Languedoc Home    Introduction     to See    to Do    Holidays     Langudoc Wine     Languedoc Life    Getting There    Property      History   Geography   Weather 
Cathars of the Languedoc    Cathar Castles    Languedoc Mysteries    Languedoc Books    Languedoc Photos    Articles    Emergencies    Languedoc Guides    More Information
Become lord of the Manor... Rent a Chateau in France!
 

Things to do in the Languedoc:   Drinking Wine and Making Wines:   History

Wine has been grown here for at least two and a half millenia, when the Greeks settled here.

Production continued through the Roman Empire, the Christian Dark Ages and the Middle Ages, and into modern times. It was of course hit by phylloxera, like most other French wines. For almost a century after the phylloxera, the wines of Languedoc were often referred to as Army Wines - large quantity, low quality.

At the beginning of the 70s, it became clear that the region was not ready for the changing wine market. Production exceeded the demand, especially when the European Common Market introduced even cheaper Spanish and Italian wines. The quality was mediocre. Languedoc prices were high compared to Italian, Spainish and new wine growing countries. Languedoc Roussillon wine makers were forced to change or give up. Huge areas of vines were grubbed up (subsidised by the Common Market).

Those who remained began to use new techniques like aging the wine in oak barrels. They replaced low quality grape varieties with better ones like Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot (red), Chardonnay and Viognier (white). 120,000 hectares were replanted under a rejuvenation programme. New plantings brought in new varietals. Improvements started particularly in the appellations of Minervois, Corbiere and Fitou and have since spread throughout the Midi. Many of these wines are developing a reputation as offering the best value in France, still underpriced in comparison with their counterparts from other regions. Because of this, Languedoc Roussillon is now one of the most successful wine regions in France.

 


Back.   Back to Languedoc wines and regional food. Up  a level to the Wine in the Languedoc page Next Section: Grape Varieties used in the Languedoc-Roussillon   Forward.
Languedoc Home     About this Site     Site Map     Links     Contact Webmaster     Copyright and Legal     Search site for: 
The Languedoc: property,holidays,climate,naturist beaches,wildlife,wines,history,geography and Cathar castles: the Languedoc Home Page
 Level 1 -  Languedoc Home Page: Languedoc climate & weather, holidays & vacations, tourism & travel, naturism and naturist beaches,property & accomodation, Cathars & cathar castles, food & wine, history & geography, French sports & games, mountains & and lakes, and everyday life in the Languedoc-Roussillon in the South of France.
 Level 2 - Click here to go back to the main page on Things to Do in the Languedoc-Roussillon.
 Level 3 - Click here to go back to the main page on Wine in the Languedoc-Roussillon.
 Level 4 - Languedoc website. You are at level 4.
 Level 5 - Languedoc links not available from here.

 Wine Barrels.
   

History of Wines in the Languedoc