France: Languedoc Roussillon

Around Béziers

Wines from the Faugères, Saint Chinian and Minervois areas
By Richard James

This Guide was last updated on 11 February 2010
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Main appellations

Saint Chinian

Appellation for reds, rosés and more recently, whites. The red blends usually include Syrah, Grenache, Mourvèdre with some old vine Carignan and Cinsault. Many cuvées are oak-aged for between a few months and over a year depending on quality and desired style. The rosé is produced by the saignée method where the juice is drained off the skins directly from the press. Whites are blends mainly from Grenache Blanc, Marsanne, Roussanne and Rolle (Vermentino).


Appellation for reds, rosés and more recently, whites, in general using the same grape varieties and methods as Saint Chinian.


Red, white and rosé wines can be produced in this appellation. The reds are blends of mainly Syrah, Carignan and Grenache with some Mourvèdre. Dry, fruity rosés are produced mainly from Cinsault and Syrah. The whites are blends using Bourboulenc, Grenache Blanc, Macabeu and occasionally Roussanne.

Minervois-La Livinière

This is a separate 'cru' appellation within Minervois AC. Sixty per cent of the blend must be made up of Syrah, Mourvèdre and Grenache compared to just 10% in basic Minervois. The wines are aged in oak and must not be released until November, just over a year after the harvest.

Muscat de Saint Jean de Minervois

Very limited production of this golden Vin Doux Naturel made from Muscat Blanc à Petit Grains.

Languedoc/Coteaux du Languedoc

A catch-all appellation for red, white and rosés. The Coteaux du Languedoc appellation name is being phased out.

IGP (Vin de Pays) d’Oc

Regional IGP (formelry Vin de Pays) covering the Gard, Aude, Hérault and Pyrénées Orientales departments. Over 32 different grape varieties are permitted and there is a great diversity of styles and quality. There are many smaller IGP designations within this area, which may be named after the department or a smaller zone.

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