The history of Vin de Pays d'Oc wines can be traced back to the 5th century, when the Greeks planted the first vineyards near Narbonne. Along with parts of Provence, these are considered to be France’s oldest vineyards.
Despite being an important winemaking center for centuries, the region is often considered the “new world” region of France. The region has been undergoing a quality revolution over the last 20 years, particularly since much of its wines became part of the AOC system.
With 740,300 acres of vineyards — approximately one third of the country’s vineyards and wine production — the region is three times the size of Bordeaux and the world’s largest vineyard area.
The region is home to numerous grape varieties, including many international varieties like Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay. The traditional Rhône grapes of Mourvedre, Grenache, Syrah and Viognier are also prominent.
Renaissance towns and gothic architecture dot the quiet coastline, ideal for relaxing, which is a vast difference from the Parc Naturel Régional du Haut-Languedoc, considered to be prime hiking territory in the southernmost point of the Massif Central. The area covers more than 1000 square miles of mountains, rivers, lakes and forests.
Seafood is an essential part of the south of France's cuisine, with its miles of oyster, mussel and whelk beds. Meat lovers can enjoy the southwest’s most celebrated dish, cassoulet, which includes haricot beans, sausage and confit of duck or goose.
The region is known for medium- to full-bodied reds, dry rosés, dry and sparkling white wines and sweet red and white wines. It is home to numerous grape varieties including Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay. The traditional Rhône grapes of Mourvedre, Grenache, Syrah and Viognier are also prominent here.