France Adds A New Appellation – Côtes du Rhône Villages Laudun

The village of Laudun in the Côtes du Rhône is set to become its own AOP likely by its 2023 vintage, following decades of lobbying.

News emerged last week after officials from France’s national appellations body, the INAO, presented their findings on the move back in December and following a vote by local winemakers.

The next step will be a public inquiry by the INAO in the three communes that make up the Laudun production area in order to establish the official area of production (which will cover over 1000 hectares (2500 acres). The appellation is expected to be formally inaugurated in June this year although the title will likely not be seen on labels until 2023.

“It will be the conclusion of a great undertaking,” Luc Pélaquié, head of the Laudun winegrowers’ union, told regional newspaper Midi Libre. “I salute the hard work and spirit of the winegrowers who have labored for the future of local viticulture.”

The Côtes du Rhône Villages Laudun title encompasses the communes of Laudun, Saint-Victor-la-Coste et Tresques in the Gard department on the right bank (west) of the Rhône, north of Lirac and Tavel, and over the river from (and to northwest of) Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Vineyards in Laudun currently cover around 560 hectares (1400 acres).

The region is known for being one of the largest producers of white wines of the Villages. Laudun whites, predominantly from Grenache Blanc and Clairette (although Viognier, Bourboulenc, Marsanne and Roussanne may also figure) make up around a quarter of all production in the area.

Reds are predominantly blended from Grenache and Syrah, with the former being just proportionally larger in terms of overall vineyard plantings. Mourvèdre, Carignan and Cinsault can also figure in minor proportions.

In total, the region produces just under two million liters of wine a year through 18 wine estates, six cooperative wineries and 18 négoce operations. Over half of all Laudun production is sold in retail outlets in France while a quarter of production is exported to UK, China/Hong Kong, US, Belgium and Sweden.

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