Since the introduction of the Vin de Pays classification in 1979, the fortunes of the Langedoc-Roussillon have dramatically improved with extensive replanting on better sites, a reduction in permitted yields and a shift from the ubiquitous Carignan grape to international varietals such as Cabernet Sauvignon.

Learn more about Languedoc-Roussillon

Over the last 25 years, the fortunes of Languedoc-Rousillon have been transformed largely due to the introduction of the Vin de Pays classification in 1979. This led to extensive replanting on more suitable sites, a drastic reduction in permitted yields and, crucially, reducing the dependence of red wines on the ubiquitous Carignan grape.

The new classification enabled producers not only to experiment with other grape varieties, but also to pick up the gauntlet thrown down by the New World – to give the customers what they wanted, namely clearly-labelled international varietals like Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon.

Despite a sometimes deserved reputation for its contributions to the European wine lake, this exciting region continues to see a flow of investment from the Bordelais and others, which has enabled the evolution of the qualitative pyramid to continue. Perhaps the most striking improvements have been seen in Minervois La Livinière and Pic Saint Loup, but not far behind are the wines of St.Chinian and Cabardès.

Regardless of the financial influx and the wonderful terroir of the different appellations, the increase in quality is also allied to some extraordinarily-gifted winemakers, including Jean-Luc Terrier and Jean-Louis Denois.

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