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Rosemary George is a Master of Wine and the author of nine other books, including The Wines of Chablis, which won the André Simon and the Glenfiddich Award, Chianti and the Wines of Tuscany and The Wines of the South of France. She co-edited the Which?Wine Guide, has contributed regularly to Oz Clarke's Wine Guide and also writes for consumer magazines such as Wine International, Decanter and the Quarterly Review of Wines. She is the current chairman of the Circle of Wine Writers.
The first vineyards of the Languedoc were planted by the Greeks in the 5th century BC. Viticulture has flourished in the Languedoc ever since, particularly in the nineteenth century, when it became France's largest vineyard area. It still claims that honour today, but its profile is very difficult. Gone are the days of industrial mass production. The Languedoc of the twenty-first century is a vibrant, innovative wine area, where everything vinous is possible. For the purposes of The wines of Languedoc, the Languedoc stretches from the appellations of Malepere and Cabardes to the west of Carcassonne as far as Sommieres, to the east of Montpellier, including better known appellations such as Faugeres, St Chinian, Minervois and Corbieres, as well as the more recently recognized like Terrasses du Larzac. Master of Wine Rosemary George discusses the recent developments in the region, before covering each appellation, with its history, geography and terroir. She profiles a personal selection of wine growers, including some more established names, but focusing above all on the newcomers, of which there are many, and the potential future stars of the region.
Faugeres is one of the most individual appellations of the Languedoc. Although it produces white and rose wines the appellation is most famous for its rich, ripe red wines made from the classic Rhone varieties Syrah, Grenache and Mourvedre. The Faugeres wine appellation was created in 1982 and is now producing consistently excellent wines, the secret being in the steep hills surrounding the village of Faugeres where the schist, or decayed slate, provides unique soil drainage and moisture retention and introduces distinctive minerality into the wine. The Mediterranean climate of long, hot summers and short cold winters is tempered by Faugeres' proximity to the coast, which produces distinctive and elegant wines. Faugeres is a compact vineyard compared to many of the other appellations of the Languedoc, but the variety is infinite, prompted by the human hand and the perceptible differences between the different villages. The white wine, which accounts for just 2% of the appellation, is a perfect example of the way the white wines of the Languedoc are developing and improving with every vintage, their wonderful herbal flavours conjuring up the scents of the herbs of the garrigue, fennel, bay and thyme. Pink Faugeres, which accounts for 18% of the appellation, provides delicious refreshing drinking with acidity and delicate fruit. The wines of Faugeres always have a distinctive freshness which places them amongst the finest of the Languedoc. Rosemary George's The wines of Faugeres is a comprehensive guide to the wines of a remarkably compact and homogeneous area which covers just seven villages and a couple of hamlets. The wines of Faugeres covers the history, geography and climate of the region, as well as its grape varieties and viticulture, before profiling the individual producers and their wines. It ends with an indispensable assessment of vintages going back to the creation of the appellation in 1982. Faugeres' wines, currently little known outside of France, are set to become the next global wine discovery, and Rosemary George's The wines of Faugeres is the most up-to-date and authoritative guide to this beautiful region and its fascinating wines.