South West France - Cahors

5 important questions on South West France - Cahors

What is set in the regulations for AOC Cahors?

  • Minimum of 70% malbec (rest Merlot and/or Tannat)
  • Top is 90-100% Malbec
  • Destemming required


Styles: early drinking to bottle ageing
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Organic grape growing in Cahors is above average in France, how come? Which grapes do well?

  • 250km inland with Atlantic influences but drier and warmer than Bordeaux.
  • Low rainfall, therefore less spraying needed
  • Malbec and Tannat
  • Semi maritime climate
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Where are the vineyards of Cahors located? Which soils and training systems are in use

  • Next to River Lot
  • Alluvial rich soils on valley floor; higher yields, lower fruit concentration
  • on mid slope poorer soils; lower yields, higher concentration
  • Plateau, 350m - limestone soils with large stones; low yield, high concentration
  • single Guyot (but also some bushiness, cordon)
  • Machine harvesting most
  • Some hand harvesting for quality wines
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80% of Cahors is produced by private companies, 20% by whom?

A cooperative part of Vinovalie that operates in 4 regions.
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Cahors markets itself since 2000, which slogans and what is a voluntary code to indicate three levels of quality and price? What is the export %?

  • Cahors, the French Malbec
  • Cahors, the Capital of Malbec

3 levels:
  1. Tradition; inexpensive, from the valley, 70-85% malbec
  2. Prestige: mid slopes, mid priced
  3. Spéciale: plateau, 100% malbec, premium priced


Export: 30% to UK, Canada and USA
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