France - Cahors
Cahors lies deep in the southwest between Bordeaux and Languedoc, amidst dramatic rock formations and cliffs. Here the Lot River slowly snakes its way along the valley floor, coiling covetously around the charming town of Cahors.
The legendary ‘Black wine of Cahors’ is predominantly made from the Malbec grape – though in this region it is known as Côt or Auxerrois. Way before Argentina made the varietal ‘famous’ Malbec was an important grape in Bordeaux, and still is in the long-lived wines from Cahors
Malbec, which must make up a minimum of 70% of the wine, and can be supplemented by up to 30% Merlot and Tannat.
There are 4,200ha of Cahors vineyards, lying mainly to the west of the town of Cahors. Most of the vineyards are located on the gravel terraces within the meanders formed by the river Lot. The lowest terrace is too close to the river and therefore not suitable for viticulture; vineyards have only been established on the second, third, and fourth terraces.
The climate of Cahors is mainly influenced by the Atlantic, with hot summers and wet winters. In contrast to Bordeaux, it is also influenced by the Mediterranean. The river Lot is an important factor for the micro-climate in the vineyards, especially where it flows closer to the cooler Massif Central.