The Wines of Bergerac – A chat with Pierre Desmartis

by Martin Walker

It will soon be ten years that I have known Pierre Desmartis, one of the first Bergerac winemakers to become a friend. We met in Paris, celebrating the way he’d just won three gold medals in a row at the Paris Concours. To give somebody else a chance they gave him the overall Prix d’Excellence instead.

Pierre was the first of the makers of Bergerac white wines to astonish me with the level of quality he achieved. Most of the Bergerac Secs I had tried before were perfectly quaffable but seemed destined more for a quick glug or to mix with crème de cassis to make a Kir than for a serious wine with dinner. For that I usually turned to a Sancerre, the white Burgundies or a Pessac-Léognan from the Bordeaux.

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