Languedoc Roussillon: Naturally!

Today’s guest post comes from French Ambassador, Pierre Souillard.  Pierre is dedicated to the preservation of authentic cassoulet, the hunting of truffles and the consumption of local wine.  He lives with his family in the fortified town of Carcassonne.

In the constellation of French appellations there is a particularly heterogeneous area between Provence and the Pyrenees :

Languedoc Roussillon

As large as the state of Massachusetts, this space has no less than 18 delineated A.O.C.’s, it is also supposedly the first area of wine production in France, with evidence of grape vines having existed before human inhabitants.  Adorned with a long reputation of industrial wine, the Languedoc Roussillon also takes a great share on the taste buds of lovers of quality wines.

Many winemakers come from all over the country to buy vineyards in the Languedoc, for the price of land is much less than that of such esteemed regions as Burgundy, Bordeaux or Champagne for example. With great expertise and passion, these migrant winemakers  have contributed greatly to the quality of wines, creating envy and emulation among local winemakers. Result today? You can find in wine shops exceptional bottles at reasonable prices.

And what of natural wines you’ll ask me? They take a increasingly important share in the market, especially in relation to organic wines. The process of wine is often more qualitative than ethical in natural wines, despite the limited added of sulfur. Many natural winemakers choose to not show the organic label on their bottle (in France it’s an green acronym “AB”). So, the average consumer who is skeptical of “hippie wines” (helped propagated by fear mongering industrial wine lobbyists) will easily consume a natural wine without knowing it is also organic. Honest wines from dedicated growers are not always included with other organic wines that cater to a specific audience; the activist.

In a future post we will go to discover the wines of the Minervois, where natural wines are plentiful. In the meantime you can go to the website of the winemaker Franco-American Ryan O’Connell. Real ambassador for the wines of Languedoc Roussillon, Ryan O’Connell has recently spent several days at the “House of the Languedoc Roussillon region of New York” (10 East 53rd Street) to showcase local wines.

Good thirst and see you soon!

The following good wines from the Languedoc Roussillon are available right here in Richmond…

2006 Domaine Leon Barral “Cuvee Jadis” (Faugeres) $40, Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant

2009 Chateau Saint Martin’s Coteaux du Languedoc Blanc (Coteaux du Languedoc) $13, Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant

2009 Domaine Le Roc des Anges (Côtes du Roussillon-Villages) $22, Potomac Selections

2008 Clot de l’Oum, Caramany (Côtes du Roussillon-Villages) $20, Potomac Selections

2006 Chateau d’Oupi, Minervois (Minervois) $15, Louis/Dressner Selections

2009 Chateau d’Oupia, Les Heretiques (Vin de Pays l’Herault) $10, Louis/Dressner Selections

3 Responses to “Languedoc Roussillon: Naturally!”

  1. Ryan Says:

    Thanks for spending some time on our region. 🙂

  2. Joe Sokohl Says:

    Love the wines of languedoc! Had the good fortune to wander the Canal du Midi on friends’ boat. Minervois is a wonderful varietal!

  3. Joe Sokohl Says:

    I meant region, not varietal, of course 😉

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: