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The appellations

   At the intersection of 3 regions, the Gironde, the Dordogne and the Lot-et-Garonne, the Pays Foyen vineyards extend on 6 different appellations: Sainte-Foy-Bordeaux, Bordeaux and Bordeaux Supérieur, Bergerac, Montravel, Saussignac and Côtes de Duras.


The history of Bordeaux wines spans almost 2000 years to Roman times when the first vineyards were planted. In the Middle Ages, the marriage of Henry Plantagenet and Eleanor of Aquitaine opened the Bordeaux region to the English market and eventually to the world's stage. The name Bordeaux derives from the French “au bord de l'eau” which means "along the waters" and makes reference to the Gironde estuary and its tributaries, the Garonne and the Dordogne River which play a pivotal role in the history and success of this region.


The origins of the Bergerac Vineyard coincide with the advent of Gallo-Roman civilisation. The variety of grape used for these initial plantations was called “Biturica,” named after the tribe who first began its cultivation, the “Bituriges Vivisques.” It is the grand old ancestor of our present Cabernet, grown for its resistance to bad weather, yield, and ability to improve over the years. The first documents attesting to the vineyard’s importance and location date from the Thirteenth Century. Stretching along the right bank of the Dordogne River over a radius of 10 to 15 kilometres around Bergerac, then into the Montravel Region, the “Vinée de Bergerac” would soon extend to the south across the river. In January, 1255, the Mayor, Knights and the entire community of Bergerac acceded to the authority of King Henry the Third of England. As a result, Henry III established Bergerac as an independent jurisdiction. Consequently, the middle class obtained the right for the free circulation of wines as far as the mouth of the River Gironde.


THE TERROIR AND CLIMATE: It is good to learn to recognise the different soils. The land of clay and limestone looks like unbaked clay studded with porous white stones. It is a winemaker's dream that offers the freshness of clay and the filtering properties of limestone, a perfect environment for Merlot, the main grape type for Sud-Ouest red wine. The result: round, fine, fruity wines.


The AOC is short for "appellations d’origine controlée": areas whose names are reserved for the typical wines made in the region. These names are protected and only wines made within the specified region and meeting the requirements can be called by these names.


THE GRAPE VARIETIES: 1/ Merlot: Red grape, widely grown in France. It gives a dark wine, which evolves to a garnet colour with time Aromas of black cherry and plum and some sweet spices Very round, it fills the mouth. 2/ Cabernet franc: Red grape, it gives a red or pink wine when young, dark garnet when older. It provides hints of licorice and green pepper. Round on the palate, fruity, balanced by a slight coolness. 3/ Cabernet sauvignon: Red grape, it gives a purple wine when young, garnet with time, releases aromas of cedar and cassis followed by light tobacco and almond with time. Must age to reveal its subtlety and richness on the palate with aromas of black fruits 4/ Sauvignon: White grape. It gives pale lemon colour wines, offers excellent aromas of white fruit and peach, Fresh, marked by white fruit and a slight hint of lemon. It is the grape of choice for dry white wines, some of which are made of 100% sauvignon blanc. 5/ Sémillon: White grape, it gives a straw yellow wine, which becomes amber with age, aromas of honey, dried fruit and lemon confit. It gives roundness to the fabulous white wines. 6/ Muscadelle: White grape, it makes a sweet, heady wine and aromas of honeysuckle and acacia blossom.

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