A heat wave sat over France this summer. While eating breakfast in a hotel in Narbonne, I watched the Météo depict the whole country in a deep, blazing, scarlet red. It was going to a be hot one. Hot that day and every day during my visit — long after my visit, too, in fact.
But the Languedoc is known for sunny, hot summers. It’s the south of France, with the appeal of a white hot Mediterranean setting is baked into its history. Super heat can be hard on vineyards, particularly ones that need a drink, but the growers in the Languedoc have a sense for this. And on the other hand, the sun and the wind can be advantages for vineyards. These terroir elements keep moisture-driven disease at bay and help mature the grapes. This enables growers to leave out synthetic and treatments that rainier and cooler regions may tend to rely on during certain vintages.
And the numbers support the Languedoc‘s mission to embrace organics. To slice the data, it’s important to understand that the Languedoc as a territory is part of the modern-day region of Occitanie, so official numbers are often tied to Occitanie, to be clear. According to Agence Bio, Occitanie ranks highest in France for organic vineyards — 51,101 ha (certified and in conversion) — within its 23 appellations. This is somewhere around 30-35% of all organic plantings in France and between 5-10% of organic plantings worldwide.
During the July media trip I sampled dozens of wines from the Corbières and Limoux appellations. Here are some of the organic bottles that I recommend.
Organic Languedoc Wines to Try
La Baronne “Les Chemins” Blanc 2021: This wine comes from AOP Corbières and is certified organic and biodynamic. It’s a blend of Grenache, Roussanne, and Vermentino and is a wine to pair with delicate goat cheese and summer veggies.
Sainte Marie Des Crozes Les Mains sur les Hanches 2021: Another wine from Corbières, this is a lovely red blend of Grenache and Syrah. It’s the ideal wine for a plate of charcuterie — or tapas-style meats which are common throughout the Languedoc.
Domaine Ampelhus Muscat de Lunel: This organic wine is a Vin Doux Naturel, a naturally sweet wine from Southern France. I am a big fan of this style of wine, and suggest it with warm goat cheese, a handful of almonds, or even lightly salted snacks. It’s made with the grape Muscat à Petits Grains.
Domaine Sainte Croix Le Fournas 2020: I really enjoyed the minerality on this red blend, made with old vine Carignan Noir, Syrah , Grenache Noir, and Mourvèdre. I suggest this wine to pair with grilled meats or mushroom dishes.
Domaine Delmas, Tradition Brut Blanquette de Limoux NV: This is a bubbly wine made with the grape Mauzac, an iconic style specific to the Limoux region of Languedoc. While it does experience lees aging (made in the traditional method) the apple fruit character is completely unique and forward.
Domaine Bernatus M et Nous 2019: Here is another Limoux AOP, Mauzac-based wine, this time a still white version. The two brothers behind this relatively new domaine farm organically and biodynamically (I think they are still in conversion). This is a unique release made with carbonic maceration.
Domaine Garrabou Fontvieille Chardonnay 2020: Another still wine to round out the Limoux contingent. This one has concentrated tropical and orchard fruit notes, but very fresh. A solid option for poultry, pasta, and seasonal veggies.
The French Winophiles
Our August event posts will go live the weekend of August 20, 2022. Find the live chat on Twitter at #Winophiles on Saturday Aug. 20 10-11am CDT. Here’s what we’ve prepped for you:
- Camilla shares “The Concept of Lutte Raisonnée and Braised Pork Paired with a Frémillant” at Culinary Adventures with Camilla
- Wendy shares “An Edible Cheeseboard and a Crisp Rosé from Languedoc” at A Day in the Life on the Farm
- Jane shares “Languedoc Corbières Rosé with Salade Nicoise” at Always Ravenous
- Robin shares “Languedoc – does it need to find itself?” at Crushed Grape Chronicles
- Here you’re reading “Try These Organic Languedoc Wines” at L’Occasion
- Gwendolyn shares her Languedoc post at Wine Predator…Gwendolyn Alley
- Jeff shares “A Lighter Hand in Languedoc” at Food Wine Click!