Four great French wines from one of the world’s largest vineyards

John Wilson: Innovative producers have emerged from Languedoc-Roussillon in recent times

The Languedoc-Roussillon region is one of the largest vineyards in the world, a sea of vines stretching almost 250km from the Spanish border to the Rhône delta. With almost 280,000 hectares of vines, it produces every style of wine going, often sold at very competitive prices.

In the past, the region was dominated by large co-operatives producing fairly average wine, but more recently a group of more innovative producers has emerged, some small artisans, others with more ambition.

I have featured the wines of Laurent Miquel many times. He is a talented eighth-generation winemaker who produces a large range of wines, usually offering great value for money. They can be found in Dunnes Stores and O’Briens. He and his Irish wife, Neasa, also own Château Auzines in Corbières from where they sourced the grapes for the two wines featured here.

Gérard Bertrand is a true son of the Languedoc, an ex-rugby player who grew up speaking Occitan at home. He took over the family business and expanded it rapidly. He now owns 17 estates, all biodynamically farmed or in conversion, spread across the Languedoc.


Visitors to the region may be familiar with Château L’Hospitalet a winery, visitor centre and resort. A renowned jazz festival is held there every summer. The wines are good, some very good. He recently released the world’s most expensive rosé, a single vineyard wine that retails for just under €200.

Les Auzines Alaina Rosé 2022, Languedoc

12.5%, €12.70 (reduced from €16.95)

Mouth-watering crisp redcurrant and raspberry fruits. Perfect poolside or with al fresco light dinners.

From O’Briens

Source of Joy Organic Rosé 2022, Gérard Bertrand, Languedoc, Organic

12.5%, €12.80 (reduced from €16.95)

Exuberant raspberry and strawberry fruits on nose and palate with a toothsome dry finish. Drink it by itself or with salmon or tuna.

From Dunnes Stores (31 outlets)

Pech Gentille Côte 238 Albariño 2021, Pays d’Oc, Laurent Miquel

12.5%, €16

Delicious, racy, fresh succulent peach fruits that fill the mouth. Zesty and lively. Summer in a glass. An aperitif or with shellfish.

From Dunnes Stores (available in 26 outlets)

Domaine de Villemajou 2020, Corbières, Languedoc, Gérard Bertrand, Organic

15%, €19.95 (reduced from €26.95)

Warm ripe dark fruits, leather and herbs with a smooth finish. Supple yet packs a punch. With roast red meats, including venison, or cassoulet, posh sausages, bean stews with peppers.

From O’Briens