Wines of the Languedoc
by Rosemary George MW
Languedoc wine can be traced to the first vineyards planted along the coast near Narbonne by the early Greeks in the fifth century BC. Along with parts of Provence, these are the oldest planted vineyards in France, and the region of Languedoc has belonged to France since the thirteenth century. The five best known appellations in the Languedoc include Languedoc, Corbières, Faugères, Minervois, and Saint-Chinian although the vast majority of Languedoc wines are produced by wine cooperatives.
For wine consumers, especially those who like hand-crafted, highly individual wines that express the place where they were grown and are sensibly priced, the Languedoc is a perfect hunting ground. But hundreds of fine wines are available so Languedoc can be a confusing region for consumers. Rosemary George has unpacked the region carefully for wine professionals and just such consumers. A well-known expert on the wines of southern France, George sets the scene by explaining what makes the Languedoc special before examining the history of the region, developments in vineyard and cellar, and then devotes a chapter to each region or appellation, highlighting what it is that makes it special, interesting and different and including short profiles of the most interesting wine growers.