There are around 50,000 growers in this region, spread over this
immense area that produces approximately 2 billion bottles of wine every year. And
although for the most part, they are not usually individual chateaux like you get in Bordeaux for example, the wine produced is normally
done as a co-operative where the grapes are purchased from lots of different local
One of the exceptions to this is the wine called Blanquette de Limoux, which originated
from the benedictine monks, and is still only produced from the Mauzac grape in the
vicinity of the Abbey of Saint Hilaire, but the region makes up around 40 percent of the French wine produced.
With its long history, the climate and the vast fertile land, it is no wonder that wine is
a very important part of everyday life in the Languedoc-Roussillon
region, and it has been known in the past as France's great wine lake.
Unfortunately, one of the reasons for this, was due to over production of wines and poor
quality table wines, although this is changing quite significantly, especially after the
government intervened and began to encourage the production of higher quality wines and
you can now experience wines to suit every palette.
Some wines are even attaining a status that used to be reserved for the prestigious wines
of Burgundy and Bordeaux, which is thanks to some very
experienced wine growers and improvements in the whole wine production process.
It is mainly red wine that is produced in the Languedoc-Roussillon region and a good
proportion of it is Vin de Pays, that are great as everyday wines. But due to the
flexibility of the vin de pays classification, wine producers have also been able to
experiment with different grape varieties such as syrah and cabernet sauvignon.
And although wine is a very important economy, the tourist industry in the
Languedoc-Roussillon region has now made this the major source of income. And you
can no doubt understand why. The region has such diverse holiday appeal, from historic castles and medieval
monasteries to some of the finest beaches in France and with its culture, the fine French
food and wine, numerous outdoor activities
such as golf, fishing,
horse riding and white water rafting, it has so much to offer.
When you are choosing a wine to accompany a meal, there are the traditional aspects of a
red wine with dark meats and a white wine with chicken or fish. But if you are
serving a multiple course meal, then you should also think of the wines that go with each
course and you should always work from the lighter wines through to the heavier wines.
Just to give an example, on the red wine you would go from Pinot Noir then Merlot, through
to Syrah and then Cabernet Sauvignon and from the traditional Cassoulet stews to a Spanish
paella, there is a rich mix of cuisine, with a wine to suit all palettes in this region.
The Languedoc-Roussillon red wines go very well with grilled or roasted meats, sausages
and game, whereas a rose is best served with salad, omelette or as an aperitif.
The white wines, as in tradition, are best served with grilled fish, local sea foods
and shell fish, so make sure you get to experience some of the traditional French food
with the locally produced wine, when you are on holiday in France. You will not be