The Wine Scholar Guild is offering a 5-days study tour to the Southwest wine region of France on October 16-21, 2016. Instruction is provided by famed wine journalist and Southwest expert Andrew Jefford.
While we think every wine lover and Francophile should take that tour, here are 7 great reasons to tour Southwest France:
1. The Southwest wine region has over 30 appellations and dozens of local and exciting grape varieties.
Cahors, Jurançon, Pecharmant, Madiran and Gaillac are just some of the appellations you will discover and love for the strong character and diversity of their wines.
2. The Southwest wine region possesses breathtaking beauty.
From vast fields of sunflowers and hillside vineyards to historical medieval villages and beautiful river gorges…this region has it all. It is a feast not only for the palate but also the eyes!
3. Its local cuisine is a star of the French food scene.
Classics such as foie gras, duck confit or cassoulet are soul-satisfying, traditional dishes that originate from this region! It is also rich in freshwater fish, truffles, cèpes and locally grown fruits and vegetables. Sample it all in situ!
4. The Southwest is home to France's greatest fine red wine values.
For centuries, vignerons in the Southwest have crafted unique wines made from grapes such as Tannat, an original and precious varietal from Madiran.
Andrew Jefford says "Tannat grown on the pebbly clay of Madiran gives, in my opinion, the least well-known of France's great red wines. It's black and thunderous, immoderate in every way…especially texturally. If ever there was a knife-and-fork red, this is it.”
5. There is something in the wine!
Southwest France represents one of the corners of the world where people live the longest. The region has double the national average of men aged 90 or more. They thank resveratrol and procyanidinsfound in the red wines made from the Tannat grape for their longevity.
6. To savor France’s oldest brandy: Armagnac!
Armagnac does not have the name recognition of cognac, but it certainly makes an unforgettable impression when tasted. In 1310, Prior Vital Dufour wrote a treaty elaborating upon the 40 health-giving virtues of Armagnac. (The original document is kept in the Vatican library.) Artisinal and full of character, Armagnac is over 700 years old and worthy of amber reflection.
7. Birthplace of micro-oxygenation: a revolutionary winemaking process
In 1991, Madiran vigneron, Patrick Ducournau, slowly bubbled minute amounts of oxygen through a vat of wine. This caused the tannin molecules to bond with other tannin molecules and lose their aggressive edge on the palate. The technique mimicked the time-consuming barrel-ageing step previously required to soften the wines of this region.
His process, micro-oxygenation has been well-received by the wine industry as a whole and is now practiced by others around the globe. See where it all began!
This is a rare opportunity! Trips to the Southwest wine region are few and far between, so don’t miss your chance to travel to this beautiful and fascinating wine region this autumn.
Joins us for a 5-days study tour to the Southwest wine region of France on October 16-21, 2016. Itinerary and Reservation