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Burgundy varieties predicted to thrive in Languedoc

Published:  22 November, 2017

The Languedoc is set to become one of the key regions for growing Burgundian varieties over the next decade, according to winemaker Laurent Delaunay of Abbotts and Delauney. 

Speaking at an inaugural event in London to celebrate the best of Languedoc and Barrosa Valley winemaking, Delaunay said that the Limoux region was increasingly proving its credentials as an “excellent terroir for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay,” attracting investment from Burgundy growers.

“As land prices in Burgundy have reached astronomical levels, producers are, of course, searching for new opportunities in regions like Oregon and closer to home, Beaujolais,” Delaunay told Harpers.

“However, Limoux is also now attracting the attention of Burgundy houses, as the higher altitude, cooler vineyards are some of the most suitable in the Languedoc for growing Burgundian varieties,” he said.

“Albert Bichot, for example, has recently invested in the Limoux region.”

Already renowned for the production of sparkling wine styles, Delaunay's single vineyard Pinot Noir, 'Solaire,' based on Limoux fruit was hailed as “demonstrating the remarkable potential of the terroir for Burgundy imitations,” according to Charles Metcalf.

“A wine that could so easily be mistaken blind for a top premier cru Volnay,” he noted.

Delaunay added that fears over global warming were also a contributing factor in the drive to seek out cooler terroirs in the Languedoc region.

Nicholas Crampton, also present at the tasting, agreed that managing climate change was one of the biggest challenges facing the Barossa region in the coming years.

“The last couple of vintages in the Barossa have been a roller-coaster; late harvests, early harvests, extreme variations in temperature – we've had it all,” said Crampton.

“For us, climate change denial is ridiculous - it's a fact of life, and something that all regions in Australian need to prioritise on managing today. That way, we can continue to make outstanding wines,” he added.