When I was out in Cahors, I was there as a guest of the fine folks at Chateau De Mercues. It’s a Relais and Chateaux gaff right on the Lot river, surrounded by Malbec vines. The 13th Century castle also boasts a fine dining restaurant that is pushing hard for Michelin status. I’m doing my best to make it sound amazing, because it was amazing. But I don’t think it would have been half as impressive had it not been for where it is. The Lot Valley is a fantastic place to visit!
History and Architecture
It’s one of those parts of Europe that was fought over for donkey’s years in the middle ages. Luckily for us as tourists all the fighting in that region died down just before the invention of things like big bastard cannons and tanks and planes and what-have-you. The result being that there are all these castle and battlements, and the stunning 14th century Valentré Bridge (pictured above). As we punted down the river on our lunched up boat cruise, you couldn’t help but soak it all in. Also helped with a glass or two of the Chateau’s finest!
Seems a bit daft on a wine blog to be banging on about all these non-wine things, but I think wine regions have to play on everything they have. We got to have a mess around in the medieval village of Saint-Cirq-LaPopie, beautifully get in middle ages style. Just down the road there’s the prehistoric Pech Merle cave complex, with these incredible Neolithic artworks all over the place. This part of France is full of this shit. It’s brilliant!
Of Course There’s The Food
We couldn’t escape a whole weekend in France without going a bit nuts with the food too. Where there is great wine, there must always be great food. The restaurant at the hotel was fantastic, and the chef there has lots at his disposal. The region is famous for foie gras, walnuts, saffron, and the famous pharoah’s testicles themselves. An afternoon with Iago the truffle dog had us all purring for an early dinner.
Come for the Malbec, sure, but stay for the weekend and just go tourism mad. You’ll love it!