South West France Wine Region

Charming Wines from South West France

As the name suggests, the South West France as a wine region represents all the winemaking regions in the southwestern part of the country.

Collectively, South West France is a larger territorial zone having almost 16,000 hectares of vineyards.

When we look at this region in the French map, we could note that this is not that much clear since it’s excluding the world-famous wine region – the Bordeaux. This is because; Bordeaux itself is an effective wine region in its distinctive way.

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Wine grape varieties

As a whole, South West France wine region includes a number of discontinuous wine islands in the following administrative regions of the country:

· Aquitaine
· Limousin
· Midi-Pyrenees

The wines from this part of France are often described as ‘charming wines’. Let’s have a look at them here…

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Remember to read the Wine Tasting guide...

Understanding South West France as a Wine Region

The South West France is popularly called as Hidden Corner of France as this is lying between the Pyrénées Mountains and Spain on its southern side.

As mentioned earlier, this is huge as a wine region and is standing in the fifth position as the largest wine region of the country.

The entire South West France can be divided into the following sub-regions based on their characters, climatic conditions, and grape varieties:

· Bergerac and Dordogne River
· Garonne and Tarn
· Lot River
· Pyrénées

When we look at each of the sub-regions, we can understand that there are several communal, as well as village appellations, which are called as AOPs. In addition, there are some IGPs too!

In general, theBergerac and Dordogne River sub-region of South West France is well-known for its Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot grape varieties.

Also, we can find some Bordeaux blends here. When we move on to the Garonne and Tarn sub-region, we can taste the diverse range of flavors from some of the rarest indigenous grape varieties.

The third sub-region Lot River is the real home of the famous grape variety called Malbec. Other grape varieties of this region are almost the same as that of Garonne and Tarn. Finally, the Pyrénées sub-region can be called as the land of rare and undiscovered wines.

South West France, a Treasure Trove of Wine Grapes!

I call the region as a treasure trove of wine grapes because this region is home to a wide range of wine grapes.

There are more than 300 grape varieties in this region out of which 120 are found to be indigenous.

Also, this region has several older varieties and most of them are found to be unique to this region.

Following is the list of rare and indigenous grape varieties of South West France.

Whites:

· Ondenc
· Len de L’el
· Mauzac Blanc
· Camaralet
· Gros Manseng
· Petit Manseng
· Lauzet
· Arrufiac
· Raffiat
· Courbu
· Clairette Blanche
· Baroque

Reds:

· Mérille
· Fer Servadou
· Négrette
· Tannat
· Abouriou
· Prunelard
· Mouyssagués
· Manseng Noir
· Tannat
· Courbu Noir
· Fer Servadou

In addition to these, we can also find some common grape varieties like the following ones:

Whites:

· Sauvignon Blanc
· Ugni Blanc
· Semillon
· Chenin Blanc
· Muscadelle
· Mauzac Rose
· Saint Côme

Reds:

· Gamay
· Syrah
· Cinsault
· Jurançon Noir
· Pinot Noir
· Cabernet Sauvignon
· Cabernet Franc
· Merlot
· Malbec

All the grape varieties that are cultivated in South West France can be related to six larger families of grape varieties.

They are:

White Grape Families:

· Carmenets
· Cotoides

Red Grape Families:

· Folloides
· Gouais
· Noiriens
· Chenins

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Author

Tharani Rajamanickam

Tharani Rajamanickam

Winewriter

I am Tharani, I have Bachelors degree in Biotechnology. I am passionate about the wine industry and continue to explore, learn and share and I bring in a wealth of knowledge and expertise to help you keep updated with best wines in the world. Stay tuned..

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