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Wine: Languedoc Roussillon

Pursuits | By Bill Knott

As will become evident over the next few weeks, this is the time when the big holiday companies try to turn our thoughts towards summer. Glossy brochures and TV advertisements feature cruise ships, villas, gites, canal boats and theme parks in lush and tranquil settings, all calculated to persuade us to defray the rigours of winter by investing in a sunny idyll a few months hence. My new favourite guide to a summer holiday is not, however, a brochure: it is a 300-page book called Languedoc Roussillon: The Wines and Winemakers. Written by Paul Strang, and first published 15 years ago, this new edition features up-to-date profiles of nearly 700 winemakers in this most exciting of French wine regions. The wineries here are rarely as slick and well-organised as their counterparts in Bordeaux and Champagne, although (in my experience) they all offer a genuinely friendly welcome. Strang helpfully gives contact...

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