21st Century Languedoc
Without exaggeration, the Languedoc is the region of France that has undergone the most dramatic transformation during the first two decades of the 21st century.
Work in both cellar and vineyard has evolved, as it has all over the world. Wine styles are changing, with over-extraction a thing of the past and freshness or fraicheur now the keyword. White wine from the Languedoc is developing, with the introduction of new grape varieties, or the revival of old varieties. Organic viticulture, and also biodynamics and natural wine are becoming more important, with the advantage of a dry climate.
However, climate change and drought are prevailing issues; so are alcohol levels, and vine diseases such as esca. The commercial face of the Languedoc is changing, with cooperatives and traditional négociants less important and with greater emphasis on the independent wine growers. The attraction of the Languedoc is enormous, especially to people who come to wine as a second career.
In a nutshell, the Languedoc has come of age... join us to learn more!
Presenter: Rosemary George MW
Rosemary George is the author of 12 books, most recently The Wines of the Languedoc, published in April 2018 by Infinite Ideas, and her other work on the South of France, includes the Wines of Faugères, published in 2016 also by Infinite Ideas and The Wines of the South of France: From Banyuls to Bellet, published in 2001 by Faber & Faber, and now part of Mitchell Beazley’s Classic Wine Series. She is about to embark on a third book on Chablis, which was also the subject of her very first book, published in 1984, and she has also extensively written about Tuscany and New Zealand. Rosemary was one of the first women to pass the Master of Wine exams back in 1979 and worked in the wine trade for nine years before becoming a freelance wine writer. She writes a blog about the Languedoc, where she spends part of the year, at www.tastelanguedoc.blogspot.com and she is president of the Circle of Wine Writers.
Rosemary's new book: The Wines of The Languedoc
The first vineyards of the Languedoc were planted by the Greeks in the 5th century BC. Viticulture has flourished in the Languedoc ever since, particularly in the nineteenth century, when it became France’s largest vineyard area. It still claims that honour today, but its profile is very difficult. Gone are the days of industrial mass production. The Languedoc of the twenty-first century is a vibrant, innovative wine area, where everything vinous is possible.
For the purposes of The wines of Languedoc, the Languedoc stretches from the appellations of Malepère and Cabardès to the west of Carcassonne as far as Sommières, to the east of Montpellier, including better-known appellations such as Faugères, St Chinian, Minervois and Corbières, as well as the more recently recognized like Terrasses du Larzac.
Master of Wine Rosemary George discusses the recent developments in the region, before covering each appellation, with its history, geography and terroir. She profiles a personal selection of wine growers, including some more established names, but focusing above all on the newcomers, of which there are many, and the potential future stars of the region.