Regional Wine Tours
South-west France cultivates a special lifestyle. Between the vineyards, the mountains and the chateaux, the richness of the heritage is equalled only by the authenticity of its characterful wines. Wines which perfectly match the world-famous local fine foods.
The vineyards of France’s southwest cover 12 districts, from the Massif Central plateau to the hills of Gasconnes and the Pyrenees mountains, particularly in the Occitanie region. Take the southwest wine route through changing landscapes and discover some wonderful destinations including; Toulouse, Cahors, Auch, Albi, and the Saint-Jacques-de-Compostelle pilgrims’ trail.
Known affectionately as “France’s Hidden Corner” the South West region is tucked away between the Pyrénées Mountains and Spain to the south, Bordeaux to the north, and the Atlantic Ocean on the west and is the 5th largest wine region of France at 120,000 acres.
Grape harvest festivals and events, visits to the wine cellars, tasting courses and wine and fine-food matching events are just some of the wine tourism activities organized by the local winegrowers and producers. The discovery of the south-west wines also goes hand in hand with internationally renowned local fine foods, such as foie gras pâté, truffles and Roquefort cheese.
Bergerac & Dordogne River
Located just south of Bordeaux, the vineyards of this region lie along the Dordogne River, the same river that flows through Bordeaux. As such they share the same Atlantic influence on their climate, although temperatures are slightly warmer. The growers in this region use similar grape varieties to make dry reds, whites and rosés, as well as sweet dessert styles.
Garonne & Tarn
Named after two major rivers, this region reaches a little further east, towards France’s fourth-largest city, Toulouse. The climate is somewhat varied with the western portion influenced by the Atlantic while the Mediterranean climate holds more influence in the eastern environs with less rain and slightly higher temperatures. As far as grapes go, you’ll find the same varieties as in Bergerac & Dordogne.
The Lot River Region is influenced by both the Atlantic and the Mediterranean climates and grows the same grape varieties as the Garonne & Tarn. Cahors is the most famous of the sub-regions and home to the popular variety Malbec. These inky wines have been adored for centuries, especially by the royal houses of England and Russia.
Named after the rugged mountain range that divides France and Spain, the wines from the Pyrénées sub-region are rustic and artisanal, crafted from the indigenous Tannat grape variety.