The Wines of Bergerac – The pleasure of buying directly from the producer

by Martin Walker

One of the great pleasures of being in this part of France is the chance to potter around the wine country, calling in at vineyards to taste the wines and buy directly from the producer. Winemakers enjoy these visits, and not only because they get the full price for their wine rather than sharing it with various middlemen.

The best place to start is at the Maison des Vins de Bergerac on Quai Salvette on the riverbank in the heart of old Bergerac. They offer tastings and sell wine but the real prize is their Carte touristique du vignoble, the map that shows (almost) all the vineyards and gives phone numbers and addresses. To be listed in the guide, vineyards have to be open to the public and offer tastings (dégustations), but it’s best to check opening hours, and more and more of them have modern tasting rooms and even English-speaking staff.

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