Picpoul is one of dozens of little known, nigh on exotic grape varieties cultivated in hidden corners of the Languedoc. What makes it worthy of your attention is its refreshing originality and charm. Muscadet-like stony freshness with extra richness.
If you love vivacious whites, Picpoul is a must try. It's a white grape that grows in the Languedoc and takes its name from the village of Pinet on the Mediterranean coast. Most unusually for France, it has its very own appellation, Picpoul de Pinet AOP, which stretches from Pézenas to the fishing port of Sète. Oz Clarke says the name 'Picpoul' means 'lip stinger' (perhaps due to its delicious freshness) while locals claim it refers to the habit of local chickens (poules) pecking fallen grapes off the ground. Either way, this delicious example is made by the Canet cellar, one of the most respected domaines in nearby Minervois. Not surprisingly, given the vineyard's proximity to the coast, this is a wonderful accompaniment to fresh seafood.