A Road-trip Through The South of France

Posted May 04, 2015

WineLibrary Staff


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"The South of France" is a phrase that immediately conjures images of beaches, yachts, and film festivals. But you know better. When you think about places like the Languedoc and Provence, you think about centuries of culinary and viticultural tradition. You think about local cuisines, family farms, and the inherited wisdom going back to the time when Gaul was simply another territory in the Roman Empire. 


If not, that's ok. That's what we're here for. Come with us, we're going for a drive to learn more about Southern France through the lens of the wines they make there:

2011 Puig Parahy Georges

We’ll start in the county of Roussillon. Located on the eastern edge of the Pyrenees mountain range, this little corner of land is as much Spanish as it is French. Years of conflict between the two countries left the area in a state similar to Alsace: Too Spanish to be French, and too French to be Spanish. What’s cool is that this vineyard dates all the way back to the Argonian monarchy of the 1400’s. (If you don’t count that whole “replant the entire vineyard because of phylloxera” thing). Puig-Parahy brings that tradition along with them and uses it to blend Carignan, Grenache, and Syrah into a distinctly old-world wine. Redolent with tea, black fruit, and a scintillating salinity, the 2011 Georges exhibits a remarkable sense of place for a wine that barely tops $14.


2007 Le Grange De Quatre Sous Les Serrottes

Traveling east along the coast brings us to the ancient town of St-Chinian. Said to be the oldest wine-producing region in the Languedoc, St. Chinian is home to winemaker Hildegard Horat-Diop, a rebellious vigneron who has become one of Southern France’s most accomplished winemakers. Although the 2007 Le Grange carries a Pays d’Oc designation, it comes from the calcareous, limestone soils of St-Chinian and bares all the hallmarks of the venerated region: Firm, black fruit, complex spices, and trademark minerality all come together to tell the story of the ground as told by a winemaker described by importer Kermit Lynch as “Grand Cru Quality”.


2013 Chateau De Beaupre Coteaux D'aix-En-Provence Rosé

As we keep moving east (preferably in a small, unreliable convertible), we leave the Languedoc, and make our way into Provence. Our proximity to the ancient Roman empire makes itself apparent when we note that vines have been cultivated here since as early as the sixth century BC. Provence makes all kinds of wine across multiple and varied terroirs, but what most people know and love about Provence are its Rosés. A Provençal Rose usually brings a very specific set of attributes to your party including, but not limited to: Strawberries, watermelon, raspberries, white flowers, sage, oregano, and, most importantly, a classy minerality that elevates it way beyond your run-of-the-mill pink juice. The Chateau De Beaupre embodies these elements perfectly, and is just the right wine for you to enjoy as you watch the sunset after a long day’s drive through the Southern French countryside.

Product Label.

Le Grange De Quatre Sous...

88-89 David Schildknecht - Rober...

Item: 59304

750 mL

Retail: $30.99

$17.88 per btl

Product Label.

Puig Parahy Georges

91 David Schildknecht - Rober...

Item: 87124

750 mL

Retail: $14.99

$10.38 per btl

Item: 88211

750 mL

Retail: $16.99

$13.97 per btl