SOUTH WEST FRANCE
The South West ("Sud-Ouest" in French) is a large territorial zone of France, incorporating the administrative regions of Aquitaine, Limousin and Midi-Pyrénées. In terms of the French wine zone, however, the Sud-Ouest region is a little less clear-cut, as it excludes Bordeaux – a wine region so productive that it is a de facto zone of its own.
The soils, climates and topography of the South West are as wide-ranging as its wines. The presence of the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea mean that much of the region has a maritime climate, but there are inland areas which make use of the drier, hotter summers created by their more continental climate.
The region's wine portfolio is correspondingly diverse. It includes sweet wines from Jurancon and Monbazillac; tannic, full-blooded reds from Cahors and Madiran; Bordeaux lookalikes from the vineyards abutting the region (Bergerac, Cotes de Bergerac, Saussignac, Montravel, Cotes de Montravel, Haut-Montravel, Cotes de Duras, Cotes du Marmandais are all neighbours); sparkling wines from Gaillac; and a wide range of dry white wines.