Ch‚teau de Cayx vin de Cahors AOC
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[ TERROIR AND VINIFICATION ]

 

A little history…
The wines of Cahors are officially mentioned for the first time in the year 92 AD when Emperor Domitian, concerned about their success, orders the pulling-out of all the vineyards of the Quercy region.


In the 3rd Century, a new edict of Emperor Probus authorises the replantation of vines in the Quercy region.

In the 5th Century, the Franks, attracted by the vineyards of Gaul, favour their extension and encourage new plantations. The Franks consider vines as sacred plants.

In the 7th Century, Saint Didier, bishop of Cahors, gives a new impulse to the region and restores its prestige by revealing the high quality of its terroir and vineyards.

In 1152, the marriage of Aliénor of Aquitaine with Henri II Plantagenet, King of England, opens a new era of economic expansion and a new golden age for the wines of the Quercy. From then on, the wines are exported to England where they are known as the “ black wines of Cahors ”. The first quotations of these wines date back to 1225.

King François I summons a winegrower from the Quercy region to Fontainebleau, to plant a royal vine arbour.

A favourite of the Russian Tsar Peter the Great, the wine of Cahors becomes highly prized as an altar wine; the Russian Orthodox priests particularly like the fortified and spicy version of the product known as "rogomme”. A grape varietal is named after the wine of Cahors as well as a Crimea wine called Kagorskoje vino.

In 1531, the enforcement of a local regulation helps to improve the quality of the wine: the Consuls of Cahors appoint expert winegrowers to control the quality of the vines prior to their plantation in the region. Transported by barges and the local “gabarres” down the Lot and Garonne Rivers, the wine of Cahors poses itself as a serious competitor for its lighter Bordeaux counterpart called “claret”. It is often used to fortify and enhance the colour of the latter.

In the 19th Century, the local vineyard extended over some 40,000 ha and nearly 75% of its production was exported. In 1860, the only district of Luzech boasted 5,471 ha of vines – that is as much as the whole appellation today. However, two factors posed a threat to the local viticulture: the competition with the wines produced in the south of France, and the disastrous phylloxera epidemic that would destroy almost all the vineyards in Europe. The Quercy region was no exception, and was devastated and ruined. The black wine of Cahors progressively disappeared, surviving only as a legend.

Much later, after a number of unsuccessful experiences with hybrid varietals, the vineyard was at last reconstructed, thanks to the local hybrid « auxerrois-rupestris » (Malbec or Cot).

In the 1960s, some dedicated winegrowers replanted the famous Malbec, which triggered the renaissance of the wine of Cahors.

Some additional information:
 1929, creation of the Syndicat de défense de l’appellation d’origine Cahors (Union for the defence of the Cahors appellation origin)
–1971, official recognition of the Cahors appellation of origin
–Today, the wine of Cahors has recovered its character, quality and reputation, despite the reduced size of its vineyard (5,000 ha) and the small volume of its production.


Links :

www.vindecahors.fr
www.uivc.com

 
 
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