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Côtes de Duras wines - The wine formerly known as Bordeaux

Côtes de Duras wines - The wine formerly known as Bordeaux

27 Aug 2013 BY Tim Wells

At the heart of the vast ocean of vineyards in the southwest of France, on the sunny hillsides of the Dropt River Valley, is the lesser-known but feisty little wine appellation, Côtes de Duras. Sandwiched in between more high-profile neighbours, the Côtes de Bergerac to the east, and the mighty Bordeaux château vintages to the west, the vineyards of Duras have flourished since the 12th century, when they enjoyed the patronage of the Pope as well as the occupying English lords. That personification of the French Renaissance, François I, was fond of the Duras vintages, calling them “nectar”. Having long been included under the Bordeaux appellation, in 1937 the Côtes de Duras wines were awarded their own AOC status, one of the first such designations in France. Today, over 200 growers tend 1800 hectares of vineyards scattered throughout the fifteen towns and villages of the commune. The Duras red wines tend to be full-bodied, and complement beautifully the local meat dishes: duck magret or confit, venison, or just the local sausages. The dry white Sauvignon is however the appellation’s most popular vintage. The annual Fête de Duras takes place in August, when the entire region celebrates its wine culture, with tours of vineyards and cellars, concerts, and of course wine tasting in abundance.

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