The Dordogne is ideally situated to explore some of France’s most prestigious and less well-known wine regions. Famous names such as Bordeaux and St Emilion lie within easy reach and up-and-coming regions like Bergerac are just a stone’s throw away.
Discover some of the finest vineyards and wines in the world with the best wine tasting Dordogne has to offer
The Dordogne river runs through some of the most prestigious vineyard areas in the world. Bordeaux and its fine wines lie down river towards the Atlantic. Explore the provincial capital of Bordeaux itself and stroll along ancient quays next to the river or marvel at its well-preserved 18th-century architecture and dine in its many top-class restaurants, whilst also sampling the renowned local wines. Whether you want to try wines from top château from prestigious appellation such as Margaux, St Emilion or Pomerol, or sip classic Bordeaux wines, you’ll find something to suit even the most discerning palettes. While in Bordeaux, you should also pay a visit to the magnificent Cité du Vin and learn more about the history and culture of wine.
Explore medieval towns and stunning viticultural landscapes
Head to the other side of the Garonne, journeying through historic viticultural landscapes, to the enchanting UNESCO-listed medieval town of St Emilion, home to the largest underground monolithic church in Europe. Stroll its picturesque streets and browse its many gourmet food and, of course, wine shops to do a spot of wine tasting.
Dordogne and Aquitaine are not only about Bordeaux. Nearby Bergerac is an up-and-coming region garnering increasing praise and international attention, located on either side of the Dordogne river. The region is full of romantic castles, elegant manor houses and Romanesque churches to discover as you explore south-west France’s wine country. Bergerac also boasts excellent wines crafted from a similar range of varieties to those in Bordeaux – mainly Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc – and is best known for its excellent value reds and rosés, produced from grapes grown in the gentle climate along the river. Bergerac creates the perfect range of remarkable wines from just the right combinations of grapes to pair with the local Périgord cuisine. Make sure you also take a peek at the 12th-century cloister which forms part of Bergerac’s Maison du Vin, where you can learn more about the region’s wines.
Meander along the narrow atmospheric streets and café-lined squares of the medieval town centre of Sarlat, one of the region’s pearls. Sample its proud gastronomic traditions and experience its bustling food markets before the most picture-perfect wine tasting Dordogne has up its sleeve.
Uncover local varieties in less mainstream regions
South-west France is also home to many historic wine regions that lie off the radar of many wine lovers, but also hide some local treasures. Gauillac boast some of the region’s oldest vineyards and cultivates some less mainstream local varieties to tickle the palette of the more adventurous wine taster. Sample wines from little-known Len de L’el, Duras and Fer Servadou. Head for the European homes of South American flagship varieties Malbec and Tannat. Enjoy inky, black Malbec in Cahors, Europe’s most famous Malbec region, or tannic Tannat in Madiran.
A sweet wine lover’s paradise
Lovers of sweet wines will also find some of the world’s best noble dessert wines here. As well as the more famous Bordeaux appellation, Sauternes, the Dordogne hides another region where sweet wines are also crafted from Muscadelle, Sémillon and Sauvignon Blanc. Grapes infected with noble rot are handpicked in Monbazillac to produce luscious golden wines worth lingering over. The town also boasts a beautiful château with marvellous views over miles of lovely countryside.
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