While projectors seem to always be pointed towards Bordeaux, we tend to forget that the Southwest region is also an actual museum of vines. The climate and topography of the Southwest are diversified, which allows numerous styles of wines to be produced there; strong red wines such as Buzet, Gaillac, Marcillac, Côtes de Millau, Pecharmant, Fronton and Coteaux de Quercy dominate the wine production of the region. The Tannat is the star red vine of Madiran, whereas Malbec reigns supreme in Cahors.
The Romans were the first ones to produce wine here, well before the establishment of the vineyards of Bordeaux. During the Middle Ages, while Bordeaux was a well-established region, the Southwest used to be called the “High Country”. Both regions sent their goods by the tributaries of the main rivers, the Garonne and the Dordogne, towards other regions of the Atlantic Coast. The grapes of the High Country used to ripen much earlier than in Bordeaux, allowing to bottle the wine and sell it more quickly; this is what threatened the producers of Bordeaux and urged them to set up the “wine police”, stipulating that no wine of the High Country can be sold before most of the wines of Bordeaux leave the port. In certain vintages, some wines of the High Country still haven’t left the port…
The Southwest may be the least known region of France, but it is full of hidden treasures and breathtaking landscapes.Its vineyards are planted next to lush forests and wine and winemaking will remain a way of life there. If you love Bordeaux but want to discover a more discreet route in the footsteps of Santiago de Compostela, then the Southwest of France is calling out for you!
The Southwest is one of the essential steps of the Southwest wine tour.