Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

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Gaillac, dynamic, variegated wine district in south west france that is also of considerable historic importance. As outlined in the history of france, archaeological evidence suggests that Gaillac may have been one of the first viticultural centres of ancient gaul, with wine production well established in the early years of the 1st century ad.

Gaillac certainly seems to have been producing wine long before bordeaux, the port through which its wines would have been shipped after being transported down the Rivers Tarn and garonne. Barbarian invasions then curbed wine production until it was revived by monks at the Abbey of St-Michel-de-Gaillac in the 10th century and Gaillac wines were highly prized both locally and in northern Europe, especially england, in the Middle Ages. Gaillac’s export trade was thwarted, however, by the protectionist measures imposed by the merchants of Bordeaux on haut pays wines.