The South West of France is a patchwork of small and ancient vineyards. In the 1st century, the Prince Probus left his name to a vineyard of Cahors. The winemakers of the South West have benefited from the English presence in Aquitaine, but will stay in the shadow of Bordeaux for a while, mostly because of the lack of communication routes. It is only in the 70's that a new push is given to the production in the South West and to its fame.
The vineyard of the South West covers 70,000 hectares of vines. In its diversity of terroirs, several reknown appellations can be found, as diverse as Madiran, Cahors, Monbazillac, Bergerac, Buzet, Fronton or Gaillac. The climate of the South West is oceanic with Mediterranean influences for the most eastern parts of the area. Some vineyards are also subject to the effect of the mountains.
The main characteristic of the wines from the South West is the use of local grapes like Abouriou, Cot, Ondenc, Duras, Fer Servadou, Négrette, En de El, Tannat, Manseng, Courbu, Lauzet, Camaralet... The industry tries to be structured to preserve these traditional grapes and to frame the arrival of new ones. Some appellations in the South West come in the 3 colours, sometimes in sparkling as well like in Gaillac. Some come only in 1 colour. Anything to satisfy a wine amateur in need of diversity, originality and character.