The Wines of Cotes de Gascogne
The Cotes de Gascogne wine region of France is located between Bordeaux and the border with Spain, in what is collectively referred to as “South West France."
Focused primarily on white wines, Cotes de Gascogne is an IGP (Indication Geographique Protégé) region. IGP regions are generally larger and may contain smaller AOC (Appellation de Origin Controlle) regions. Wines with an IGP designation do not need to adhere to the same strict rules as AOC regions, which allows winemakers to experiment and create quality wines that are outside the box, without having to label them with the basic “Vin de France” designation.
The grapes grown in Cotes de Gascogne include local varieties like Colombard (also found in small amounts in California and South Africa), Ugni Blanc (known as Trebbiano in Italy), and Gros Manseng, along with international varieties like Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay. Because they are high in acidity and have relatively neutral flavors, Colombard and Ugni Blanc are often distilled to make brandy in South West France.
When used to make wine, Colombard, Ugni Blanc, and Gros Manseng provide structure and fresh acidity to produce the crisp, refreshing style of white wine that is typical from Cotes de Gascogne. These wines are light bodied, with citrus and tropical fruit flavors. They are great for summer and pair well with fish, seafood and summer salads.
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