The Languedoc-Roussillon, a broad arc that runs along France's Mediterranean coast, produces more wine than any other region in France. Southwest France is a lush, hilly wine region that occupies the corner bordered by the Atlantic Ocean on the west, and Spain and the Pyrenees Mountains on the south. Some of the world’s great grape varieties originated here and many of the area’s lesser-known varieties are grown nowhere else but in the Southwest.

For decades—even centuries—much of these two wine regions were forgettable. But over the past 10 to 20 years, there's been a boom in quality here, with ambitious winemakers and growers producing impressive reds and whites, still at affordable prices. In addition, their conventional styles are growing in quality and popularity as inexpensive alternatives to Bordeaux, Burgundy and Rhône wine.

For wine consumers, especially those who like hand-crafted, highly individual wines that express the place where they were grown and are sensibly priced too, Languedoc-Roussillon and Southwest are the perfect playground.

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