The Languedoc-Roussillon vineyards cover four departments: Aude, Gard, Hérault and the Eastern Pyrenees. The total area amounts 42 800 hectares and has an annual production of over 1.8 million hectoliters. The first farmers who settled in the area were the Greeks in the fifth century BC, followed by the Romans who expanded the vineyards and maintained them. Until the 17th century, viticulture in the area was almost unchanged. In 1863 phylloxera devastated the French vineyards. When a solution to this problem was found, an expansion rapidly began. The appellation is currently one of the largest in France.
The Languedoc-Roussillon is located in a Mediterranean climate zone, characterized by mild winters, hot, dry summers and low rainfall. The prevailing wind, the Tramontana, helps drying the vines and prevents diseases. This remarkable climate is ideal for viticulture. But these factors were not always an asset for the region, whose wines were long regarded as of poor quality.
In 1970 new grape varieties were planted, which gave a renewed popularity to the wines of theLanguedoc-Roussillon. The grapes used are very numerous, but the main ones are; Cabernet Sauvignon, Carignan, Cinsault, Merlot, Mourvèdre, Syrah, Grenache Noir and Grenache blanc,Muscat, Bourboulenc, Clairette and Picpoul. The grape varieties are planted on a wide range of soils (shale, sandstone, limestone rubble, sandy clay soils, marl ...), which explains the richness and diversity of this AOC: red wine, rosé, white and sweet wines. The most famous names include: Blanquette de Limoux (recognized as "the oldest wine in the world") and the Muscat de Rivesaltes.