This is one of the best-known appellations and the largest in the Languedoc-Roussillon region of France, accounting for about 45% of total AOC production and covering 13,500 hectares of vineyards. It covers a square area about 57 kilometers wide south and west of Narbonne. It is primarily a red wine appellation although a small amount of rosé and white wine is made here also. The principal grape variety is Carignan with Grenache, Mourvèdre and Syrah and the region has a Mediterranean climate.
As can be expected for such a large appellation, there are a many different soils here but the main soils are clays, marl and alluvial with sandstone and limestone in some areas. Most of the red wines are now aged in French oak barrels and can develop for 3-5 years after the harvest. The wines are quite rich with aromas of black fruit, licorice, herbs and garrigue. The wines go well with game dishes, meats, patés and pork.