Planted by the Romans, the vineyards of the Cahors region came to fame in the 13th century thanks to the English who liked wines made from the Malbec grape. Today 4,000 hectares produce powerful wines with a beautiful purple hue.
The road through the vines goes past the Domaine de Labarthe and its neighbouring manors of Mercuès, Cayx (owned by the Danish royal family) and the remarkable Renaissance castle of Lagrezette.
Almost 70 wine estates offer tastings and tours of the wine cellars to the public.
As you drive towards Puy-L’Evêque and westwards, don’t miss the Cèdre, Pineraie and Chambert estates where you can also eat on a terrace facing the vines.
And if you’re in Cahors, stop off to taste and learn about the Malbec wines at the Villa Cahors Malbec, a lounge-bar right next to the tourist office.
From here, the wine route naturally leading to Saint-Emilion and Bordeaux takes you through Bergerac and its vineyards.
‘The Cahors wines are naturally rich. The tannins are silky and coat the palate with delicious smoothness.
But what makes the Cahors stand out from other great reds from the south is their freshness and vivacity.
This is due to the wine’s natural acidity, making them light on the palate and allowing them to age exceptionally well.’
On the way back from Saint-Cirq-Lapopie, don’t miss:
A walk on the towpath along the Lot river (built in 1845) from Ganil to Bouziès.
And stop off in the nearby Pech Merle caves, a major palaeolithic art site.
And while we’re on the subject, the Gouffre de Padirac and its underground river are only an hour’s drive (65km) from us.
If you prefer the Périgord, the Lascaux caves are not far from here.
Nature under control:
Just 15km from Sarlat is the Manoir d’Eyrignac with its topiary art and 10 hectares of plant sculptures. In the same direction, golf enthusiasts can choose the Souillac golf course, about 50 minutes’ drive from here.
The Causses du Quercy regional park groups 102 towns and villages east of Cahors, stretching over 185,000 hectares of limestone plateaux and the valleys of the Lot, Célé and Dordogne rivers.
As the water flows: don’t miss a swim in the river Lot! A few kilometres from the Domaine de Labarthe is the little beach at Caix, with its water sports and waterside cafe.
For canoe and kayak fans there is a choice of waterways: the Célé, the Lot, the Dordogne, or for the fearless, the Vézère. Rivers are also great seen from a boat. Barges and river cruising boats can be hired for a few hours or a few days.
The guest rooms at Labarthe overlook the grounds, offering abundant natural light and perfectly quiet surroundings – if anything wakes you it will be the gentle sound of birdsong. The old thick walls of Quercy stone keep the rooms peaceful and cool in summer. All the rooms, three of which are on the ground floor, have been recently renovated and each has its own toilet and bathroom. They feature antique furniture, soft colours and contemporary details, to give an overall feeling of comfort and sophistication.
The bedding is excellent, and beds are made in the traditional manner with fine cotton sheets and light or thick woollen blankets depending on the season.
New for summer 2023: all our rooms will be air-conditioned.
Some of the original 17th century estate’s outbuildings have survived the years: once used for farming and wine production, these have now been restored and transformed into comfortable, independent gites.
They can be rented for a few days or by the week.