The Languedoc-Roussillon is a large vineyard-rich area which stretches from the eastern edge of the Rhone delta to the Spanish border at the Mediterranean end of the Pyrenees. The Roussillon is the section that lies along the Spanish border, and most of the vineyard area falls into the Pyrenees-Orientales – the southernmost ‘department’ of France. It is a rugged and beautiful area filled with old Cathar castles, wild herbs and wild boar! The locals are proud of their Catalan ties. This is both the hottest and driest part of France. It was historically famous for fortified wines and peach and apricot trees, but fell somewhat into decline towards the end of the 20th century.
Today, whilst much of the economy relies on tourism, it has become a very fashionable place to make wine, seeing winemakers from all over the world buying up old parcels of gnarly vines to make delicious and concentrated wines. Grenache is king here whether it's noir, gris or blanc grapes, but many other grapes are also grown with delicious results. It is a land of hearty cuisine so think rich stews and herby sausages cooked over logs.