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Wines and Vineyards

Enjoy the exceptional riches of the vineyards crossed by the Canal des 2 Mers à Vélo cycle route. The very many appellation d’origine contrôlée (AOC) white, red and rosé wines produced on this way between the Atlantic and Mediterranean will delight fans of fine wine. Plus there are plenty of local culinary specialities to savour.

Cognac des Fins Bois and Pineaux

cognac des fins boisThe Les  Bois sub-regions of the Cognac-producing region (where sweet Pineau des Charentes can also be made) stretch west to the estuaries of the Charente and the Gironde. The taste of the many and varied Cognac crus depends on local geology, microclimate and ageing, as well as the grape varieties used. Cognac, generally, with its rounded, supple aromas, carries the flavours not just of the grapes, but also of the oak barrels used in ageing, and even of the Atlantic climate, the alchemical results varying subtly!
 

Haute-Gironde wines

wine tasting in BordeauxDominating the Gironde Estuary, the vineyards of the Haute-Gironde (or Upper Gironde) fall under several appellations: Blaye Côtes de Bordeaux; Côtes de Bourg; and Bordeaux & Bordeaux Supérieur. The estuary’s ocean climate allows numerous grape varieties to flourish, including malbec (the red variety) and white varieties only rarely used in the département (French county) of Gironde – ugni blanc, colombard and merlot blanc.

 

Entre-deux-mers appellation (AOC) wines

entre-deux-mer winesBetween the Dordogne and Garonne Rivers (nicknamed ‘mers’, or ‘seas’, here), the beautiful geographical region known as Entre-deux-Mers produces the widest range of Bordeaux wines: reds, whites (dry and sweet), rosés and old-fashioned clairets. This is the largest area in the département of Gironde for producing AOC wines, and it accounts for a massive 85 % of Bordeaux wines (that is, wines made in the Gironde département). From as early as the 11th century, Benedictine monks at the local Abbey of La Sauve-Majeure set about improving the area’s methods for cultivating vines.

 

Côtes du Marmandais

Le vignoble du marmandaisThe vineyards of the département (French county) of Lot-et-Garonne count among the oldest in France. An exceptional panoply of grape varieties and styles of wine is produced across this département. The vines of the Côtes du Marmandais spread along the banks of the Garonne River. This wine-producing area has roots going back to Roman times. It won separate AOC status in 1990. Traditional grape varieties are grown here, as well as rare ones, like abouriou, the appellation’s emblematic variety.

 

Cave des Vignerons de Buzet Wine Cooperative

Wine tasting at Buzet en baizeThe Buzet vineyards spread across 2,000 hectares between the banks of the Garonne and the great forest of Les Landes de Gascogne. Created in 1953, the Cave Coopérative des Vignerons de Buzet wine cooperative has made the area’s wines renowned. It produces wine for 95%  of the appellation’s vineyards and is one of the most visited tourist destinations in the whole Lot-et-Garonne. Follow the eight-stage tour showing in fascinating detail how the wines of Buzet are made, from cultivating the vines and vinifying the grapes to ageing the wine in barrels and then bottling it.

 

Le Brulhois

le brulhois vineyardsThe area of Le Brulhois consists of pebbly slopes and of plains. Through long experience, winemakers here have identified the best spots for growing vines. Among the historic grape varieties cherished in these parts, the Vignerons du Brulhois keep up tannât, malbec, fer servadou and abouriou, associating them with merlot, cabernet franc and cabernet sauvignon.

 

Le Frontonnais

le frontonnaisLocated between Toulouse and Montauban, the Frontonnais is another well-known member of the family of southwestern French wines. The wines of the Fronton area have a unique character, though, dominated by one extremely rare grape variety, négrette.

You won’t find this grape variety anywhere else in the world, and the fact that it produces unique wines is something of which the winemakers of the Frontonnais are very proud.

 

Aude wines

aude wines in HompsThe département of Aude is the second-largest wine-producing county in France and the largest area producing appellation wines in France’s Mediterranean regions, making some five million hectolitres per year from 85,000 hectares under vine. The Aude boasts 7 AOC areas: Cabardès, Clape, Corbières, Fitou, Limoux, Malepère and Minervois.

 

The Aude’s  great variety of terroirs

The Aude’s  great variety of terroirsThe Aude département boasts of having terroirs as bountiful as its sunshine and wine as bountiful as the sunshine too! Proud of its riches, it is focused on producing quality wines. These tend to be very rich, round and supple, with heady aromas and a deep flavour.