South of France, the land of wine tourism

The oldest and largest wine-growing area in the world, the region opens its winemaking activity to tourism through the Wine Tourism Club Sud de France [Club Œnotourisme Sud de France].

This Club covers remarkable sites, wine cellars, vineyard estates, accommodations located in the heart of the vineyards and host agencies…, all are ready to reveal their know-how and transmit their passion to you.

A paradise for lovers of wine tourism

Tour the local areas of the Rhône Valley, Languedoc, Corbières, Minervois and Roussillon… Go and meet the women and men who shape these vineyard landscapes; discover and appreciate these nectars with those who create them… These region reserves fine moments of conviviality around vines and wines.

Wine Tourist Routes

Wine is another way of approaching a territory. For many vacationers, gastronomy and wine motivate the choice of a holiday. Besides, how can you resist the appeal of the famous Sud de France wines ?

Wine-tourism takes diverse and varied forms: from a gourmet evening in an award-winning restaurant to wine-tasting during a walking tour (the wine route, wine cellar tours…), meeting farmers and touring the major wine estates… this itinerant tourism is ideal for an amorous escape or a weekend among friends, during which one could opt for a “discovery of local wines” tour package with accommodation in a charming home.

The grape harvest and wine festivals celebrated throughout the region are also a dream opportunity to discover the region. Everyone can also taste some marvels and appreciate the typicality of the Sud de France wines with their aromas of black fruits, thyme and scrubland.

Discover the Sud de France Wine Tourist Routes

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, The Vineyard Sud de France

Winetourism, a new warmth

Thanks to its nurturing climate and the richness and multiplicity of its terroirs, South of France's vines are achieving higher and higher levels of quality. It is also the largest and the oldest wine-growing region in the world, spreading over more than 200,000 hectares. From ancient times, wine acquired a uniqueness charged with its own significance. “The peoples surrounding the Mediterranean started to emerge from barbarism when they learned how to cultivate the olive tree and the grapevine ”, observed the historian Thucydides 2,500 years ago. Heirs of an out-of-the-ordinary terrain, the winemakers of south of France have seen the benefit of learning their craft and products.

A multitude of special events

From the month of April, the region becomes a paradise for lovers of wine tourism with a multitude of special events which take the form of tastings in unique settings – a wine and food trail with stops along a predefined route. In April, Montepeyroux organises “Toutes caves ouvertes” – an open cellar event and Peyriac-de-Mer and Bages offers a “Five senses route”. In May, AOC Lirac hosts its traditional Jaugeurs gourmet tour while AOC Costières de Nîmes puts on its “Vignes Toquées” (“Crazy Vines”), and the winegrowers from La Clape near Narbonne have their “Sentiers Gourmands” (“Gourmet Trails”). In the Pyrénées-Orientales, thanks to an initiative from the wine producers from the village of Calce, “Les caves se rebiffent” (“The cellars rebel”) is held in the middle of the month.

The events take place throughout the summer with a great number of wine circuits to explore in the terraces of Larzac, the wandering vines in Pic Saint-Loup, and to top it all off, the large wine fair at Uzès. The icing on the cake this year is that the Faugères appellation is celebrating its thirtieth anniversary, culminating on 8th July in the John the Baptist Feast in the village of Faugères – so many unique fun moments.

Discover the calandar of events aroud wine and gastronomy

In vino veritas

If, in vino veritas, truth is in wine, then south of France is truly blessed! It was on this soil that vineyards took root; after vines were imported by the Greeks in 600 B.C.E. to southern Gaul, wine production spread along the Via Domitia, from Narbonne to Italy. The vineyards flourished for twenty centuries, with wine becoming the region's main economic driver. Languedoc and a part of Roussillon were nothing but rows of vines as far as the eye could see. People spoke of a ‘sea of grapes’ between Carcassonne and the Rhône!

Variety is the spice of life…

For thirty years now, south of France has been redefining the vintner’s trade to make the most of the quality of its terroirs. A quality combined with diversity in a region cultivating naturally sweet wines (the muscats of Lunel, Mireval, Frontignan, Saint-Jean-de-Minervois, Rivesaltes, Banyuls, and Banyuls Grand Cru), sparkling wines (including Blanquette and Crémant de Limoux) and many reds, whites, and rosés as well. No other region boasts such variety, with over thirty different grape stocks being grown. In just a few decades, vintners and oenologists have reinvented themselves to concentrate on quality, develop concepts, experiment with tradition, and advance the development of wines from organically-grown grapes, which already represent nearly 9.8% of vineyard production.

Discover all the wines Sud de France

A palette of flavours

Languedoc, the terroir of sun-drenched wines, is proud to respect its vines' diversity, producing distinctively generous and subtle crus. From the shale that fortifies the wines of Saint-Chinian, Côtes du Roussillon, and Coteaux de Languedoc to the pebbly soil of Corbières that produces the spicy red wines of Lézignan, Boutenac, and Lagrasse, the range of flavours is wide!

South of France’s 235,000 hectares, 70,000 of them Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée, is the world’s largest single winegrowing property, rich with many IGP regional quality labels and AOC appellations (more than thirty) as diverse as Cabardès, Collioure, Crémant de Limoux, Fitou, Muscat de Frontignan, and Languedoc. Since 2007 the single appellation AOC Languedoc includes all appellations between Gard and the Spanish frontier, providing more transparency for consumers. Additionally, the shared logo ‘Sud de France’ now symbolises the identity and modernity of southern France's wines as they continue the beloved tradition of the Mediterranean art of living. The famous American wine critic Robert Parker was not in error when he wrote that ‘South of France is the wine world's new Eldorado’!

* The Languedoc AOC includes the following appellations: Cabrières, Grès de Montpellier, La Clape, La Méjanelle, Montpeyroux, Quatourze, Pézenas, Pic Saint-Loup, Saint-Christol, Saint-Drézéry, Saint-Georges-d’Orques, Saint-Saturnin, Terrasses de Béziers, Terrasses du Larzac, Terres de Sommières, Vérargues.