Producteurs Plaimontby Olivier Bourdet-Pees
REGION: Southwest France
APPELLATION: Cotes de Gascogne
Producteurs Plaimont is a cooperative of wine producers based in southwest France, with vineyards in Saint Mont, Madiran and Pacherenc du Vic-Bilh, as well as IGP Côtes de Gascogne, Gers and Comte Tolosan. The company produces a range of regional wines under two wine labels: Plaimont Producteurs and Plaimont Terroirs & Châteaux.
In 1979, André Dubosc joined together three wine cooperatives from Plaisance, Aignan and Saint Mont. The new company's name was chosen to reflect these three cooperatives. In 1999, Plaimont grew with the addition of cooperatives from Crouseilles and Condom, and today, has 1000 winegrowers farming some 5300 hectares (13,097 acres) of vineyard. Producteurs Plaimont produces around 40 million bottles of wine per year.
The Saint Mont and Madiran vineyards are planted to Tannat, along with other red grape varieties like Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon, as well as the lesser-known Pinenc grape. In Pacherenc du Vic-Bilh and Saint Mont, members cultivate white grape varieties like Arrufiac, Petit Courbu, Gros Manseng and Petit Manseng. Plaimont also has plantings of Colombard and Tannat for its IGP wines.
Southwest France, which comprises Aquitaine, Limousin, and Midi-Pyrénées, is fourth in terms of the largest wine producers in the country. As is in the name, it spans all of the southwestern portion of the country, with the notable exception of Bordeaux. The wines in the area lean more towards Atlantic than Mediterranean build, much like those of Bordeaux.
The terroir of Southwest France varies as far and wide as the wines made there. The Mediterranean Sea and Atlantic Ocean give the area a mostly maritime climate, although the inlands are more continental – therefore hotter and drier. The rivers Tarn, Lot, Garonne, and Dordogne variety to the soil types of the region, as do vineyards such as Bearn that lie on the slopes of the Pyrénées (with its different altitudes, aspects, and soil stone types.
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