The flavours of the Lot
The Lot region of France is the land of flavours and renowned for its high quality local produce and gastronomy options that will awaken your tastebuds! You’ll find these everywhere – whether on a stroll through a small local market or enjoying a fine dining menu in some of the very best restaurants. Enjoy black truffles, the Rocamadour cheese, the Quercy melon, walnut cake and of course foie gras....all washed down with a glass of wine – from a wine producer in Cahors of course!
There are so many places where you can not only taste the regions local produce, but also buy it ready to take with you back on board your canal barge! We highly recommend a visit to La Mémé du Quercy which is just north of Cahors and is an association of producers of the finest products. Here you’ll find foie gras and pâtés, confit and duck, charcuterie, truffles, mushrooms and of course the famous Cahors wines.
New for 2018 is a brand new restaurant which will offer all of the products on site. It’s also possible to explore the wine cellars.
The ancient vineyards of Cahors-Malbec
As with many regions of France, it was the Romans during the first millennium who brought their knowledge of wine production and then established the first vineyards in Quercy.
Over time, in fact over centuries, the wines of Cahors have got better and better and today are known for being some of the best in France.
Towards the end of the 19th century disaster almost struck. The wine louse, phylloxera from the United States, almost wiped out every vineyard in Europe.
It wasn’t until after the second world war that a group of passionate winemakers decided to try and revive production. Their determination and patience revived the Cahors wine and the regions famous Malbec grape variety. The hard work was all worth it – since 1971 the wine of Cahors has held the French certificate of Appellation of Controlled Origin (AOC).
The best way to see the vineyards of Cahors is to plan a visit to a winemakers estate. The following link shows some easily accessible winemakers and their locations for during your boating holiday in the Lot Valley.
An overview of vineyards found on the banks of the River Lot
After picking up your Nicols canal boat from the base at Bouziès we suggest heading towards Cahors. Here you will find the following places that provide opportunities for tastings and purchasing of the regions famous wines...
- Château Saint Sernin de Parnac: enjoy tastings, a cellar visit and visit around the vineyards. Other options include courses such as an introduction to wine tasting, oenology classes and exhibitions.
- The Lagarrigue Estate in Lamagdelaine: located on the bank of the River Lot, near Laroque des Arcs, the Lagarrique Estate covers more than 16 hectares and has been growing Malbec grapes for 2000 years. Red, white and rosé are all produced here.
- The Domaine Dols in Bouziès: At only 2km from our Bouziès canal boat base, why not visit this wine estate either at the end or beginning of your boating holiday in the Lot. Located at the easternmost of the Lot and where the rivers Lot and Célé meet it is outside of the area of the Controlled Appellation of Cahors. They produce red, rosé and white wines including a sweet white wine that is very much like those produced in the Alsace region. This wine is said to be the perfect accompaniment to foie gras!
- Château de Cayx in Luzech: This 15th century castle is owned by the Queen of Denmark and overlooks the Lot Valley. Head to the castle where in an annex type building wine tasting and presentations are hosted.
- Château de Mercuès: a stop off here combines the very best in fine dining and fine wines! Combine a dining experience in the 4-star Relais & Châteaux gourmet restaurant with excellent Malbec Cahors wines. The Château de Mercuès is a ‘must visit’ on your canal boat holiday in the Lot Valley for those who enjoy delicious culinary experiences.
- Château Armandière: located by the port of Parnac, this site has an area to moor your canal boat. Bernard Bouyssou welcomes you to visit the vineyard and cellar – and of course taste the wide range of wines whilst enjoying an aperitif!
There is no doubt in our mind that the Lot and Quercy region is the ideal location for a boating holiday that puts you at the heart of excellent food and wines. There’s much more to the region though, so why not read our other articles:
- Find out more about the history and heritage of the Lot Valley.
- Read our article on the excellent swimming and watersports on offer in the Lot region of France.