is a large area that sweeps across southern French from the Spanish
border to the Rhône estuary. Commonly known as the Midi, it produces
almost one third of all French wines and is currently a hot bed of
innovation and exciting winemaking.
locations are replacing the flatland vineyards which once produced an
enormous amount of Vin Ordinaire. Emphasis is now being placed on lower
yields, barrique (a wooden barrel associated with Burgundy) ageing and
more complex blending.
varieties, such as Syrah and Grenache, are planted here to grow
alongside Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay. Other well-known
grape varieties can be seen on wine labels, particularly from the Vin de
Pay d'Oc, an area covering the whole of the Languedoc-Roussillon.
Important appellations include Minervois, Corbières, Fitou and Côtes du
to the southeast of Avignon and extends to the Italian border. A popular
holiday destination, mostly dry rosé and red wines are made here. With a
Mediterranean climate and some favorable soil conditions, both
Languedoc-Roussillon and Provence can provide consistency in terms of
quality against price, without too much variation from one year to the
Australian winemakers have now brought their own ideas and experience to
this part of French, which is sometimes described as 'where the new
world meets the old'. Dynamic and forward thinking, they are shaping the
future of these two historic regions. It is interesting to note that
well-known French companies looking to expand their interests have also
established wineries and contracts with local growers.
producers, such as Mas de Daumas Gassac, have successfully made and sold
wines under a humble Vin de Pays, while reaching a level of quality and
price that one would normally associate with more famous place names.
Gradually, the south of French is no longer being seen as the bargain
basement of bulk wine!
"The wines of
Maury, with flavors of sweet blackberry and a nutty, raisin-like
richness, make an excellent partner to chocolate."