The vineyards, visits and wine tasting in Aveyron

Marcillac-Vallon
The vineyards, visits ...

In the center of the South of France, Aveyron is a rural territory, between the pastures of Aubrac , the causses of bas-Quercy and the gorges and valleys of Aveyron . Bathed by the rivers and tributaries of the Lot and Aveyron , it is a land of agriculture, breeding and viticulture. It also attracts many tourists for its gastronomy , the diversity of its landscapes and the richness of its heritage .

Sun-drenched valleys and a temperate climate, between oceanic and Mediterranean trends, make it a very interesting wine-growing area . All the more so, since it is still unknown. The winegrowers that you will meet on site are therefore more available, the prices more affordable and if you are curious, you will not be disappointed by this discovery.

Especially since you have the choice… Aveyron has five “ Protected Designations of Origin ”: Estaing, Entraygues-le-Fel, Marcillac and Côtes de Millau; and a “ Protected Geographical Indication ”: Aveyron wine. In terms of colors, you will taste mainly red and rosé wines.

Introductory photo: Coteaux et vignes de Marcillac; Source: The Vallon winegrowers

Estaing wine

Between gorges and Aveyron valleys , the vines flourish on the steep slopes of the shale, limestone and sandstone slopes of Rougier . Its cultivation therefore requires hard manual labor, as it is rarely mechanized. Its production area being very characteristic and localized, this wine-growing region is one of the smallest in France .

However, it is also very old and dates from the Middle Ages . It is a vineyard that has come a long way, going from crisis to crisis… Between disease, frost and economic problems, it only held up thanks to the will of passionate wine growers . Today, the interest of tourists offers it new opportunities for preservation and development.

Exception for Aveyron, it comes in white, red and rosé. The white wines are dry and fruity. Red wines have flavors of blackcurrant and raspberries! You can taste this rare beverage at the Cave des Vignerons d'Olt , which brings together around ten winegrowers and winegrowers.

Estaing

Photo: Estaing, bathed by the Lot Drpeterpommer CC-BY-SA

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L'Entraygues-le-Fel


Here is another small vineyard, in these same valleys of Lot and Truyère . Very close to Estaing, we find this soil composed of schist, limestone, and " barene ", a granite sand. And this is surely what distinguishes it from its neighbor. Specialists also qualify it as “ mineral ”.

Its white wine is original. The “ Chenin ” grape gives it a certain acidity, which makes it very fresh in the mouth. It goes wonderfully with goat's milk cheeses, typical of the Lot valley. The reds and rosés will match the local dishes of Rouergue : tripoux, hotpot and other traditional delicacies.

The aveyron halls

Photo source: The Vallon winegrowers

The Marcillac


To find Marcillac, you enter the " Rougiers ". These red soils, rich in iron oxide, bring a particular luminosity to these vines. Here is still difficult terrain which requires manual harvesting . The vines grow at medium altitude and it is considered a mountain wine . An astonishing red or rosé wine is extracted, both tangy and fruity, but also tannic and rustic. It will complement red meats, the famous “ Aligot ”, as well as other regional dishes and cheeses .

After a peak in the Middle Ages and a chaotic journey, like all the wines of the region, passionate winegrowers will fight in the 1960s to save their operations and improve this wine. In 1990, they finally obtained a “ Protected Designation of Origin ”. This year 2020 is therefore a great year of celebration and a good opportunity to taste these deserving wines!

The Vignerons du Vallon bring together around forty winegrowers and winegrowers. The cellar which markets their products will also offer you to taste a local aperitif: the " Ratafia ", and their walnut wine. Also check out their online store to order wine from them!

The winegrowers of the valley

Photo: Coteaux et vignes de Marcillac Source: Les vignerons du Vallon

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The Côtes de Millau


We start in the Causses du Larza c, near Millau . The climate is rather arid, but this strong sunshine suits this vineyard, established on these terraces since Roman times . Renowned and appreciated by the Popes of Avignon , these wines have been forgotten but are now regaining their letters of nobility.

Grouped together in a cooperative, the Vignerons des Côtes de Millau have revived an ancestral tradition , aging in semi-troglodyte cellars . In the village of Compeyre, you will visit the cellars, taste the wines of course, but also all kinds of products from local farmers and breeders .

The red wines have notes of red and black fruits, and prunes which tend towards pepper and spices. They will put their character at the service of game and grilled meats. The rosés have accents of ripe fruit and syrup. They will be served as a cool aperitif. As for white, it is a floral scent that characterizes it, and which will enhance fish or seafood.

Millau

Sunny coasts of Millau

IGP Aveyron


Near Aubrac , between Massif Central and the Mediterranean, the wines of Aveyron have obtained their “ Protected Geographical Indication ”. These are “ altitude ” wines, full-bodied and full of character, which go well with the rich and gourmet dishes of the South-West.

The reds will be appreciated with charcuterie and cheese from Aubrac. The rosés are fresh and thirst-quenching. Dry whites, like rosés, are best consumed as an aperitif or with fish.

Aveyron valley

The lush valley of Aveyron

Ratafia, another product of the vine


In the vineyards of Aveyron, the vineyard does not only offer good wines. By mixing the grape must and marc brandy , we obtain “ Ratafia ”. It was in the Middle Ages that alcohol was used to keep grape juice fresh, because it blocked fermentation. Originally, it was consumed in the fields, during the harvest . Then, the recipe will improve over time. This is how we will replace the alcohol with a brandy of marc and we will finally let it ferment again and age.

Depending on the grape varieties, the terroir and the know-how of the cellar master , each ratafia is unique! But in addition, the winegrowers jealously guard their family recipes , which are passed down from generation to generation. It is often consumed as an aperitif. But you will also be surprised to discover its happy marriage with melon, foie gras and chocolate ...

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Our good places to visit and taste


The " Route des Vins de l'Aveyron " links the various AOC appellations . It starts in the village of Fel, then passes through Entraygues-sur-Truyère , Estaing , Espalion, Saint-Cosme-d'Olt, then Boyne towards the vineyards of Côtes de Millau . Finally, we return to Fel, near Marcillac-Vallon . You will find all the stages, the addresses of the cellars and estates on the Aveyron tourist routes website , but also in the tourist offices.

The Maison de la Vigne, du Vin et des Paysages d'Estaing and the Vignerons d'Olt give you a better understanding of this atypical vineyard. On site you will have access to a video report , an exhibition , a tour of the cellar and a commented tasting .

To discover the wines of the AOC Marcillac, we advise you to go to the village of Valady near Marcillac-Vallon. The Vignerons du Vallon bring together around forty producers and 55% of the production of the Marcillac appellation. In a modern space , you can enjoy a film in the auditorium, a tasting and their good advice .

In the village of Compeyre, you can take an interesting stroll , discovering winegrowing traditions : between the “ flower cellars ”, tastings at the Cooperative des Vignerons des Côtes de Millau , and along its charming alleys, you will will not be disappointed with the visit. You will also find other good places to visit the estates, cellars and wine cellars .

At Domaine du Vieux Noyer , the huge barrel-shaped cellar has been renovated to welcome you as well as possible. You will be able to discover all the specificities of organic viticulture there .

All our producer addresses are listed on this page . And for the wine cellars, it's here .

The winemakers of aveyron

The Cellars of the Vignerons du Vallon

Here is our discovery of the wines of Aveyron and our tour of the vineyards which ends. We hope to have made you want to take a gastronomic getaway in the region. Are you very greedy? Try a cheese road trip .


To organize your stay more easily, discover our “ Around me ” option: Our geolocation service helps you find nearby tours and activities, a restaurant, or your accommodation .


Did you want to know more? Here is our presentation page on the Tarn Aveyron: its geography, its history ...


Did you like our article?

Find more on our Blog . Follow us on the Tarn Aveyron Guide Facebook page and on Instagram @guidedutarnaveyron.


Article written by Stéphanie Tempier for the Guide du Tarn Aveyron.


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