The village of Laudun in the Côtes du Rhône is set to become its own Appellation d’Origine Protégée (AOP) by its 2023 vintage, following decades of lobbying. The commune lies in the southern half of the Rhône Valley and is known for its fresh, floral white wines. The designation would follow local villages Rasteau and Cairanne in being its own Protected Designation of Origin.
It’s thought that the new Laudun AOP will officially come into play in June of this year, though the status will not appear on wine labels until the 2023 vintage, by which time it will be “the conclusion of a great undertaking,” Luc Pélaquié, head of the Laudun winegrowers’ union, told newspaper Midi Libre. “I salute the hard work and spirit of the winegrowers who have labored for the future of local viticulture.”
Laudun was first registered as an appellation with France’s national body, the INAO, in 1953. However, regional politics saw the area fall into the remit of the Côtes du Rhône Villages and Laudun became a Côtes du Rhône Villages title in the mid-1960s.
Local winemakers, however, have continued to lobby for the region to have its own appellation and in December 2021, the INAO presented their most recent findings on the proposition. This was followed by a vote earlier this month by winemakers in the region to ascertain whether Laudun growers and winemakers were willing to proceed with the petition. The vote showed overwhelming support for the decision, coming in at a strong majority of 88 votes to seven.
The move would make Laudun and its 560 acres of vineyards an official “Cru” of the Côtes du Rhône.
A public inquiry by the INAO will now take place in order to establish the official area of production.
The Côtes du Rhône Villages Laudun title encompasses the communes of Laudun, Saint-Victor-la-Coste et Tresques in the Gard departement on the right bank (west) of the Rhône, north of Lirac and Tavel, and over the river from (and to northwest of) Châteauneuf-du-Pape.
The region is known for being one of the region’s largest producers of white wines, with Laudun whites making up around a quarter of all production in the area.