Bergerac wine region
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Pubdate 2022-05-13 in wine related
Bergerac AOC
Côte de Bergerac AOC
Monbazillac AOC

Bergerac wine region

Bergerac wine region
Within the municipality of Bergerac, which geographically also broadly equates with the wine region Bergerac, there are 13 individual AOPs. According to the old regulations for France's classification system, the term AOC is used as a designator, according to the newer EU directive, AOP is to be used; but the Frenchman is a stubborn figure, and the terms are used in parallel, with a predilection for the historical moniker, yet they essentially denote the same thing. Each AOC/AOP has its own grapes or grape blends and styles as a starting point, according to which you make your wines:
Bergerac wine region
Under the general term Bergerac AOC, rosé, red and dry white wines are made.

In the Côte de Bergerac AOC and Pécharmant AOC only red wines are produced.

Sweet wines are made in Monbazillac AOC, Saussignac AOC, Haut-Montravel AOC, Côtes de Montravel AOC and Rosette AOC.

In Montravel AOC, dry white and red wines are produced.

The region uses a mixed compote of different grapes, where these are mainly used in the different districts:
Bergerac wine region
In the making of red wines, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Merlot make up the largest proportion of cultivated grapes, but some Côt (local name for Malbec), Fer Servadou and Mérille are also grown. The trend is skewed towards the more well-known grapes taking over more and more cultivated area from the local and (non-regionally) lesser known grape varieties. But if you find yourself in the area, we recommend you keep an eye open for a wine made exclusively with Fer Servadou: fantastic and fine-tuned, elegantly perfumed and packed with red berries, with a soft and light mouthfeel.

Most wines are made according to the same principle as in nearby Bordeaux, i.e. with a blend of the different grapes that are allowed to be grown within the respective AOC/AOP.
Bergerac wine region
Foto Côtes de bergerac av balise42  CC
Green grapes used are dominated by Sémillon, Sauvignon Blanc, Sauvignon Gris and Muscadelle. Ugni Blanc (called Trebbiano in Italy, where it is widely used), Ondemc (better known by the name Mauzac in Limoux, among others, which we have written about earlier) and Chenin Blanc are also used to some extent, albeit on a smaller scale. The white dry wines are often strong and flavorful with noticeable fruit. The sweet varieties are often full of spice and display a more exotic fruitiness.
Bergerac wine region
Foto Bergerac av kewl
With all these variations and given the varying soils through the region, the different microclimates and various strategies regarding cultivation and production, the region offers a wide array of different styles and wines, many of which are of not-yet-discovered world class.
Bergerac wine region
Foto Sauternes av Biskuit  CC
Sauterne's sweet wines are celebrated all over the world, but the wines from Monbazillac are often not very far behind in quality. These are wines that are often designated dessert wines, but thanks to their tone of Botrytis-infested grapes, the wines from Monbazillac work absolutely wonderfully as an accompaniment to starters with some punch or heat to them; like a rich lobster bisque or spicy, gratinated lobsters.
Bergerac wine region
As for the red wines, one must not do Bergerac a disservice by comparing too harshly with the region's more celebrated neighbor, Bordeaux. A completely different geology, an historically incomparable economy on the producer side, a different climate; thus the wines hold their own ground. They range from the rustic, powerful, and opaque wines from Barsac, to the flatteringly soft and elegant wines from Côtes de Bergerac and Pécharmant. If you are looking for wines to store for a while, Côtes de Bergerac is definitely the district to aim for; often they do not mature fully until nearing their 10th birthday. The wines from Bergerac are otherwise best enjoyed young, so that the acidity is allowed to balance both the tannins and the subtle sweetness that ripe fruit offers us wine lovers.
No matter what wine finally choose, we promise that it will pair perfectly with a homemade bearnaise, potatoes roasted in duck fat and charcoal-grilled entrecôte, or why not Coeur de boeuf! Bon appetit!
Bruno Ohlzon
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