The Bergerac Region
The region - BERGERAC - the Dordogne Valley
The Dordogne river is the reason that prolific vineyards are found in Bergerac. It gives this wide valley all the fertility of its alluvial soil, and softens its climate.
The area extends from the borders of the Bordeaux appellations of St. Emilion and St. Foy in the west along the Dordogne river valley with the biggest concentration round the market town of Bergerac, and continuing to Le-Buisson-de-Cadouin in the east, and Duras in the south.
The Bergerac vineyards are planted on both banks of the Dordogne, encompassing 93 villages, extending over an area of more than 12,000 hectares. The right bank consists mainly of terraces composed of a mixture of sandy, stony and alluvial soils. The left bank rises in a series of hillsides with predominantly limestone soils.
The combination of these soils, particularly conducive to grape growing, with the mild climate and abundant sunshine, naturally contribute to giving Bergerac wines all the marked characteristics of a great vineyard area.
What makes this a great area for wine and food lovers?
Few wine regions in France have so much to offer the visitor as Bergerac. With a varied landscape from river valley flats, the hillsides and upwards to the tops of rolling hills, there is a virtual tapestry of colours and hues. There is a celebrated gastronomy of beef, nuts, cream, goose and other rich and delightful dishes. A rich history of settlement from pre-historical times of Neolithic man, through the ages of Romans, English and French 100 year wars, religious wars and more recent conflicts all have shaped the history of this region. And despite all of that, you'll find sleepy villages where time stood still and man continues to till the soil and bring forth a bountiful harvest, especially in regards to grapes and wine.
For more temptations Bergerac FOOD and CUISINE ..
Vineyards – enjoy very special wines and warm hospitality
Chateaux - the region has more than its share of very special buildings of great character.
Historical places - sample the pre-history at places like Grotte de Rouffignac with over 250 cave drawings.
Dordogne River - experience the Dordogne either by boat, canoe or car.
Rural Architecture - explore some of the finest and most attractive rural architecture in France in the form of white-stone buildings half-timbered upper stories, and terracotta tile roofs.
Unique foods & Cuisine - taste the flavours of the region by sampling the foie gras, truffles, and ceps and other gourmet dishes. And to go with cuisine such as foie gras, the dessert wines of Saussignac and Monbazillac.
Then the towns
In the Bergerac area guided walking tours of remarkably conserved medieval villages and bastides (fortified towns) allow you to discover their colourful history. You can either do a leisurely walk around or torchlight tour, but explore you must.
Villages and Bastides - to name a few:
- Bergerac – historical town of narrow streets, half-timbered houses and monuments. Trips on the Dordogne on a "gabarre" (a traditional wine boat
- Issigeac – medieval “city” of stone and wood. One of the "top" 100 markets in France
- Molieres – an English bastide.
- Monpazier – an English walled town, 1284, considered the most beautiful in Aquitaine.
- Eymet – a "bastide" built in 1270, do visit the magnificent series of arcades around the central square. Roman bridge and chateau.
A legacy of great wines
"Good food and great wines, that's Paradise on Earth!"