Seeking to add value to its vintages, CIVL has implemented a new segmentation for its offering. The new vintage hierarchy was approved in 2010 and is to be applied immediately to regional producers. The new hierarchy is comprised of three tiers arranged in a pyramid pattern. This innovative segmentation will shape the future of Languedoc wines. Languedoc AOCs are now divided into three major families, based on the wines’ sale price: AOC Languedoc, Grands Vins du Languedoc and Grands Crus du Languedoc.
These wines form the base of the pyramid due to the greater quantity of products available on the market. They are commercially driven, thereby explaining the need for strong wines in this segment. AOC Languedoc wines are easily recognizable, affordable, highly drinkable and offer instant gratification.
Grands Vins du Languedoc
These wines represent the pyramid’s second tier and include the following AOCs: Minervois, Corbières, Saint-Chinian, sparkling Limoux, red Limoux, Malepère, Faugères, Cabardès, Muscat de Frontignan, de Lunel, de Mireval, de St-Jean de Minervois, Clairette de Languedoc, Picpoul de Pinet, Montpeyroux, Cabrières, Saint-Christol, Sommières, Le Quatourze, La Méjanelle, Saint-Drézery, and Saint-Georges d’Orques. These full-bodied and aromatic wines, boast terroir features that reflect their regional typicality.
Grands Crus du Languedoc
The pyramid’s top tier is comprised of wines whose bottling must occur within the production area, with an average minimum aging period of 12 months for reds and 6 months for whites, as well as quality control for all production runs after bottling. This segment reflects renowned terroir wines and signature wines featuring strong valuation and rarity management.
This segment’s AOCs include: Corbières Boutenac, Minervois La Livinière, Terrasse du Larzac, Grès de Montpellier, Pic Saint Loup, Pézenas, La Clape, still white Limoux, sparkling Limoux, Saint-Chinian Roquebrun, and Saint-Chinian Berlou.
Languedoc AOCs are divided between the pyramid’s 2nd and 3rd tier based on the following factors:
· Positioning request by each designation’s Protection and Management Organization
· 3 types of criteria guaranteeing the market segment’s homogeneity:
o Production criteria: performance, bottling area, 12-month aging
o Economic criteria: bottle guide price, bulk guide price
o Qualitative criteria: tasting obligation for all Grands Crus production