Quercy is the ancient name of a region of South West France in the Lot and Lot-et-Garonne départements roughly centred on Cahors (46, Lot, Occitanie). The Coteaux du Quercy wine appellation however lies to the south of Cahors down towards Montauban (47 Lot-et-Garonne, Occitanie). It was classified as a VDQS ( Appellation d’Origine Vin De Qualité Supérieure), which is a category between “Vin de Pays” and full AOC (Appellation d’Origine Controllée or AC) and has similar but less stringent restrictions of grape varietals, yield etc.

Since 2011 the VDQS classification has been dropped with wines either promoted to AOC or reclassified as PGI – protected geographical indication. Coteaux du Quercy is now classified as AOC – Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée – same as AOP – Appellation d’origine Protégée

Some think of Coteaux du Quercy as a minor “Cahors”, the Malbec dominated rich red, but it is in fact something quite different and somewhat unusual for SW France in that the main grape is the Cabernet Franc (between 40% and 60% of the blend) – the other varieties being côt (malbec or auxerrois), gamay, merlot and tannat, none of which can exceed 20% of the blend.

The terroir is typically on the high limestone “causse” or moorland between the Lot Valley in the north and the Aveyron and Tarn Valleys in the south. Only red and rosé wines are produced, which tend to be quite complex but less tannic than Cahors. The dominance of Cabernet Franc can suggests a more fruity style than their neighbours. Production is almost entirely by small independent winemakers, and it is really only in recent years that the wines have been exported outside the immediate region. There is a co-operative (Vignerons de Quercy) – “Bessy de Boissy” red.

If you are travelling through the region it is worth a small detour to David & Sarah Meakin’s Domaine du Merchien at Belfort-du-Quercy (46 Lot, Occitanie ) where this couple are making some superb wines (and beers!!) which are rapidly gaining a well-deserved reputation.

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