Languedoc: the “New World of France”, a world-class wine region with many organic wines
— Here in the South of France, in the Languedoc, there are a lot of exciting things going on. This voyage of discovery takes you to some of the most quality concious winegrower, producers who today make world class wines, and that are still affordable. Languedoc is also a precursor for organic wines. We will look in detail at what this means. The Languedoc is also a landscape of beauty and splendour, with lots of wild herbs that are characteristic for the gastronomy from the South of France. You will have many opportunities to try the typical food and wine matching.
The Languedoc can, half seriously, be called The New World of France. Many young and dynamic winemakers have settled here. Land is comparatively cheap. The whole region is fermenting not only with wine but also with young wine entrepreneurs and there are plenty of excellent quality and excellent value wines. Some producers are among the top wines in France and indeed in the world.
The Languedoc is also a region where more and more wine producers are organic or even biodynamic. So on this wine tour there is a good opportunity to take a closer look at whet this means. Environmental issues have become very important for many wine producers – and wine consumers. Many of the leading wine producers in this region are organic although they rarely use that fact as a sales argument, preferring to rely on the quality of their wines.
It is a fantastic experience to spend a few days travelling around in the Languedoc landscape. It is magnificent, sometimes even majestic. Some parts are very remote and wild with plenty of wild herbs: rosemary, thyme, bay leaf, sage etc, the typical vegetation that is calld garrigue. The garrigue also gives the wines their typical aromas, full-bodied and spicy.
It is also a region filled with history. There are 800 years old ruins of the hilltop fortresses built by the cathars. Small villages with narrow streets. Historic churches and museums. There are ancient olive groves and endless rows of vines. This is the world’s biggest wine region, and it shows!
We will meet in Montpellier, the main city of the region, where we will spend the night the first and the last night of the tour. It is an exciting city that combines and ancient and well-preserved city centre with modern architecture by the famous Spanish architect Ricardo Bofill.
The second and third night we will be further south, in Narbonne. Another charming French town. This is close to Roussillon, one of the hidden gems among French wine regions. It is actually the French wine region with the highest percentage of appellation contrôlée-wine made (appellation contrôlée is the highest quality denomination for wines in France).
This trip will also prominently feature the gastronomy of the South of France. We will have three delicious lunches together. The traditional food in the Languedoc has the same roots as in the Provence, with a lot of olive oil, garlic, tomatoes, onions, and herbs. Delicious!
Lucques is the name of a small olive that comes from the Languedoc. It has a mild and aromatic flavour and gives excellent olive oil but is also very tasty to eat in itself. There is an abundance of vegetables and plenty of game, e.g. wild boar, mushrooms, and goat cheese. And of course oysters and mussels from the sea. the Languedoc harbours some of the biggest oyster banks in all of France.
The tour is led by one of BKWine’s wine and travel expert guides.
More travel information
Here are some useful pages and guides about this travel destination:
Even more info
We have written a lot about the Languedoc and about wine touring in the region, what to do and what to expect.
Here you can find more about travelling in the Languedoc.
You can also find more information on the Languedoc wines on BKWine Magazine.
This wine tour coincides with two of the books that we have written:
A few years back we wrote a book on the wines of the Languedoc, a pioneering work on the wine makers leading the quality revolution in this exciting wine region.
In mid-2012 we published our third book. the subject of this book is the environment: what is organic wines, biodynamic wines and other similar concept, like sustainable wine growing etc. The book is called Wine and the Environment, Organic, Biodynamic, and Natural.
Both these books are an excellent introduction to the themes of this wine tour to the Languedoc-Roussillon.
Can you find anyone better placed to give you an introduction to the wines and the food of the Languedoc?
Program — Languedoc-Roussillon wine tour
This is a sample program, an example. Every wine and food tour that we organise is different and specially adapted for the season and the circumstances. Details in the program, e.g. which producers we visit, will be different each time.
For more details, contact BKWine.
- Wednesday — Arrival in Montpellier
- Thursday — Languedoc and around Terrasses du Larzac, the northern part
- Friday — Roussillon
- Saturday — Languedoc and around Pézenas, the southern part
- Sunday — Heading back home
Wednesday / Day 1 — Arrival in Montpellier
Arrival in Montpellier. Check-in at our hotel in the city centre.
Our hotel is centrally located by the old historic city centre. It is one of the best preserved old cities in France. You can stroll along the narrow and winding streets, find ancient and beautiful churches on small town squares, and plenty of restaurants, cafes and wine bars of course.
Take a break from the walking on a side-walk cafe with a glass of the light and refreshing white wine from the region nearby called Picpoul de Pinet (made from the grape piquepoul!). It is a classic combination with shellfish. After the aperitif you will have no difficulties finding an excellent restaurant. We can give you our best addresses!
Thursday / Day 2 — Languedoc around the Terrasses du Larzac, the northern Part, Pic Saint Loup, Montpeyroux etc
Our bus will pick us up after breakfast at our hotel in Montpellier.
We head north towards the region that is called Terrasses du Larzac that includes famous villages like Aniane (with the pioneering Mas de Daumas Gassac, who have perhaps lost a bit of the lead to some of the newcomers), Montpeyroux and Jonquieres.
There are many interesting and ambitious producers in this area. They all aim to bring out the specific characteristics of the terroir in their wines.
The young generation of winemakers are typcially very well educated and combine traditional grape varieties with a lot of attention to what is done in the vineyard although they also use modern technology when appropriate. But we will notice during our visits that in particular the organic winegrowers try to reduce the use of technology as much as possible.
When talking about organic wines it is usually the vineyards that is the subject but for most organic wineries it is just as important to be careful in the winery and not to use additives and intervention on the wine without very good reason.
After the morning visit we head off for lunch that will feature regional specialities. We will be welcomed for lunch by a winemaking family with a winery surrounded by vines and by the garrigue herbs, sage, thyme, rosemary and more, eponymous with the typical style of the wines in the Languedoc.
After the delicious lunch we have one more winery visit this day and then we start going south. After about an hour’s drive we arrive in the town of Narbonne. We check in to our centrally located hotel. The evening is free to stroll around the character-full souther French city.
Narbonne has just under 50,000 inhabitants and it has a rich history, a magnificent cathedral and a very interesting old city centre. And not least importantly, a lot of good restaurants.
Friday / Day 3 — Roussillon
Today we will go even further south, to Roussillon, not far away from the Spanish border.
Roussillon used to be famous (and still is) for its sweet vin doux naturels (VDN) made from grenache or muscat. Today many producers also make high quality dry wines, mostly red.
They also make some stunning whites in the Roussillon, in spite of the very hot climate. We have arrived in the hottest and driest of the French regions. The vines, often old and gnarled grenache, have to struggle to survive, but this creates wine full of character.
We will visit a handful of producers in the villages around Perpignan, producers that often grow their vines organically or biodynamically and who spend a lot of their time in the vineyard in their effort to have as fine and healthy grapes as possible. A good wine is made in the vineyard, is their motto.
We will lunch on some of the regional specialities of the Roussillon. We are very close to the border of France, in what is called the French Catalonia so the links to Spain will be evident. As, by the way, they are in the whole of the Languedoc.
After lunch we will have a third winery visit this day and then we head back to Narbonne.
Early evening we will be back in Narbonne. Evening is free. When you stroll around in the old town you are sure to see many references to one of the most famous people from Narbonne, the French singer Charles Trenet who have immortalised songs like La Mer and La Douce France.
Saturday / Day 4 — Languedoc around Pezenas, the south, with Corbieres, Fitou and Minervois
Today we check out from our hotel in Narbonne.
We head north towards Beziers and Pezenas. Our destination is a small village called Gabian. We will stop here for a visit to a biodynamic wine producer and a very skilled winemaker. He is also lecturing at one of France’s wine universities. He will explain, and show us, what biodynamic winemaking means in practice.
There is a lot of talk about all the strange things that the biodynamic winemakers do and therefore it is particularly interesting to have the opportunity to see it in real life. And perhaps get a confirmation of all the hokus pokus and superstition that it is sometimes said that it is based on.
Or alternatively see that there is some good reasons behind it and that it results in, at least sometimes, wines of outstanding quality. Whichever will be the case for you, the wines that we will taste here are magnificent.
The winery is one of the most original and exciting in the Languedoc. But there are of course many claimants for that title!
After a through view on the practice we will taste the range of wines and then will stay in this area for lunch. We are not far from Pezenas and perhaps we will get to taste the big speciality of this Medieval town, the Petits Pâtés de Pézenas, small patés filled with spicy lamb, brown sugar and lemon peel. Plus a lot of spices. Very original!
We will have time for an afternoon visit in the small village of Caux where a number of high-quality producers are located.
After the after-noon visit it is time to head back to Montpellier where we arrive early evening. We check in to our hotel and then you have a last free evening in Montpellier to discover any of the sights or restaurants or wine bars that you might have missed.
Sunday / Day 5 — Heading back home
The tour ends after breakfast. Departure.
Program may be subject to minor modifications.
Tour Details — Wine tour to the Languedoc-Roussillon
Price per person: This is a sample program. Look in the menu “Our Tours > Scheduled Tours” to check what scheduled tours are currently on the program or contact us to discuss a custom made private wine tour.
Included in the price:
- 4 hotel nights, double occupancy, including breakfast
- 2 nights in Montpellier, and
- 2 nights in Narbonne
- Meals as described in the program above (*):
- 3 gastronomic multi-course lunches, including wines, at wineries or local restaurants
- Start and end point: Montpellier
- Bus transport during the whole trip
- All vineyard and winery visits
- Private, high quality tastings at wineries, approx. 3 per day
- Interpretation from French as needed, some visits may be in English, others in French
- Wine guiding and wine tutoring by an expert BKWine guide
(*) See below for more important information on our meals.
- Travel (flights) to the destination and back from your home location.
You organise your travel to the destination yourself. If you want assistance with organising your flight tickets etc, please contact us.
We warmly recommend that you plan a few extra days here if you have the time! It is a very interesting place and well worth some “non-wine” tourism too! We can assist you with booking additional hotel nights if you want.
Book This Tour
You book by contacting Britt Karlsson, BKWine:
- phone: +33 1 58 88 04 66 or +33 6 80 45 35 70 (+33 is the country code for France)
- email: info at bkwine dot com
- skype: bkwine
More on our wine tours
About the wine producers and wineries we visit
Our aim is that you shall experience some of the best and most interesting that the wine region has to offer, both of wine and food.
We put a big effort into finding and creating outstanding winery visits. Often it will not be the most “famous” and internationally well-known wineries that will give you the best and most unique experiences…
It is usually when you get to meet the winemaker or winery owner himself (or often herself) that the visits become really exciting. And perhaps we even meet the whole family at the estate.
You start discussing and start to understand what it is they do and why in the winery and in the vineyard. Maybe we will also have lunch in the winery or at their home. Need we say we invariably have private wine tastings at the wineries?
That is why our trips are not “jam packed” with visits at wineries. Nevertheless we often run short of time since the discussions – and the wine tastings – can easily become very engaging…
Our wine country tours typically include a mix of small family producers, exclusive boutique wineries and larger internationally well-known wine estates, all selected with great care so that it will give you a unique experience of the people and of the behind-the-scenes in the winery and a good understanding of the wine district’s characteristics, tradition and culture.
At the time of publishing a travel program not all visits have been finalised. We are continuously working on improving the program. The domaines / wineries / châteaux that we visit on a tour may therefore sometimes differ from what was written in the original program. Contact us if you want more details, or if you have any special requests.
On meals: food and gastronomy
Wine and food are intimately linked. That is part of our wine travel philosophy; wine is an integral part of the gastronomy.
A wine tour with BKWine will therefore also be a gastronomic experience.
The meals that are included in a tour with BKWine are on a gourmet level and of very high standard.
Sometimes we will have a meal with a winemaker, perhaps in the wine cellar or at the winery, or even in their home. This is a unique experience that is generally not open to other visitors to wineries. It is an occasion to experience exciting combinations of food and wine while discussing with the people who made the wine.
Sometimes we will have a luxurious meal at a gourmet restaurant. At other times it may be not at a prestigious luxury address but at a local restaurant selected for its presentation of local gastronomic specialities, its atmosphere and its quality – a place where locals go. Or perhaps it will be a buffet lunch made at home by the winemaker and his wife. In all cases we want to show you local gastronomic specialities and the local food and wine pairings.
Do not expect a picnic with salad and sausage from the supermarket and wine in plastic mugs… Think instead of a wine-and-dine experience with specially composed menu with three or four courses and delicious wines.
A wine tour with BKWine is also a culinary experience both for the wine enthusiast and for the gourmet. A gourmet wine tour!
Why travel with BKWine?
We are experts and specialists in wine and food tours and wine tourism, but also in wine in a broader perspective.
No other tour operator has a comparable knowledge and experience of wine, wine regions, wine tours and gourmet travel as BKWine.
We have organised hundreds of wine and food tours. This is what we love to do, because it is fun and exciting. What we want more than anything is to share with you all these wonderful experiences.
It does not matter if you are “a total novice” on wine and food or if you have a life-long experience in the wine sector. We will give you a very special experience, in a way that no other tour operator can do.
We write in specialised wine magazines and one of our books has won the prize as best wine book in the world. We are regularly called on to be part of judging panels in wine competitions.
We personally visit some 300 vineyards every year. We have organised several hundreds of wine and food tours with an experience going back more than twenty years. We are invited as speakers at wine tourism and culinary touring conferences.
We choose our tour destinations and winery visits with great care. Not because a winery happens to be carrying a “famous name” but because they will give our guests — you! — a unique and special experience. You may be looking for a short wine week-end holiday or a longer wine vacation; in all cases you can be confident that you will get a top quality tour, an experience of a lifetime. Or at least one that will last you until the next time you come on a wine tour with BKWine. Many of our travellers are returning clients.
A wine and food tour with BKWine is always guided by a knowledgeable and experienced BKWine guide and tour manager, someone who knows the ins and outs of wine, of the local gastronomy, of the culture and who speaks the language.
Some accolades we at BKWine and our wine and food tours have received:
- “World’s Top Wine Tours” by Travel + Leisure Magazine, the world’s biggest travel magazine
- “Best wine tasting holidays”, AOL Travel’s list of top wine tours
- “Recommended Wine Tours” by Munskankarna, the world’s biggest wine tasting and wine appreciation association
- “World’s Best Wine Book for Professionals” as well as “Best Wine Book of the Year” in Sweden 2010 for the book The Creation of a Wine
- “Best wine book for Professionals” again in 2012 in Sweden, as well as silver, runner-up, as “World’s Best Educational Wine Book” for the book Wine and the Environment
- “Wine Personality of the Year” by Munskankarna, the world’s biggest wine tasting and wine appreciation association
- On the Wine Media Power List by Wine Business International Magazine (Britt, 2012)
Read more on why to choose BKWine for a wine and food tour.
Read more on what previous travellers have said about our tours.
Our groups are always small. The group size may vary, sometimes maximum 8, sometimes 20, but always of a modest size (we do not do “minimum 20, maximum 45”). Check the details in each program. This is important since it guarantees a quality experience and a personal welcome at the wineries we visit.
BKWine is a Swedish registered travel organiser. BKWine has a bonded travel guarantee deposit so that you can feel safe when booking with us. We fully comply with European and Swedish travel guarantee regulations. British travellers may be familiar with the ABTA (Association of British Travel Agents) protection scheme which is a similar model. BKWine follows the code of conduct and financial safeguards defined by the Swedish Consumer Agency and The Legal, Financial and Administrative Services Agency (“Kammarkollegiet”, with a history dating back to 1539). Read more about this in our Booking Terms and Conditions.
Read the BKWine Booking Terms and Conditions here. They are important to you!
You organise your travel independently to the destination for most of our tours but on location we take care of everything.
For more inspiration
Read our wine travel blog. And also:
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- There are thousands of pictures from previous trips on BKWine Photography
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We also do custom wine and food tours if you want to choose different dates or if you want something different than what we currently offer on our scheduled tours – for individuals, companies, professionals, wine tastings clubs etc.