SOURCE: Languedoc Wine Council

November 13, 2007 15:10 ET

Discovering the Languedoc AOC

A Host of Gems Emerge from the South of France

New York, NY--(Marketwire - November 13, 2007) - As France's largest wine-producing region, the Languedoc AOC has always been an influential force in the country's wine industry, but with winemakers renewing their commitment to producing world-class wines at market-friendly prices, the appellation is poised to attain a new level of renown. The real surprise these days in Languedoc is how many superior wines still lay waiting to be discovered. Family-owned and operated producers are making transformational investments in modern technology and paying special attention to consumer preferences, all while keeping within the celebrated winemaking tradition for which Languedoc is known.

The wide variety of distinct terroirs found in Languedoc are perhaps the appellation's greatest asset -- and one that sets it apart from other well-known winegrowing regions. From this varied climatic and geological landscape, producers in Languedoc are crafting expressive, multi-dimensional wines -- from a constellation of varietal types -- across a wide spectrum of styles, including full-bodied, fruit-forward reds and rich, aromatic rosés, to light, refreshing whites. Further, many of Languedoc's hidden gems are priced at a small fraction of wines of similar quality from neighboring regions.

Harvest Notes:

In 2007, vintners in Languedoc enjoyed a dry, mostly cool summer that allowed their grapes to mature steadily and emerge at harvest time at an ideal level of ripeness. The resulting vintage will be small in quantity but high on quality, as the first fermentations, aided by the mild weather, showed a well-balanced acidity that's highly sought-after in this warm-weather region.

"There certainly won't be enough to go round!" says Philippe Coste of Cave de la Tour Saint Martin. "In terms of balance it's looking a lot like the great vintages of 1988 and 1995."

"The hot days and cool nights in July and August created perfect diurnal variation, which in turn generates great aromatic flavors in the whites and rosés," adds Laurent Sauvage of Skalli. "All signs point toward a top-quality vintage with a naturally high level of acidity and great freshness on the palate."

The combination of an inimitable terroir, great value, consumer-friendly marketing and a standout vintage in the works figure to up Languedoc's profile among consumers worldwide and take this region to the next level.

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