Les Produits du Terroir

Reine Claude Plums This region has a well-deserved reputation for producing fabulous quality fruit and has a huge annual production of plums, melons, table grapes and garlic in addition to several varieties of wine.

Truffles La Truffe
The black truffle Tuber melanosporum has three requirements in order to grow; the presence of a truffle tree such as oak or hazel, limestone soil and a Mediterranean style climate. The evidence suggests that the black diamond le diamant noir has a strong liking for the Quercy region.

The truffle “harvest” begins in November and continues until the beginning of March. The truffle hunter has several means at his disposal to seek out his precious quarry; the pig, the trained dog and the fly. Discover the sensual aroma of the unique fungus in the dedicated markets held in the area throughout the winter – Mondays from December in Caussade.

Chasselas de MoissacChasselas de Moissac AOC

Carrying the distinction of being the first fresh fruit to be awarded the AOC designation, Chasselas de Moissac table grapes have a luminous golden colour and a rich sweet taste owing to the very high sugar content. The grapes are harvested by hand and only grown in a small officially certified area around the village of Moissac. It even has its own website: www.chasselas-de-moissac.com .

Melon du QuercyMelon du Quercy

The intense sunshine and clay/limestone soil creates the ideal growing conditions for these deliciously sweet melons. Harvested in the early morning and taken to market the same day they can be enjoyed at their freshest throughout much of the summer.

Reine Claude PlumsReine Claude Plums

Unique to the southwest of France, the Reine Claude plum obtained a Label Rouge in 1998 to mark its superior quality. These golden-green plums are always left to ripen naturally on the tree, basking in the early summer sunshine. The productive season extends through until the end of September. Harvested by hand and carefully stored, they are firm and deliciously juicy.

Cabecou Goats’ Cheese Fromage de Chèvres

Often overshadowed by its famous neighbour, the Rocamadour AOC cheese of the Lot, the Lot et Garonne produces a goats’ cheese of its own, the Cabécou d’Antan. This a small round cheese with a fine creamy texture. It is aged for 10-12 days and develops a delicate flavour with a hint of hazel nuts.

Garlic Garlic Ail Blanc de Lomagne

Grown in the region for centuries, the white garlic of the Lomagne is said to possess many powers beneficial to health and naturally they’re particularly good at warding off evil. Characterised by the large bulbs and distinctly white appearance, the farmers follow rigorous quality standards in growing, harvesting, drying and braiding the product. The clay/limestone soil of the region provides ideal growing conditions for the garlic to develop its exceptional qualities.

Vines AOC Côtes du Frontonnais

Located between Montauban and Toulouse, the producers of Côtes du Frontonnais are custodians of one of the least known types of vine: Négrette. Fragile and rare, Négrette is at the heart of the particular bouquet of all the wines of the Côtes du Frontonnais, producing subtle flavours of violet, red fruits and liquorice.

AO VDQS Côteaux du Quercy

The hallmark of this wine, dominated by the cabernet franc grape, is its blend of tannic depth with lighter red fruit notes and a hint of pepper. However, there are other treasures to be found in the rosé and lighter reds of the region. In recognition of their quality, the wines have been awarded AOVDQS status (Appellation d’origine vin délimité de qualité supérieure).

AO VDQS Côtes du Brulhois

Encircling the Garonne, the terrain of the Côtes du Brulhois consists of low slopes and plateaus; the ground is a mixture of clay, sand and stone and provides ideal conditions for vineyards of quality. This ideal situation was the result of a long experiment to establish the best ground conditions for the vineyard. It extends over 312 ha, primarily to the south of the Garonne River, between Agen and Valence d’Agen.

The area benefits from a microclimate moderated by the presence of the river, rather dry in summer and at the beginning of the autumn, ideal conditions for the maturation of the grapes. Tannat, Cabernet franc, Sauvignon and Merlot are all grown here to produce characteristic vins noirs, with flavours of blackcurrant and plums. The rosés have a lighter bouquet of fresh red fruits.

AO VDQS Lavilledieu

This wine is composed of a harmonious assembly of Négrette, Cabernet franc, Gamay, Syrah and optionally of Tannat. The red wines are a beautiful cherry or crimson colour when they are young. In taste, they are tender, supple and velvety, becoming more full bodied with age. The beautiful pastel shades of the rosés, primarily containing Négrette, are very typical of the area.

Vin de Pays de St Sardos

The vineyard of Saint-Sardos is currently distributed across the communes of Saint-Sardos, Bourret, Bouillac, Sérignac and Larrazet, where the adherent vine growers take particular care over the culture of their vines. The spiced nuances of Syrah allied to the roundness of Merlot and the Cabernets which brings out the raspberry flavour, harmoniously supplementing the rusticity and fruity blackcurrant of Tannat.

Vin de Pays des Coteaux et Terrasses de Montauban

Mainly established on the low slopes of the Aveyron terraces, the vineyard of Montauban includes Cabernet franc, Sauvignon, Tannat, Gamay, Syrah, Jurançon and Merlot. The rosés are sharp and fruity, the reds supple and elegant; the whites aromatic and fresh.

Colin Lawrence

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