Tag: AOC

Spotlight on: Bergerac

Monbazillac castle, Bergerac

With the success of the, Spotlight on: Languedoc-Roussillon series, I thought I would expand that into some of the other wine regions I’ve visited. Most recently, that was Bergerac (read my post for Yahoo here).

Lying to the east of Bordeaux, Bergerac is often seen as the younger cousin of the famous wine region. Yet in many respects, Bergerac is not like Bordeaux at all. That sentiment is shared with the winemakers – some promoted their wines as Bordeaux-style while others preferred to tout Bergerac as something entirely different.

While it’s true that the terroir of the two regions are largely similar, it’s important to note that Bergerac, being further inland, has less maritime influences.

In terms of grapes, there are similarities too. Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc are used in the main for reds while Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon are used for whites and sweet wines. Bergerac also seems to make much bigger uses of Malbec, now more associated with Argentina, Muscadelle and even Ugni Blanc (or Trebbiano).

What is interesting about Bergerac wines is the incredible diversity in styles and approaches to winemaking. Some producers are still making that very elegant style of wine, which is too austere when drunk young; others are being influenced by the wines of the South West and using more unusual grapes in their blends; and others still are influenced almost entirely by the New World and fashioning wines for drinking today, tomorrow but probably not ten years down the line.

With that in mind, here are the few wineries I visited in Bergerac with tasting notes to be posted in the coming weeks:

Château Barouillet

Château de la Jaubertie

Château de Tiregand

Château des Eyssards

Château Moulin Caresse

Château Thénac

ViniSource

Spotlight on: Languedoc-Roussillon

Earlier this year I went to the Languedoc-Roussillon for a tour around an eclectic mix of vineyards and wineries.

Vineyard, Abbaye de Valmagne, Villeveyrac

Although I had written about wines from the Languedoc-Roussillon before on here and elsewhere, being at the winery and actually seeing the different philosophies on wine making has really helped me get into the heart of it.

What was most interesting, for me, was the fact that while there were plenty of wineries that had been making wines as far back as the 12th Century, it feels very much like an emerging wine region. Much of it has come down to the fact that many of the younger generation of wine makers aren’t so set in their ways about how they made wines and were happy to experiment. What’s more, the region’s mix of AOC and IGP statuses allowed them to without prejudice. They’re not trading on century old brands but rather, cult statuses.

With that in mind, I thought it was rather apt to gather some small postings about the wineries in the region I visited and written about (more to be posted in coming weeks):

 Abbaye de Fontfroide

Abbaye de Valmagne

Cazes

Château d’Anglès

Château de Flaugergues

Château de Lastours

Château de l’Hospitalet

Château Les Carrasses

Château Mourgues du Grès

Château Pennautier

Domaine Gayda

Domaine Haut Gleon

Paul Mas

Riberach

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