Languedoc ‘cru’ gets AOC status21st July, 2014 by Simon Howland
The French national appellation body, INAO, has re-classified ‘Terrasses du Larzac’ in the Languedoc-Roussillon as an AOC, just in time for the 2014 vintage.
Previously known as ‘Coteaux du Languedoc Terrasses du Larzac’ the new AOC is the first red appellation to rise from the now defunct ‘Coteaux de Languedoc AOC’, the only other being ‘Picpoul de Pinet AOC’, a designation reserved for white wines.
‘Terrasses du Larzac’ has been regarded as being on the cusp of promotion to ‘cru’ status for some time however, as reported in the drinks business.
The new appellation covers an area of 2,000 hectares, which includes 60 producers and five co-operatives incorporating a total of 32 communes.
Located near Montpellier on France’s Mediterranean coast the new AOC is permitted solely for red wines comprising a minimum of three of the varieties; Grenache, Mourvedre, Carignan, Syrah and Cinsault, with all wines produced consisting of a minimum of 75% of the first four varieties and yields not exceeding 45hl/ha.
According to Mas Cal Demoura’s Vincent Goumard, head of the region’s producers union, the promotion reflects positively on the region as a whole.
“It’s strong message to the producers of Terrasses du Larzac, a specific recognition of their terroir and the people but also generally for the entire Languedoc region, long denied, as an area capable of producing great wine”, he said.
And while the awarding of AOC status last month has been rapid by the body’s standards, given that the application was received in 2010, Goumard suggested the road was longer and paid credit to the pioneers.
“The reality is that we are not so young, Olivier Julien began to make great wines in this region in 1985,” he noted.
Goumard also paid tribute to the efforts of critics in drawing attention to the region adding: “As the top domains began to come to international recognition the name ‘Terrasses du Larzac’ under the old appellation ‘Coteaux de Languedoc’, professionals and amateurs alike began to see the extent of the quality of the region.”