If you’re like me you may have grown a bit tired of these days meant to celebrate specific wine varieties or regions. After-all celebrating something like #CabernetDay or #ChardonnayDay is a bit like when you were a kid and you complained on Mother’s or Father’s Day that there was no “Kid’s Day”. The answer you invariably received was that every day is “Kid’s Day”.
It’s much the same for varieties like Cabernet or Chardonnay, two of the most popular out there, so what’s the point or merit in having a dedicated day? On the other hand, when you encounter something that is truly under-appreciated and worthy, then by all means, shout it out. That’s much the way we feel about #LanguedocDay (Friday May 26, 2017).
The Languedoc (pronounced “long-dock”) lies in southern France. This perpetually sunny region (seriously, we’re talking 320 days of sunshine a year) is the largest wine region in the country with about 25% of the vineyard land.
Unlike many regions in France, the local regulations allow for a good degree of experimentation. Winemakers are free to use their creativity in crafting their wines, and the result is both unique and exciting. It’s similar to how California has excelled in recent years by crafting unusual blends that simply wouldn’t be allowed in many regions.
Most wines from the area are also priced under $25, which falls right into our sweet spot. And when you combine unique and exciting wines with a friendly price point you get increased sales. In the United States the Languedoc is the second fastest growing AOP (Appellation d’Origine Protégée) with a 13% growth in volume in 2014. (Provence is first.)
As far as the types of wines made here, 80% of the production is red wine including lots of my favorite varieties, Syrah and Grenache. Just like in the Rhone Valley these two are often blended together with a little Mourvedre to tremendous effect. Many of these wines also have signature “garrigue” notes of the region; that is, aromas and flavors of rosemary, thyme and sage. These herbal notes open up a wonderful world of food pairing opportunities.
On the white side of things you won’t want to miss wines made from the charming Picpoul (or Piquepoul) grape, which are found almost exclusively here. There are also many lesser known varieties to explore from the Languedoc, like Bourbelenc and Mauzac. And lastly, it’s a surprisingly good spot for rosé wines producing almost as much as Provence in a similar style.
So just how does one celebrate #LanguedocDay? Participation is easy and can come in many ways:
- Get a group together and drink Languedoc wines! Check out the link above to find all of our recommended wines from the region.
- Share a photo, tasting notes, or a toast on social media using #LanguedocDay.
- Tag @LanguedocWines on Twitter or @vinsdulanguedoc on Instagram to ask a Languedoc-related question.
And, of course, once #LanguedocDay is over don’t stop exploring and drinking the great wines from this region! I feel a #LanguedocMonth or #LanguedocYear hashtag brewing…Cheers!
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