After 2-1/2 hours of driving through one of the worst storms ever, I arrived in the picturesque village of St Saturnin de Lucian, a neighbour of the more famous Montpeyroux. I do not know the Languedoc well and with my fresh eyes, it reminds me a bit of Beaujolais in terms of the layout of the land – tiny, twisting roads that intertwine and are not always well signed much to the chagrin of the navigator. But what an adventure! I used it as a base for exploring several villages and domaines, and I could not be more surprised by its diversity in landscape, soil and personality.
In the late 80s and early 90s before the plethora of Australian wines hit UK shelves, the Languedoc was highly desired, particularly for less expensive varietal wines. Once the Aussies landed (and now Chile and California), people’s attention turned away from this varied region. As a result, the Languedoc needed to reinvent themselves in order to be a mean, lean fighting machine and compete with their newer rivals. After much investment in both the vineyard and cellars, many wineries in the region began making even better wines proving that this is a serious region that has not yet reached its pinnacle. And what is even more exciting is their excellent value for money. It was an enlightening visit including some exceptional domaines such as Mas de Daumas Gassac and Domaine St Antonin in Faugères.