Winestate Magazine


FEW Australian wine drinkers are aware of France’s Mediterranean wine growing region of Languedoc-Roussillon. The region is the French equivalent to Australia’s Riverland, only much larger. It is the “engine room” as it produces a veritable mountain of wine (more than one-third of France’s wine) and is known as the source of cheap and cheerful French wine.

This rustic southern rural viticultural area stretches from the Spanish border to the Rhone Valley. It is by far the largest single wine growing region in the world at just under 300,000ha covering nearly 3000squ/km. It has nearly twice the total vines of Australia’s 170,000ha. On average it produces around the same amount of wine as the US and roughly three times as much wine as what the famed Bordeaux does.

As was the case with Italian Chianti last century, those who knew of the wines of Languedoc considered them to be “vin ordinaire” or affordable quaffers at best.

However, like Australia’s

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