Unmissable: The delicious wine of the Landes and its vineyards

Labastide-Chalosse
Unmissable: The delic ...

Do you want to take a gastronomic trip to the Landes? Between land and sea , ocean and forest, local Landes dishes are not lacking in charm. Can you see yourself there already? A seafood platter as a starter, fatty duck , accompanied by a good " Garbure ", an assortment of stewed vegetables, as a main course and a " Pastis " or a " Tourtière " for dessert. Have you been tempted? To know everything about Landes cuisine, we prepare a king's menu ...

But we have to get it all across… Which drink will you choose? You will answer: a little Floc de Gascogne ” as an aperitif of course and why not finish in style, with a small glass of “ Armagnac ” as a digestif. But from starter to dessert, do you have an idea? If the reputation of Armagnac is well established, that of Floc in preparation. But above all, it is the wines of the Landes that unfortunately remain unknown.

And yet, this vineyard conceals small treasures which deserve to linger there. Especially since you have the choice… The department has one “ Protected Designation of Origin ”: the “ Vin de Tursan ” and three “ Protected Geographical Indication ”: the “ Vin de Pays des Landes ”, the “ Vin de Chalosse” "And" Vin des Sables ". We invite you to discover these products from the Landes region , for a gourmet and friendly getaway .

We tell you about the Landes wine


Its generosity is due to a favorable geographical location. The Landes department is above all an ocean frontage which therefore has a temperate oceanic climate, with mild winters and hot summers. It is also its famous Landes forest which protects from the violent winds of the ocean, its valleys, meadows and pastures, very sunny. However, its soil does not lack water. On the one hand, thanks to the nearby Gironde estuary , and to all the rivers and tributaries that feed it. On the other hand, in the Pyrenees which provide it with numerous water supplies. The region is also known for its hydrotherapy .

Its history has radically marked its landscape. Its vineyard is old and dates from the Gallo-Roman era . But it is a land of moors, which does not allow good agriculture. The region lives mainly on livestock, especially sheep. After reaching a good reputation, from the Middle Ages to the 17th century, thanks to maritime trade from Bayonne, viticulture is slowing. In the 19 th century, Napoleon III changed the future of the region, by cleaning up the area thanks to the planting of pines which drained water and above all provided an economy in forestry. Agricultural production is developing again in parallel: corn, asparagus and vines! Livestock follows suit, especially poultry and cattle.

It is also a “ Pays de Gascogne ”, bon vivant and warm. He takes advantage of the ancestral know-how of the nearby Gers, which knows how to highlight the fruits of the vine and offers him two famous products: Armagnac and Floc de Gascogne . Its distillation of brandy gives the opportunity to a traditional festival that reveals the friendliness and joviality of the inhabitants of the country. You will see… We take you on a very warm and lively visit of the Landes .

Armagnac Domaine de paguy

Armagnac from Domaine de Paguy

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Tursan and Chalosse wine


In the Pays de l'Adour , on the clay-limestone soils of Chalosse , the wine-growing region is divided between the Tursan vineyards and the Chalosse hillsides . That of Tursan is located further east and has the specificity of being sandy and limestone. It is the only wine from the Landes with an “ Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée ” and has been famous since the Middle Ages .

Made from Tannat and Cabernet Franc, these are essentially red wines, which are similar to Madiran and which can be kept within 5 to 15 years. Very tannic, this wine has aromas of red fruits, spicy, with a sensation of leather, which is suitable for powerful dishes, like him, in particular red meats such as Chalosse beef , and game.

The rosés are fruity and we find this mineral note of “ flint ”, typical of the terroir. Original, they are pleasant as an aperitif. From Baroque and Manseng, the whites are also amazing, with a very floral scent, between lime blossom and verbena. They will enhance seafood, especially fish.

Coteaux de Chalosse wines are IGP . In white, they are dry or soft. Red wines, like those of Tursan, are tannic and powerful. You will also find rosé wine.

Dulucq vineyard

Tursan wine from the Dulucq vineyard

Landes wine


In Bas Armagnac , the “ Protected Geographical Indication ” of the Landes is generic. It can be broken down into more localized indications: Coteaux de Chalosse, Sables de l'Océan , Côtes de l'Adour , Sables Fauves .

Produced in the same vineyard as Armagnac, its clay-siliceous soil gives a simple wine, qualified as “ still wine ”. This is why it is generally distilled to obtain the precious brandy. That said, it still has a good local reputation because it is a light and fruity white wine, which is also found in sparkling wine. It is also available in rosé and red. The rosés are fruity and the reds powerful.

Landes vines

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The Sands of the Ocean wine


As its name suggests, the vineyard has its feet in the sand, at the bottom of the dunes and beaten by the winds of the ocean. It is sometimes given the name of “ dune vineyard ”, because in the Middle Ages, the roots of vines were used to fix the dunes. If the vineyard is old , it was also very popular and it was exported a lot. Fading away for nearly a hundred years, it was finally restored in the 90s. Available in all three colors, they are typical of the region and go well with regional products.

Landes Wine

Landes wine

Precious and exquisite Armagnac

In Bas Armagnac , the terroir of the precious brandy is localized, but it is a very important Gascon tradition. The process has been well mastered since the Middle Ages by distillers. A patented pure copper still is used. Its particular design allows “ continuous jet distillation ”. The vinified grape juice is heated, which causes its natural rise in a column. Then it cools down in a coil and various trays, to go back down into the boiler. The cycle begins again and with each ascent, the wine purifies itself by vaporizing. At the end of the distillation, the brandy is colorless. This very fruity alcohol, with floral notes, can be consumed as is. It is called the Blanche d'Armagnac .

At this stage, we move on to maturation in oak barrels . It is during this stage that the Armagnac takes its woody color, loses part of its alcohol and gains in complexity. It is the duration of aging that classifies Armagnac: VO and VSOP for Armagnacs aged four years, XO for those aged six or more and out of age from ten years. Then comes the blend , which really reveals the talent, the know-how and the personality of the cellar master. If it is made from eaux-de-vie from the same year, it is vintage .

By mixing a young Armagnac and grape must, we obtain “ Floc de Gascogne ”. It is a very floral aperitif , as its name suggests. In Occitan, a floc is a bouquet of flowers! It can also be eaten for dessert, with fruit. Known since the 16th century and protected by the AOC and AOP, the recipe can be made with white grapes or red. Le Floc has its official website, to consult for other anecdotes, recipes ...

Here is our advice to appreciate Armagnac in all its facets: Take advantage of the Fête de la Flamme , which takes place between the end of October and the end of November. It honors the famous flame which is lit to start the distillation. On this occasion, many events take place throughout the Armagnac production region and animate the wine estates .

Armagnac

A precious Armagnac

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Our good addresses


Many winegrowers practice wine tourism . They show you around their estate or offer activities to help you discover their know-how, their passion and their land. Here is our selection of good addresses: producers, cooperatives or wine cellars ...

South of the Adour :

  • The Maison des Vignerons Landais and the Cave des Vignerons de Tursan is located in Geaune and introduces you to Tursan wine through guided tours and tastings in the company of a winegrower .
  • To directly discover the wine producers of Tursan and Chalosse, we can only advise you to follow the Wine Route which crosses the territory. Without forgetting a short stop at the Musée de Chalosse which presents an immersive and instructive journey on the Chalosse, its culture and ancient and agricultural equipment.
  • The Vignoble Dulucq produces Tursan wines from generation to generation. They will share this family passion with you ...

On the South Coast of the Landes :

In Cape Breton, you will have the opportunity to contemplate 600 years of history and the last vines of the historic vineyard. The Domaine de la Pointe lets you take a self-guided tour of the vineyard and welcomes you to the cellar for a tasting . They also offer guided tours and tastings of sand wine , accompanied by local sweets , by reservation.

Here is our selection of Armagnac producers:

  • Meet in Bas Armagnac , at Domaine Paguy to visit the vineyard, the cellar and discover the distillation and their products: Armagnac and Floc de Gascogne.
  • At Domaine du Martin , you will be able to see a century-old still!
  • Château de Lacquy is the oldest family property in the region. A meeting with this family is a good way to immerse yourself in this ancestral tradition.
  • La Cave du Club des Marques welcomes you to Villeneuve-de-Marsan to discover the different armagnacs produced by their producers.

And above all, take advantage of the Fête de la Flamme in Labastide-d'Armagnac or directly at the producers for an even more convivial discovery!

Rooms Castle

Tasting at Château de Salles

Here is our tour of the vineyards finished. This land is generous with delicacies to be tasted and consumed, in moderation of course. We cannot be exhaustive and you will find many other sites to visit. Did this little tour make you want to know more? Become unbeatable on the Landes ...


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 like our article? Find more on our Blog . Follow us on the Guide des Landes Facebook page and on Instagram @guidedeslandes.

Article written by Stéphanie Tempier for the Guide des Landes.


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