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A well-kept secret, a discovery of wines
From the sunny foothills of the Pyrenees through Toulouse across to the spine of the Massif Central, the south-west is a sprawling, diverse wine region covering about 45 000 hectares and spread over 12 ‘départements’. In this viticultural garden, where the meaning of patrimony is fully expressed, there are 18 AOCs, 20 Vins de Pays, and especially a collection of unique grape varieties that remain jealously protected.
Even though Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc are grown in certain parts, the South-West remains first and foremost a veritable mosaic of ancient grape varieties, unique to the region. For example, négrette, fer servadou, duras, tannat, malbec and other varieties maintain the identity and personality of the red wines of the South-West; while the colombard, mauzac, manseng, courbu, baroque and len de l’el, are key in helping to discover the too often unsuspected charm of dry and sweet white wines of the region.
The unique taste and diversity of wines from the South-West rests on the mosaic of grape varieties. Whether it is for the supple and elegant red wines from Fronton, Brulhois, Marcillac, the powerful wines of Madiran, Saint-Mont or even for the exquisite charm of the wines from Gaillac, Pacherenc de Vic-Bilh, Jurançon and Gascogne, every consumer can find a favourite. This is likely why the wines from the South-West have never been as well-known and appreciated as they are today. Everyone is invited to partake in the zest for life and the warm hospitality of the South-West – through dry or sweet white, red, rosé and sparkling wines!
When describing the South-West of France, one must of course include its delicious regional cuisine… Foie gras, piment d’Espelette, Jambon de Bayonne and cassoulet. This magnificent region, surrounded by castles and medieval fortresses, continues to amaze all your senses ....
South-West: a marriage of tradition and modernity
The winegrowers of the South-West are proud of their traditions and diversity – they are united in their passion to bring quality wines at reasonable prices to consumers. Yesterday’s and today’s winemakers have always put forward their best human and technical resources to ensure that the region shines in all its potential. Yields have been reduced and grapes are now harvested at optimum maturity. In the cellar, new winemaking techniques have allowed for a smoother and tastier rendition of certain varieties better known for their rusticity in the past. These technical advances, coupled with dynamic sales and marketing, have been rewarded by growing interest in local and international markets.
From the edge of the Massif Central to the shores of the Atlantic Ocean and to the Pyrénées, the South-West is spread over 500 kilometres and includes 10 départements’.
This area, as vast as it is heterogenous, banks on the large diversity of its terroirs and appellations. The following appellations are present on the Canadian market, from the south-west up to the north-east :
• The Pyrenean Piedmont : Irouléguy, Jurançon
• The Gascogne Basin : Côtes de Gascogne, Madiran, Saint Mont
• The Garonne Basin : Gaillac, Fronton, Côtes du Brulhois
• The Lot Valley : Cahors
• The Aveyron : Marcillac
These wines constitute an authentic ampelographic museum showing all the originality and identity of the South-West. From fruity reds to more structured wines for laying-down, tasty dry whites to delicious sweet and liquorous wines, the South-West offers a vast and attractive array of flavours.
and on the two sides of the Lot River:
and, of course, Armagnac
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