Friday 24 September 2010

New tiers for Languedoc wine - good news?

The announcement of new wine legislation rarely fills me with joy as it is so often producer led with little or no thought as to the consumer. Result = more confusing labels which the average wine drinker has no hope of understanding.

So are the latest proposals for Languedoc AOCs any different?

First of all, some detail. CIVL, the organisation that represents Languedoc's AOC wines, is creating two new AOC tiers: Grands vins du Languedoc and Grands crus du Languedoc.

The first category, Grands vins du Languedoc, is at the broader AOC level. So far, the AOCs that qualify for this category are Minervois, St Chinian, Corbières, Limoux fizz, Faugères, Cabardès, Malpère and some parts of the sprawling Coteaux du Languedoc AOC.

The Grands crus du Languedoc includes sub-regions within some of those AOCs. The qualifying regions are Minervois La Livinière, Corbières Boutenac, St Chinian Roquebrun, Terrasses de Larzac, Gres de Montpellier, Pic St Loup, La Clape, Pezenas

Now while I'm not exactly jumping with excitement at all this, on the face of it, it seems a positive move. The promotion of quality Languedoc wines is a good thing. While the first category seems very general (and potentially meaningless), the regions in the Grands Crus du Languedoc AOC are all hotspots where there are a high concentration of producers making excellent and exciting wine. Of course some excellent producers will fall outside these areas, but it is nigh on impossible to come up with a simple system that includes everyone.

It's success will depend on how it is implemented and communicated to the consumer. Let's wait and see.


  1. Hello Juliet, nice to see you blogging again! Hope all is well... maybe see you at Millesime Bio in 2011? Some way off,I know! All the best, Louise

  2. I'll second Louise - great to see you posting again. I had my say on this last month here
    and it generated some interesting quality comments.

  3. Thanks Louise and Graham! Yes, it's been a while... I enjoyed reading your august (in both senses) post Graham.

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