The ancient French provinces of Languedoc and Roussillon are better known today by the compound name of Languedoe-Roussilflon, which refers to their status as an administrative area in the south of France.Languedoc-Roussillon comprises of four departments - Gard, Hérault, Aude and Pyrénées-Orientales and as a winegrowing area has the largest number of vineyards in France: in fact it accounts for approximately 30% of the entire vineyards of the country and produces two thirds of all the vins de table and vins de pays of France. Of this 75% is red, 20% rose and 5% white. The climate is the factor that unifies the diversity of Languedoc-Roussillon. It is a Mediterranean climate, with mild winters, dry summers, and occasional violent contrasts. After Corsica, the Languedoc and Roussillon region is the hottest in France. However considerable local variations are observed, depending on proximity to the sea. Rainfall is infrequent, irregular and unevenly distributed.One of the most important factors of this area's climate are the winds (known as the mistral, the cers and the tramontane). So great is the influence, the vines when they are first planted, are planted at an angle facing the wind so by the time they grow up they will be straight. The winds can also create havoc with the vines by denuding it of vegetation. The winds do however have the advantage of drying the grapes when it rains thereby reducing the risk of mold and rot.
Roussillon is the most southerly part of France, bordering with Spain in the Pyrénées Orientalesdepartment. For about 4 centuries, until 1642, Roussillon was part of the Kingdom of Mallorca, or Majorca. Even today Spanish influences are still clearly present. A large proportion of the grapes, especially the abundant Carignan, are processed by maceration carbonique. The region is also famous within France for vins-doux-naturels which are fortified wines, ie. fermentation curtailed by the addition of brandy. Made from Muscatel or Grenache grapes. The region produces some good quality wines, usually sold as A.C. Côtes du Roussillon mostly made from Carignan, Cinsault, Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre grapes.The Languedoc is a major area spread over 3 departments, Gard, Hérault and Aude. Wine has been produced here for more than 2,000 years and today covers many well known names such Corbières the largest AOC area in Languedoc and Roussillon, Fitou AOC and Minervois AOC. , Coteaux du Languedoc, Costières de Nîmes and Limoux In addition to the many traditional grape varieties used such as Cinsault, Carignan and Grenache, many growers have planted Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.