The Wines of Bergerac – The women winemakers of Bergerac

by Martin Walker

Along with the Universities of Bordeaux, Padua and Melbourne, the Davis campus in California is one of the world’s great wine schools and last year for the first time, half of the graduates were women. And our own Bergerac region is remarkable for the number of women making terrific wines.

Not all of them are French. The legendary Patricia Atkinson of Clos d’Yvigne may have retired but the wines she made are still being produced by her successors. Le Rouge et le Noir may be the best known, a classic blend of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon but I also enjoy the wine she called Le Prince, a blend of Merlot and Cabernet Franc. And her book, The Ripening Sun, is strongly recommended as one brave woman’s account of a triumphant and often lonely struggle to make prize-winning wines from scratch.

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