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Montravel


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The Montravel region is made up of three appellations: Montravel AOC, Haut-Montravel AOC, and Côtes de Montravel AOC. The latter two are for sweet wines, while Montravel proper is for dry red and white wines. Located in the Lamothe-Montravel sector of France, in the western part of the Bergerac division, Montravel is close to Bordeaux geographically. The wines are very similar to those of Bergerac.

History

This appellation was created in 1937 for white wines only, but in 2001 regulators decided to allow reds. The vast majority of expert-rated wines are still white, but the reds are quickly gaining in popularity.

Climate and Viticulture

Like so many other regions in the Southwest, the Montravel climate is primarily influenced by the Dordogne river. The gravel banks of the river are often where the best vineyards are located; although few Sauternes styles are made here, they probably could be because of the presence of the river and the Bordeaux-like combination of limestone and gravel in the soil.

Grape Varieties

In the sweet wines, Bordeaux grapes Sémillon, Sauvignon Blanc, and Muscadelle are the primary grapes. The vast majority of dry whites are made up solely of Sauvignon Blanc. In general Merlot does the best here out of all the red grapes, and is required to make up at least 50% of the red blends. However, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Malbec are also permitted.

Major Producers

The general number of producers here is fairly small. We list three very good ones. Also notable is Château Calabre, which makes a simple dry white Sauvignon Blanc in Montravel that is one of the few non-rotgut wines in the world purchasable for under $5.

Subregions

The region of Montravel divides into three officially designated appellations. All of them use the exact same geographic area, but make different styles of wine.