IGP areas

The AOC areas or appellations (quality wines) and IGP areas (country wines) of the Languedoc region are:

Karte von Languedoc-Roussillon mit allen Appellationen


Well-known producers are Domaine L'Aigueliere, Domaine des Deux Platanes, Mas d'Andrum, Domaine d'Aupilhac, Domaine Bassac, Château Belot, Domaine Bourdic, Mas Bruguière, CV de Cabrières, Domaine le Cazal, Domaine de Cazeneuve, Domaine de la Coste, Château de l'Engarran, Mas de Daumas-Gassac, Mas d'Espanet, Château de Flaugergues, Domaine de la Grangette, Domaine Guiraud-Boyer, Domaine de Laballe, Château de Lascaux, Château Notre Dame, Domaine Peyre Rose, Château Peyriac de Mer, Château Puech-Haut, Domaine Pujol, Domaine du Rocher des Fées, Château de Roquenégade, Domaine de la Roque, Domaine de Sainte Rose, CV de St-Saturnin, Les Trois Blasons, Domaine du Temple and Maison Maurel Vedeau.

Map: From DalGobboM¿!i? - Own work, GFDL, Link

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