The L’Aventure Languedoc campaign is in full swing, bringing France’s top-tier wines to participating locations throughout Washington. Along with refreshing rosé and top-notch summer whites, Languedoc – France’s largest wine producing region – offers crisp and affordable sparklers perfect for celebrating dad on Father’s Day.
Champagne Quality at Prosecco Prices
Still searching for a way to honor dad this Sunday? If he likes champagne, he’ll love Crémant de Limoux, one of Languedoc’s original sparklers. The first evidence of sparkling wines made in the traditional ‘Champagne’ method in Limoux dates back to 1531, 100 years before similar evidence in the Champagne region. These original sparklers come in two main types: Crémant de Limoux and Blanquette de Limoux. They’re crisp, lovely, and economical. Ranging from $15 – $20 a bottle, you’ll get Champagne quality at Prosecco prices – something dad will be sure to appreciate.
Limoux is an appellation for sparkling wines from the Languedoc region in Southern France, a sunny and expansive territory that spans 650,000 acres along the Mediterranean Sea. Home to several climate and soil types, Languedoc produces a wide variety of exceptional wines, all blessed with abundant sunshine, warm temperatures, and varying hills and plains. Languedoc’s Limoux vineyards are unique due to their location in the western part of the region, where climatic influences from the Atlantic mix with those from the Mediterranean, creating a microclimate that allows for the production of sparkling wines.
The area is also rich in history: the Limoux vineyard lies close to several UNESCO World Heritage sites including the city of Carcassonne and the Canal du Midi. There’s written evidence that the monks of the Abbey of Saint Hilaire produced these sparkling wines – what’s now Blanquette de Limoux – before Champagne. While Limoux wines are produced using the same grapes and winemaking methods as those used to produce Champagne – they undergo a primary fermentation in a barrel before fermenting a second time in the bottle in which they’re sold – they sell for a fraction of the price without skimping on quality.
Limoux and Champagne are also made from the same grapes – instead of Mediterranean grape varieties like Grenache and Picpoul, Limoux features Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, Pinot Noir, and the native Mauzac grape. Blanquette de Limoux, which is made primarily from Mauzac, shows flavors of ripe green apple, acacia, and apricot. Crémant de Limoux wines, which are generally blends of Chardonnay and Chenin Blanc, show more Champagne like flavors, such as toasty notes of brioche and fresh pear and floral aromas.
These are great on their own as an aperitif to raise a cheers to dad, but Limoux wines also pair well with a wide range of foods, including brunch feasts, shellfish, salmon, baked brie, crab cakes, and a variety of cheeses.
See the above map to find out where you can get a bottle of Limoux bubbly before Father’s Day. Every participating location will feature a different selection of Languedoc wines, but some sparklers to look out for include Chateau Rives-Blanques AOP Blanquette de Limoux, Paul Mas Côte Mas AOP Crémant de Limoux Rosé, and Gerard Bertrand Brut AOP Crémant de Limoux. The crisp sparkler will be the perfect way to celebrate dad on his special day. L’Aventure Languedoc runs through June 30, so be sure to take advantage of the opportunity to try these affordable and incredibly refreshing sparkling wines while you can!
For more information on the wines, region, and L’Aventure Languedoc promotion, visit http://languedocadventure.com/events/2016-laventure-languedoc/laventure-languedoc- in-washington/.