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Languedoc-Roussillon

This French region includes the départements of Aude, Gard, Hérault and Lozère (Languedoc), as well as Pyrénées-Orientales (Roussillon) on the Mediterranean coast. It is also the common name for the two wine regions of Languedoc and Roussillon. On 1 January 2016, the region was merged with the neighbouring Midi-Pyrénées region to form the political region Occitanie (French Occitanie with the subtitle Pyrénées-Méditerranée). The area extends in a 230-kilometer semi-circle from Nimes in the east to the edge of the Pyrenees on the Spanish border. It is said that the Celts (Gauls) were already cultivating wine here before the Greeks appeared in the 8th century. However, this is not certain. It is proven that the Romans already planted vineyards in the area of today's appellations Corbières and Minervois in 125 BC.

In 121 BC, after the final victory of the Romans against the Celts, the province Provinza was founded(Provence). The capital became Narbo Martius, today's Narbonne. Finally, in 27 B.C. the province was given the new name Gallia Narbonensis. From the port of Narbo (Narbonne) the wine was transported overland to the Garonne and then again by river to the legionaries in Aquitaine in southwest France. Wine was also exported to Rome. The author Pliny the Younger (61-113) mentioned in a letter the sweet "bee wine" from the Muscat grape; so to speak a forerunner of the Vin doux naturel.

Through the edict of Emperor Domitian (51-96) in the year 92 AD, viticulture experienced a decline. This ban on new planting of vines was lifted again 280 years later by Emperor Probus (232-282). When the Saracens invaded here from the 7th century onwards, viticulture withered away, but was revived in the 9th century by the Roman Catholic monastic orders. In the 13th century, the famous doctor Arnaldus de Villanova (1240-1311) invented the sweet vin doux naturel, so to speak. He taught at the University of Montpellier. In the 16th and 17th century, the production of brandy spread.

AREA

TOTAL

AOP

IGP

VIN

Languedoc 201.400 54.500 134.300 12.600
Roussillon 22.600 15.300 6.500 800
Languedoc-Roussillon 224.000 69.800 140.800 13.400

In the 18th century, extensive new plantations created new wine-growing areas in the lowlands. In the mid-1980s, the largest extent was reached with about 400,000 hectares of vineyards. Due to grubbing-up, especially in the low-lying wine growing areas due to the generally poorer wine quality here, today there are "only" around 224,000 hectares in Languedoc-Roussillon and 257,000 hectares in the new region of Occitania. Of these, the AOC areas account for almost 70,000 hectares of vineyard area. Statistically speaking, this means that one in four French vines is in this large area. This size also makes it the largest wine-growing region in the world. The areas of Languedoc and Roussillon, together with Provence, are often referred to as Midi. The entire double region, as well as parts of the Rhône region, comprises the huge IGP area Pays d'Oc.

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