Anders Bekeken

100 Places To Remember: Cahors Lot Valley, France

Geschreven op 22-5-2010 - Erik van Erne. Geplaatst in Natuur Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

The Wine of Popes and Royalty. Winemaking along the River Lot near the town of Cahors in the south of France dates back to the Roman Empire. The first vines were planted here in about 50 BC, and the area has been known for its red wine ever since.

During the Middle Ages, Cahors wine was known as the black wine of Lot. King Henry II of England drank it at his wedding in 1152 and when Pope John XXII, a shoemakers son from Cahors, was enthroned in 1316 he used Cahors as both table wine and sacramental wine. Nearly 500 years later, it was the favourite wine of Russian Emperor Peter the Great. Shortly afterwards, the Russian Orthodox Church adopted Cahors as its sacramental wine.

In recent times, Cahors has been overshadowed by the red wine of Bordeaux but in 1971 it was awarded the important and prestigious Appellation dOrigine Contrôllée, or AOC, and has again become both appreciated and popular.

Today, the Cahors grape fields cover 4,200 hectares, which are shared by several wine producers. One of these is French-born Henrik, Prince Consort of Denmark, husband of the Queen of Denmark, Margrethe II, and owner of the Château de Cayx vineyard, 20 km west of the town of Cahors.

In France, different types of grape are confined to certain areas, which makes each wine special and determines its AOC certification. The grapes are extremely sensitive to climate change, and a rise in temperature exceeding 1-2°C could force production to move to cooler areas.

Summer temperatures are projected to rise by more than 6°C in the south of France by 2070-2099, which could put an end to traditional wine production in Cahors and many other parts of the country.

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