Gaillac Wine Festival 2016

Wine Festival of Gaillac
Wine Festival of Gaillac

Gaillac wine region of the southwest of France – they call it here “the other southwest” – is surely less famous as its not so distant cousin the Bordeaux region. The region situated around the historic town of Gaillac, between Albi and Toulouse, was the first vine growing area of France to obtain in 1938 the so called “Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée”, which translates as “controlled designation of origin”, a certification that guarantees the authenticity and quality of its wines.
Town of Gaillac
Town of Gaillac

Besides the grape varieties (“cépages”) that grow as well in other regions – Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Gamay, Mauzac, Muscadelle, Ondec, Braucol, and Syrah – Gaillac region has also its uniquely local varieties like “Loin de l’oeil”, one of the oldest of France, “Duras”, whose name comes from the firmness (“dureté”) of grape berry and Prunelart, considered as the “father” of the Malbec variety.
The vine has been grown in Gaillac since Gallo-Roman times some 2,400 years ago. But there were the monks of the Benedictin Abbaye of Saint Michel that were the first, in the 10th century AD, to introduce vine growing and wine making “standards” needed for the preservation of the region’s wine fame. Some of the rules brought in by the monks were the interdiction to mix the Gaillac wine with foreign wines, vine trimming regulations, the so called “ban des vendanges” or the official announcement of the berry picking season start and the obligation to smoke the vine with pigeon dejections used as natural pesticide (this in turn brought about the construction of many “pigeonniers” – stone built dovecotes that can be still seen today).
Dovecote of Tarn
Dovecote of Tarn

In the 12th and 13th centuries the wine of Gaillac were exported to England and Low Countries via the Tarn and Garonne Rivers that were bringing the wine barrels to the port of Bordeaux.

In the same way as the Bordeaux region, Gaillac wine “chateaux” and domains can be visited independently following the “circuit du vignoble Gaillacoise” signs or via the endless offer of tours organized by Maison des Vins de Gaillac.

Gaillac Wine Route
Gaillac Wine Route

Each year the town of Gaillac organizes in the beginning of August the “Fête des Vins”.
Below are some images from the 2016, 38th edition that took place last weekend and brought together, in the Foucaud Park of Gaillac, 52 wine producers of the region and hundreds of wine lovers (children were served with grape juice!).

Fête des vins, Park Foucauld, Gaillac
Fête des vins, Park Foucauld, Gaillac

Castel de Brames, Gaillac
Castel de Brames one of the wineries at the Wine Festival of Gaillac

Domaine de Long Pech, Gaillac
Domaine de Long Pech one of the wineries at the Wine Festival of Gaillac
Fête des vins Gaillac 2016
Fête des vins Gaillac 2016
Foucaud Park of Gaillac
Foucaud Park of Gaillac
Gaillac Rosé
Gaillac Rosé
Gaillac White Wine
Gaillac White Wine
Gaillac Whisky
Gaillac Whisky
Maison des Vins de Gaillac
Maison des Vins de Gaillac
Gaillac Sparkling Wine
Gaillac Sparkling Wine

Wine Tasting
Wine Tasting

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