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Best Producers

France: Vin de Pays

What is Vin de Pays?
Vin de pays literally translates as country wine. At last count there were 95 vin de pays designations in France covering almost two thirds of the surface area of the country. Vin de pays areas can cover an entire region, a department, or a sub-region. Vin de pays d’Oc (Languedoc) is one that should be familiar to all wine-drinking consumers as it supplies much of the need for cheap varietal wine. The large and varied Languedoc region is suited to producing a rainbow of varietal wines—from Syrah to Sauvignon Blanc.

Production of vin de pays is far less mired in regulation than in Appellations d’Origine Controlée. In theory vin de pays wines are lower on the quality ladder than similar AOC wines, but there are some exceptions to this simple rule of thumb. One major difference to the consumer is that vin de pays will often carry a varietal designation; this is strictly forbidden with AOC wines. As long as California struggles to produce adequate quantities of reasonably priced fighting varietal wines, U.S. consumers will look thirstily towards southern French vin de pays.

Premier Producers
Louis Latour (Grande Ardeche Chardonnay, Valmoissine Pinot Noir)
Domaine de Triennes
Val d’Orbieu (Cuvée Mythique)

Great Producers
Domaine Capion (Estate Reds)
Domaine de la Couthiat
Grand Prebois
Louis Latour
Henri Miquel
Domaine Mont Saint-Jean
Tortoise Creek
Val d’Orbieu

Dependable Producers
Baron Philippe de Rothschild
La Baume
Domaine de Chevalier
Georges Duboeuf
Fortant de France
Jaja de Jau
Les Jamelles
La Janesse
Domaine du Mage
Marquise de Lassime
Marquis St. James
Domaine Paul Mas
Gabriel Meffre
Domaine la Noble
La Perouse
Michel Picard
Roq Dur
Reserve St. Martin

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