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France: Tourism: Discover 3 Wine Routes in the Midi-Pyrénées -- by Nelly Lesage

When you think of French wine, famous appellations like Champagne or Bordeaux are the first names that come to mind; wines with strong characters and powerful flavours, their fame extends far beyond the nation’s borders. But those who know France understand that there are many other fantastic wines elsewhere, and not least in the southwest.

In the sun-kissed region of the Midi-Pyrénées, for example, vineyards are integral to the landscape and produce delicious varieties. If you’re unfamiliar with the likes of Gaillac Rosé or Côtes de Cascogne, maybe it’s time to experience wine tasting in an alternative way. However, embarking on a route des vins isn’t only about tasting – you’ll discover the magical confluence of an area’s wine heritage, its culture and the very terroir which continues to produce these fine varieties.

You’ll need a few days to fully enjoy following a wine route and to make it memorable, especially if you want to make a few stops along the way. You can set your own customised itinerary – sticking to just the main sites or, if you have time, stopping in each lovely village en route.

You have three main options for exploring the vineyards of southwest France, and each allows you to discover not only the wine producers but also the area’s heritage – the two often being intertwined.

The Cahors-Malbec route follows the Lot River, which meanders downstream to the vineyards of Cahors; while if you prefer Armagnac, take the route des vins around the ancient heart of Gascogne, the Gers, where the countryside epitomises beauty and seclusion. The third principal route, around Gaillac, combines the verdancy of the vineyards with the region’s historical treasures.

Read more: France =- Tourism: Discover 3 Wine Routes in the Midi-Pyrénées - France Today

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