The Bergerac wine region is now widely regarded to compare with that of Bordeaux, with all three colours (red, white and rose) produced to excellent standards. The terroire (combination of soil, climate, growing conditions etc) is akin to that Bordeaux, and provides ideal conditions for grape varieties for reds and roses (merlot, cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc and malbec) and for dry whites (sauvignon blanc, sémillon, muscadelle), semi-sweets and sweet whites (sémillon, sauvignon blanc, muscadelle, chenin blanc). And whilst Bordeaux is still hamstrung with traditions etc, Bergerac is reinventing itself with the best yet to come.
Situated on both sides of the Dordogne River, the Bergerac vineyards cover 13.000 hectares on 93 villages. These vineyards produce 75 % of the Dordogne's production. The cellar of every "wine cooperative" offers its precious wine for tasting, particularly the Bergerac and Monbazillac cellars which are open to visitors.
Among the 12 appellations, the most famous are AOC Bergerac (red, rosé and dry white), Côtes de Bergerac (red and semi-sweet white), Pécharmant (dry red), Rosette (semi-sweet wine), Monbazillac (sweet), Saussignac (semi-sweet) and Montravel (red, dry and semi-sweet white). Slightly further afield are the vineyards of Bordeaux, St Emilion, Pomerol and Fronsac, yet all still only an hour away. St Emilion is a beautiful town and must to visit. A walk up the winding roads of the village is justified when you reach the top and the see the views over the St Emilion vineyards. There are some fantastic restaurants in St Emilion and a stop for lunch is highly recommended!
Don't miss the Sigoules Wine Festival - an extravaganza spanning a long week-end, usually at the end of July.