The Languedoc-Roussillon winegrowing region
Languedoc-Roussillon is a fantastic wine-producing region with a Mediterranean climate – hot, dry, windy and sunny with around 3,000 hours of sunshine per year.It has never been known for great quality: large quantities of inferior wines were produced for many years. A lot of wine is still produced, but new appellation classifications in the 1980s have improved quality, with new production methods and lower yields per hectare. The region stretches from Nîmes in the east to the Spanish border in the west. At first the vineyards are found only in patches, as in the winegrowing “islands” near Montpellier and Sète, but then a large, continuous area where the appellations border on each other stretches from Narbonne to the Spanish border. In the mountains the soil is poor, stony and almost infertile, whereas on the plains it is rich and loamy.Minervois La Livinière, considered one of the best appellations within Languedoc-Roussillon, has had AOC status for its red wines since 1999. Almost all the wine produced is accordingly red, mostly from Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre, Carignan und Cinsault grapes.Many types of wine are produced: sparkling and still white wines from dry to sweet, rosés, ordinary red table wines, fortified sweet white and red wines (vins doux naturels) – but also higher-quality wines to an increasing extent.Mourvèdre, Grenache, Syrah and Carignan, and also a few Bordeaux varieties. Whites: Mauzac, Piquepoul, Clairette, Marsanne, and also Chardonnay and Sauvignon blanc.Vineyard area and production volume
- 223,000 hectares, some 13 million hectolitres per year (around 25% of France's total production).