In her recent article, ‘Languedoc – France’s treasure chest’, Jancis Robinson explains that during the 1980s the Languedoc’s wine scene was relatively barren, save for the ‘odd quality-orientated pioneer’. Three decades on, the Lanquedoc has been transformed.
All of the over-producing vines grown to supply overblown yields to co-ops have been pulled out and replaced with crops. The vineyards known for their small but better quality yields have been saved and are now home to a ‘host of hard-working, well-trained or at least well-advised wine producers’.
According to Jancis, these remaining winegrowers and winemakers, found mostly in the Languedoc hills, are making ‘seriously interesting wines with intensely local character’. The terroir of this hilly region is expressed powerfully in varieties like Syrah, Grenache and Mourvèdre.
The Languedoc only has a short history of producing fine wines and, as a result, prices fall way below those wines of similar quality grown in regions known for their fine wines – ‘a shame for them but an opportunity for us wine lovers,’ says Jancis.