Did you know? Vines cover over 50% of the Gers region, which borders the Pyrénées-Atlantiques, the Hautes-Pyrénées, the Landes and the Lot-et-Garonne.
Exceptional history and heritage
On this thousand-year-old vineyard, in the birthplace of Armagnac and the land of the musketeers, visitors can taste authentic wines with strong characters, produced from Southwest grape varieties, such as Côtes de Gascogne, Madiran, Pacherenc, Saint-Mont, etc. Traces of viticulture date as far back as the Middle Ages, when bishops would produce wine for their own consumption and to trade for other merchandise. At the time, however, wine aged poorly… To maintain production, it was distilled and turned into white brandy, the ancestor of Armagnac.
These hilly lands are also home to an extraordinarily rich architectural heritage, often linked to the vines, including Auch – the capital of Gascony, La Romieu and its collegiate church listed as a UNESCO world heritage site, the Sainte Marie d’Auch Cathedral, the Cistercian abbey of Flaran and its collection of great masters of European art (16th – 20th century), and the Elusa archaeological centre.
Several renowned national and international cultural events are held in the Gers, such as Jazz in Marciac, Tempo Latino, the Feria in Vic-Fezensac, the Festival de Bandas in Condom, the Circa contemporary circus festival in Auch, the Astronomy Festival in Fleurance, and the Été Photographique in Lectoure.
The vineyards and wines of the Gers
The Gers’ historic and cultural heritage is rich, but that’s not all! Its land is also rich. The vast vineyards boast a thousand-year-old heritage of vines planted during the Gallo-Roman period. The first winegrowing region in Southwest France comprises numerous appellations, including :
These appellations span nearly 20,000 hectares of vines. The diversity of the clay, sandy and clay-limestone soils makes it possible to grow both fruity white wines and more aromatic and powerful wines.
These Gers wines are composed of many grape varieties, including Arrufiac, Baroque, Chenin, Colombard, Courbu Blanc & Petit Courbu, Gros Manseng, Loin de l’œil, Mauzac, Ondenc, Petit Manseng, Sauvignon Blanc for white grape varieties, and Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Côt or Malbec, Duras, Fer Servadou, Gamay, Merlot, Négrette, Prunelard, Syrah, and Tannat for red grape varieties.