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White wines: fragrance of the sun and fruity aromas

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White wines

As an aperitif or for accompanying fish dishes, white Languedoc-Roussillon wines bring sun to the table with their golden yellow colour.

White wine was already the region’s flagship wine under Napoleon III. It was the Picpoul de Pinet. This wine is still an export hit nowadays. The English love it. They are the biggest importers. In the Hérault region around the Thau lagoon, the Picpoul grape variety (the only one allowed) produces a stunning fresh wine with fruity aromas. A worthy ambassador of whole Languedoc of white wine production, which has increased in quality over recent years. An example? In the western Aude, the vineyards of Limoux produce small very small quantities of a white wine which is one of the most highly rated wines within the region.

Depending on the terroirs and the soils, the white wines of the Languedoc-Roussillon (representing 13% of regional production) fill the palate with full-bodied and fruity aromas, then releasing flavours of dried fruit such as hazelnut or walnut, or even with scents from scrublands and yellow brooms.
The four main white grape varieties of the Languedoc-Roussillon vineyards each have their own specific features. Bourboulenc helps to elaborate fine wines with low alcohol content. Chardonnay gives some balance and more strength to the wine. Chenin is suitable for dry and sparkling wines. Clairette, which is one of the oldest vines in the Languedoc Roussillon region, is used for wines strong in alcohol.

And their colour? It reveals, when the glass is hold in the sunlight, a spectrum of colours ranging from straw yellow to golden brown, with occasional green speckles.

Regional white wines are appreciated as an aperitif where they provide the perfect accompaniment to a Nîmes brandade. They also pair superbly with fish such as Mediterranean sea bass or bream, with a Bouzigues oyster platter, or with a Sète bourride (fish soup).