The winegrowing region named after the town of Gaillac…
…is located in the south-western French department of Tarn (approx. 343,000 inhabitants) in the Occitanie region, about 60 km from the regional capital Toulouse.
It has about 5,500 hectares of vineyards, of which the production area for quality wine (AOC) comprises about 2,700 hectares. This corresponds to an annual production of around 20 million bottles. Around three quarters of this is red wine.
Gaillac is one of the most varied appellations in south-western France and one of the oldest wine-growing areas – the Romans planted vines here as early as the 1st century. The vineyards in the Tarn département lie north-east of Toulouse and include 73 communes around the town of Gaillac. A handful of places, including Cahuzac-sur-Vère with about 1,100 inhabitants, are allowed to carry the Gaillac Première Côtes classification for rich, aromatic sweet white wines. In the valley of the Tarn, the best southern sites of the first slopes rising from the valley (Premières Côtes) with their loamy-limestone soil are reserved exclusively for the vines.
The Premières Cotes produce not only the best white wines, but also characteristic, full-bodied and aromatic red wines. In this heart of the wine-growing region, the wine ripens up to three weeks earlier than in the higher sites. Gaillac therefore has a special microclimate that is neither Mediterranean nor Atlantic, but more continental. Summers are hot and dry, rain falls mainly between September and April. Another special climatic feature is the warm easterly wind Autan, which has saved many a vintage in autumn. Every year, the Fête des Vins, the wine festival, takes place in Gaillac on the first weekend in August. Numerous winegrowers present their wines at stands in the town park.