Saint Mont and Madiran vineyards tour
A south western Dolce vita
St Mont and Madiran vineyards:
Once you leave the Relais du Bastidou, head for the south west direction. It is where you will discover the St Mont and Madiran vineyards.
Madiran is a french DOP red wine produced in the areas of Gers, Hautes-Pyrénées and Pyrénées Atlantiques, in the French South west, and whose main grape variety is “Tannat”.
Madiran vineyards :
They grow slowly on the hillsides in between Gers and Haute Pyrénées. Located near the Landes, and near the Pyrénées Atlantiques, the vineyard benefits from the oceanic weather in the West, and from the Pyrenean fresh air in the South. In this equilibrium, the Tannat, the grape variety whose pioneer is Alain Brumont, is blooming.
Its History :
This tannic and robust wine, with a beautiful crimson red colour, is now one of the most well-known wines in France, all thanks to a real Savoir-faire. . Its first use was to give robustness to Bordeaux wines, it now has its deserved recognition, as a grape variety which can ignite other varieties of grapes such as Cabernets, or Fer Servadou (we also call this one “Pinenc). In the same region, we also have another DOP: the Pacherenc-du-Vil-Bilh. This one is a bit like the Jurançon area ones, and is characterized by white dry, sweet or liquorous late wines.
The Benedictine monks who built the St Mont monastery in the early XIth century brought this local grape to a state of local legend. During the past twenty years, wine makers brought this part of history -as old as the St Jacques de Compostelle’s pilgrims- back to life. St Mont is now a DOP since 2013.
The vineyard, with an astonishing surface of 1300 hectares, is growing in a ground full of sediments, which is causing the red wines to be that robust and tannic. The white wines are also tasty, more particularly the “Pacherenc de la St Albert”. They are composed of those grape varieties: arrufiac, petit courbu, petit manseng and gros manseng.
Saint Mont PDO :
Is made with local grape varieties from the low Pyrenean region. A real work of protection has been made by the wine maker to protect the local biodiversity. The final reward for this is to have obtained this PDO, along 40 other grapes varieties (with 12 of them still not really known).
The area for the Saint Mont PDO is also rich concerning gastronomy. A lot of wine makers are also working as farmers, foie gras producers, or Noir de Bigorre breeders. . Many of the wine estates will open their doors for you, just to organise tasting sessions or simple sales, and they are quite easy to find as everything is on board signs.
Only when booked :
You can enjoy toured and commentated visits, to Plaimont domains or on the Alain Brumont’s domain.
We can also give you a few addresses of vineyards, who work well while respecting nature and environment.
There are “Le couvent de Maumusson » (Guy and Simon Capmartin), the Château Bouscasséet Montus (Alain Brumont), the Labranche Laffont domain (Christine Dupuy), the Château Viella (Bortolussi family), and many others.
Head now for Saint Mont, a beautiful village with a monastery on top of it.
The wine cellar opens its door for you to have a tasting session, or to buy some of its PDO (St Mont, Madiran, Pacherenc, Côtes de Gascogne). When it is almost lunchtime, you can go to “Le monastère” a restaurant labelled “Tables du Gers” (you must book for a table first). On your way back, enjoy a walk near the Adour river, in the middle of nature. The trail is waiting just for you. You can start the walk in Jü-Belloc, at “La Maison de L’eau”. We will give you the guide.