Terrasses du Larzac – one of France’s newest wine regions – has so much to offer
Terrasses du Larzac is producing some of the South of France’s most exciting wines right now, and delighting lovers of French wine everywhere.
There are some particularly fine red wines that carry the region’s name; however, if you are looking for some good white wines, or delicate rosé wines, you can find them here too.
Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert: one of France’s beautiful wine destinations
The village of Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert has a very long history of producing some of the best wine in the Languedoc and as a tourist destination.It is no coincidence, as seen in other French wine regions, that historically religion has been instrumental in both.
Fine wines and tourism. An abbey, which was once the domain of monks and visited by hordes of pilgrims, is the heart of the village. The very same monks were responsible for making fine wines there so long ago.
Grenache Noir is perhaps the best known of the five main red wine grape varieties that are grown across southern France. Until recently, Spain was growing more Grenache Noir (known there as Garnacha Tinta) than anywhere in the world. This makes sense when you consider that the grape may have originated in Spain. France now claims the largest vineyard area dedicated to Grenache Noir and it is no surprise that it has become a popular choice to include in red wine blends there.
Syrah is one of the great French wine grape varieties and it originally comes from the Rhône Valley. It is a versatile grape that can make a wide range of wine styles. These styles range from rosé wine to easy drinking reds and deep brooding, intense wines. In other countries, you might find sweet red dessert versions and lush sparkling red wines.
Mourvèdre, or Monastrell, is a red wine grape variety that is often used as an ‘accent’ in red wine blends. It is one of the trio of grapes that are most sought after to make the iconic red wines of southern France. The others being Syrah and Grenache. Similar to Grenache Noir, Mourvèdre is also a grape of Spanish origin. Although it is not as well known. You might have also come across Mourvèdre as Mataro in countries such as the USA and Australia.
Cinsaut, or cinsault as it’s usually spelt in France, is a very popular and widely planted French grape variety, yet little is known about its history or where it’s from. It’s thought to be a local Hérault red wine grape variety. This would make it native to the wine region of Languedoc. Many winemakers here have started giving Cinsaut the attention it deserves, and it has a growing reputation as the Pinot Noir of the South of France.
Like Cinsaut, Carignan is a red grape variety experiencing something of a revival, or a reawakening, in the South of France. True, and conversely, for years its popularity has been in decline here, its tendency to produce a plentiful supply of low quality grapes making it synonymous with Europe’s wine lake – out with the old, in with Syrah. However, more recently, winemakers in Languedoc and Roussillon (the latter calling the grape the Pinot of the South) have turned reflective, seeking it out as part of the region’s heritage rather than dismissing it entirely. As with many things in life, a shift in emphasis leads to reappraisal, a new appreciation of the value of something and, of course, remarkably different results.