Languedoc/Roussillon and Provence Flashcards Preview

WSET ® Level 3 Wine > Languedoc/Roussillon and Provence > Flashcards

Flashcards in Languedoc/Roussillon and Provence Deck (30)
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What is the climate of the majority of Southern France?



What is the greatest climatic challenge Southern France faces?


Low rainfall in this warm, dry climate of Southern France can lead to drought, although the area experiences less pressure from fungal disease.


The rosé wines of Provence are typically made using what method?

Direct Press

Unlike the saignée method which allows for production of both a red and a rosé wine, the direct press method will only produce one pale, rosé wine.


What are some of the major red/black grape varieties used in Provence?

  • Mourvèdre (predominant)
  • Grenache
  • Syrah
  • Carignan
  • Cinsault


What are some of the major white grape varieties used in southern France?

Which two are the most planted?

  • Chardonnay
  • Sauvignon Blanc
  • Viognier
  • Muscat
  • Grenache Blanc
  • Picpoul
  • Mauzac
  • Maccabeu
  • Rolle
  • Clairette


What is the largest appellation in Provence?

Côtes de Provence AOP

The Côtes de Provence AOP is the largest appellation both in terms of production and geographic size.


What is the primary red/black grape of the Bandol AOP?


Mourvèdre's small berries and thick skins give Bandol AOP wines intense color and high tannins.

Mourvèdre is widely planted in Bandol because of the region's south-facing slopes. This aspect gives the grapes enough warmth and sun exposure to fully ripen to produce dark, full-bodied red wines.


What is unique about the phylloxera crisis of the late 1800s in the Languedoc region?

Languedoc was the first region in France replanted with American rootstocks and thus was the first region to be rebuilt after the phylloxera crisis.


What white grape variety from the Languedoc is known as the "lip stinger," and in which AOP is it grown?

Grape: Picpoul

Picpoul makes wines naturally high in acidity with citrus notes and green fruit flavors.

Grown in Picpoul de Pinet AOP.


Minervois AOP is known for making what color wines based on what grape variety?

Red blends based on Syrah.


Which subregion of Minervois is considered to produce the best wines of the appellation?

La Livinière

The wines from this subregion are considered so good, Minervois-La Livinière has its own AOP.


Is Minervois on the coast or is it inland?

How does its location affect the wines made there?


Wines made in Minervois vary in quality due to how the AOP is situated: on slopes of the Massif Central, which means there is altitude variation, exposure differences, and soil composition differences.


Corbières AOP wines are mainly made from what grape variety?



Which AOP of the Languedoc is the largest geographically?

Corbières AOP

At 13,500 hectares (33,000 acres) Corbières is the fourth largest AOP in France by total area.


Corbières is subdivided into 11 subregions.  Which is considered the best subregion?

Boutenac, which is its own AOP.


The inland vineyards of Corbières AOP are cooled by which wind?



Which quality level of wine is produced more in the Languedoc-Roussillon region than any other region in France?:

  • PDO
  • IGP
  • Premier Cru
  • Grand Cru

IGP (Indication Géographique Protégée)

The regional appellation of Pays d'Oc IGP covers all the départements which make up Languedoc-Roussillon and is a vital part of the economy in Southern France.


What factors are attributable to the success of the Pays d'Oc IGP?

  • Warm, sunny climate - grapes always fully ripen
  • Fewer regulations
    • many different grapes planted
    • wines labeled by grape
    • winemakers can experiment with blends and styles
    • affordable


What are the département(s) within Languedoc?

What are the département(s) within Roussillon?

Départements in Languedoc

  • Aude
  • Gard
  • Hérault

Département in Roussillon

  • Pyrénées-Orientales


What generic AOP covers the Languedoc and Roussillon wine regions?

Languedoc AOP


What are the 4 most widely used red/black grape varieties of the Languedoc AOP?

  • Carignan
  • Grenache
  • Syrah
  • Mourvèdre


The most famous wines of Roussillon are mostly what style of wine?

Vins Doux Naturels (VDN, which are sweet, fortified wines)

Still red table wines are also made in Roussillon and they're typically full bodied and oaked.


Côtes du Roussillon and Côtes du Roussillon Villages are known for what style of wines?

What's the geography like in these appellations?

Still, dry red wines.

Geography is rugged and hilly, and both produce flavorful, concentrated reds.

Côtes du Roussillon Villages generally produces better wines.


Where is Fitou AOP?

Describe the two distinct areas of Fitou.

Fitou is just north of Côtes du Roussillon Villages.

Area 1: warm coastal vineyards that make full-bodied reds.

Area 2: cooler inland vineyards with altitude that make lighter reds.


What is the name of the wind that has a major affect on the Roussillon winegrowing region?

The Tramontane, which is a strong, dry, cold wind from the north/northwest.


How does the Tramontane impact the Roussillon region?

The Tramontane wind significantly reduces the region's humidity, lowering the risk of fungal infections and rot.


Does the Mistral affect Provence, Languedoc-Roussillon, or both?

The Mistral affects Languedoc-Roussillon as it blows through the Rhône Valley down into these regions.

The Mistral does NOT affect Provence as Provence has prominent hills that protect the region.


What are the similarities and differences between the Mistral and the Tramontane?

In sum, the two winds are very similar but they are channelled differently.


  • both are strong, dry, cold winds
  • both reduce fungal disease pressure
  • both flow out towards the Mediterranean


  • Mistral flows through the Rhône Valley between the Alps and the Massif Central;
  • Tramontane is funneled between a gap in the Pyrénées and the Massif Central.


What are some of the modern winemaking techniques that have generally improved the wines coming out of the South of France?

  1. Cellar hygiene
  2. Temperature control
  3. Modern equipment
  4. Semi-carbonic maceration, esp. for Carignan
  5. Prudent use of new and old oak


Name the international varieties planted and used in the production of Pays d'Oc IGP wines.

  1. Cabernet Sauvignon
  2. Merlot
  3. Chardonnay
  4. Sauvignon Blanc

IGP wines can be varietally labeled, which makes them recognizable across many markets.