Continuing on from yesterday on our tour of Grenache’s world we head south from the Rhone Valley to the huge behemoth wine-producing areas of Languedoc and Roussillon, this area covers pretty much all of the south of France from the Pyrenees in the south-west as far as Provence in the South East. This huge tract of vineyard produces many a red wine and Grenache is one of the most dominant grape varieties used down here, along with its old buddy Syrah/Shiraz and the Roussillon favourite Carignan. The area has around 700,000 acres under vine so you can clearly see how Grenache flys up on the most planted variety chart pretty fast as they reckon it is the most planted variety down here!
The region is currently under going a revamp of its appellations but some of the more famous appellations they use include Cotes du Roussillon and like the Rhone the higher Cotes du Roussillon Villages, Corbières AOC, Minervois AOC, Saint-Chinian AOC, and of course the ever present Vin de Pays D’Oc. The Grenache wines of the Languedoc are as variable as the terroir and people of southern France. In General the wines of these regions tend to big and fruity more reminiscent of New World wines, especially where the influence of Australia’s ‘Flying Wine-makers’ can be felt. Of all the french wine regions Languedoc and Roussillon is most open to new techniques and styles of wines as their appellation controlee system is still really only finding its feet.