Languedoc Roussillon aka The Sud de France is a former Catalan region that feels as Spanish as French, with pretty towns, beautiful landscapes, proximity to beaches and fabulous food.
Varieties Grenache, Carignan, Syrah and Mourvedre make big red wines with distinctive, herby ‘garrigue’ character along with concentration and freshness from old vines and altitude.
Grenache Gris is the star for generous, textured white wines with savoury spice. Award winning Domaine Jones has a great example, available from UK ‘wine retailer of the year’ The Wine Society. Other top quality, highly recommended whites are by Tramontane, available from London indie Amathus.
An award winning specialist UK merchant Terroir Languedoc has a great range of wines and an attractive website.
Other recommended, top quality producers from the Sud de France include Les Clos Perdus, Domaine of the Bee from Laithwaites and Le Clos du Serres.
Majestic has a good range of wines on offer from the South of France and also has free delivery on any 6 wines (over £40 total).
The Languedoc to the north and Roussillon to the south are two distinct areas. Each one is worth exploring separately. Boutique hotels are springing up, such as Riberach in the Agly Valley, Roussillon.
There are some excellent restaurants including Pichenouille in Maury and La Table d’Aime in Rivesaltes.
Distillerie de Pézenas in Languedoc is another beautiful hotel that would make a great honeymoon pitstop. Local wine estate, Mas Belles Eaux has Wednesday Noctures evenings during the summer, eating, drinking and listening to local music.
Sud de France website has lots of info on the area and the wines.
(photo – Blyth Scott Photography)