In a move designed to raise the profile and signal the improved quality of the wines from the region, the Conseil Interprofessionnel des Vins du Languedoc (CIVL) confirmed that a new hierarchy has been agreed upon for Languedoc appellations. Stemming from the AOC Languedoc base first established in 2007, the two new tiers of the pyramid are Grands Vins du Languedoc and Grands Crus du Languedoc.
The appellations qualifying for the Grands Vins du Languedoc tier are Minervois, Corbières, Saint Chinian, Limoux sparkling wines, Malepère, Faugères, Cabardès, Muscats and part of the Terroirs de Coteaux du Languedoc, including Picpoul de Pinet.
The higher Grands Crus du Languedoc tier contains the wines from Minervois La Livinière, Corbières Boutenac, Saint Chinian Roquebrun, Terrasses du Larzac, Grès du Montpellier, Pic Saint Loup, Pézenas, La Clape, as well as still wines from Limouox.
Each category has been determined by its economic value as well as adhesion to strict appellation rules and requirements. The idea is that this new system will “Mould the future of the Languedoc region for the next 15 years,” says Jérôme Villaret, executive officer of the CIVL.
The council has also approved a detailed plan of technical, economic and marketing strategies which will provide a structure to their initiatives and goals for the crucial years ahead. The outline includes measures to control the quality and quantity of Languedoc wines, assistance for wineries in managing their production and sales strategies, as well as overall marketing and promotional programs that increase value and regional recognition.
CIVL President Frédéric Jeanjean hopes for all of the changes to be implemented. He claims the proposed programs and strategies will "transform the Languedoc into a profitable, quality wine‐making region." Indeed, the ideas have a solid foundation with good intentions that strive to helps clarify things for the consumer, as opposed to further confuse them. Although they might be late to the Grands Crus game, it might be just the thing needed to boost the esteem and regard of the region, both abroad and at home.