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South of France

If you hear “South of France” and envision movie stars and palm trees, you’re leaving out a critical part of the scene – wines from the South of France.

France’s gorgeous Southern coastline, hugging the Mediterranean between Spain and Italy, produces delicious wines suited for this summery milieu: crisp whites and robust reds from the Languedoc, fruit-filled and concentrated reds from Minervois, bright, thirst-quenching rosés from Provence and rich, elegant dessert wines from Banyuls.

South of France

In fact, growing conditions are so good that for many years, the South of France was known for producing great quantities of unremarkable wine to be blended and sold in bulk. In recent years, the global economy has largely shifted the production of those inexpensive wines to the New World. So the newest generation of winemakers in the South of France have set their focus on producing high-quality wines that reflect their specific appellations.

The Languedoc, toward the western end of the coast, is the largest single winemaking region in the world. Producers there have taken big strides to upgrade the quality and limit the quantity of Languedoc wines. The best make wines from vines grown on the hillsides. The grape varietals that thrive in this region are Carignan, Grenache, Cinsault, Syrah, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon.

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