As you travel on the train from Bordeaux to Bergerac you will be amazed at how many acres of vineyards you will pass. At some point which you will not see, they become Bergerac wines and are no longer Bordeaux. So when you buy a Bergerac wine for half the price of a Bordeaux wine you realize there could not be much of a difference – same grapes….same terroire , same distance from the river, same weather etc……… Just an observation.
This is a very large category. First, let me say that if you are familiar with wines from European countries, they are mostly ” varietals”. In other words you rarely see a bottle of ” Cab”. So as I explain the wines of this area, I will tell you what the blends are. The laws that regulate these blends are what AOC means , translates to Controlled Designation of Origin – Appellation d’Origine Controlee.
To the west of Bergerac are all the vineyards of Bordeaux wines and St. Emilion, and several others. There are hundreds of these. Bordeaux wines are also blends of different kinds, but very regulated. In order to call yourself “Bordeaux” wines you must obey these blends and their proportions. For example, Bordeaux wines are blends of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Malbec and Petit Verdot…….with 60% Cabernet Sauvignon in some and 60% Merlot in others, but always these 5 grapes.
In the area closer to our house, we explore wines that are typical of this area and not often found in the USA.
- Pecharmant wines grow in a small region east of Bergerac and are only red wines : Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec and Merlot.
- Rosette wines also a small area east of Bergerac with sweet wines : Muscadelle, Semillon, Cabernet
- Montravel wines grow west of Bergerac, closer to the Bordeaux vineyards. They make red, white and sweet.
- Bergerac….and Cotes de Bergerac produce red, white dry, and sweet. Like the Montavel above the predominant grapes are Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Malbec for the reds; and Sauvignon, Semillion and Muscadelle for the white. Semillion is used for the sweet wines.
- Monbazillac is a white sweet wines made from Semillion,Sauvignon and Muscadelle.