The town of Bergerac developed around a 11th century castle and became a stopover for travellers, pilgrims and traders. It has been an important wine growing region since the 13th century.
During the One Hundred Years War the city safeguarded its freedom and independence through its diplomatic strategy. During the War of Religion the city became a protestant stronghold and convents and churches were burnt down. Despite the Religious conflicts, the Bergerac population lived peacefully and flourished under the protection of its fortified walls. This wealth led to great architectural projects, such as the Peyrarède Hall built in 1604.
In the first half of the 17th century Louis XIII ordered that the fortifications be pulled down and a citadel built on the Eastern side of the town. During WWII Bergerac played an important role in the Resistance movement. Today Bergerac is a pretty town of interest.
Wines of the Bergerac Region
In Aquitaine, situated on both sides of the Dordogne river, the Bergerac vineyard covers 13.000 hectares on 93 villages.The blend and the choice of the vine constitute the Bergerac wine’s prestige and bouquet. Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Malbec (Cot) are used for the reds and Sauvignon, Sémillon, Muscadelle for the whites.
Appellations of the Bergerac Region
Bergerac AOC: dry white wines, rosé wines and red wines. These are wines that can be enjoyed young (from two years old).
Côtes de Bergerac AOC: mellow, soft red wines that can be stored. They only reach their prime after several years’ storage in the wine cellar.
Montravel AOC: dry white wines and red wines.
Haut-Montravel AOC: sweet white wines.
Côtes de Montravel AOC: sweet white wines.
Monbazillac AOC: white dessert wines that can be stored for a long time.
Pécharmant AOC: red wines. These are wines suitable for medium-term storage.
Rosette AOC: sweet white wines. This appellation, which is the smallest within the wine-growing area, produces little-known wines that are medium-sweet to sweet.
Saussignac AOC: white dessert wines that can be stored medium to long-term.
Things to See and Do in Bergerac
Place de la Mirpe Lovely town square surrounded by old 1/2 timbered houses.
Place Pelissiere A statue of Cyrano de Bergerac stands in this lovely square.
Musee du Vin et da la Batellerie Old wine and export museum with displays of vintage equipment
Musee de Tabac Housed in the 17th century Maison Peyrarede this museum to tobacco has a number of interesting artifacts from this industry.
Maison de Vins The Maison de Vins de Bergerac in the heart of the old town. It is a beautiful old cloister dating back to the 12th century. If you are a wine enthusiast there is an exhibition showing the history of Bergerac wines and its 13 appellations.
Musee Costi The Costi museum houses the works of the sculptor Constantin – “Costi” – Papachristpoulos.
Boats Trip Take a trip down the river on one of the replica Gabarres