Mas-Cal-Demoura © Antonin Bonnet
Without these visionaries, the region would probably never have emerged from the dark. Pioneers, historic players, re-enchanters, they have made the Languedoc what it is today.
Following the success of the pioneers who showed that it was possible to make great wines in the Languedoc, a number of long-established, intelligent winegrowers decided in the 1990s to break with tradition and improve grape varieties, cellaring and ageing methods. Some of them set up cutting-edge wine merchants from their family estates, enabling them to rethink the region’s model. Many other historic estates have emerged from the cooperative movement to create and market top-quality wines. There are too many to mention, but their wines feature in our selections and in our wine guide. A few recognised pioneers, some historic estates reinventing themselves, that’s all it took for the French and international press to declare, in the mid-1990s, that the Languedoc was a French California, a true wine Eldorado with a lot to offer. Many elderly winegrowers, disillusioned or bankrupt, offer their vines for sale, or even abandon them for want of a buyer. For those who want to try their hand, the Languedoc has the potential to make great wines, and an image that just needs to be improved. Above all, the price of a hectare of vines is at an all-time low, around €10,000 per planted hectare, when it is ten times more expensive elsewhere, if not much more.
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