France’s Gascogne region has long been considered a hub of the country’s gastronomy. Although, to be fair, this claim is made by every region of France. Here is the birthplace of both Armagnac and foie gras, as well as larger-than-life characters such as d’Artagnan and Cyrano de Bergerac. In English hands, this region became one of the first to export wine to the United Kingdom, and in French hands the final battles of the Hundred Years’ War were fought and won here. With so much history and gastronomy packed into this southwest corner of France, it is phenomenal that the wines of the region now have a promoter in Alain Brumont to represent Gascogne on the international market.
Alain Brumont grew up in Madiran, one of the southwest’s finest regions for red wine production. Long ago, this region was prized for its red wines, and in fact was regarded as being higher quality than that of neighboring Bordeaux in the 14th century. Unfortunately, after the wealthy merchants of Bordeaux passed a series of restrictive laws regarding shipping, the wines of Madiran were effectively shut off from the export market. Over time, the region began to fade into obscurity, with many wineries switching to livestock or fruit production and much of the surviving wines were distilled into Armagnac.
However, all was not lost, as a handful of proud local winemakers still produced wine using the techniques and grape varieties for which the region had been famous. When Alain returned to his homeland after studying winemaking in Bordeaux, he quickly acquired Chateau Montus, which was once known as the finest estate in the region. Replanting vineyards and fixing up the estate paid off, and critics and wine lovers alike praised the new wines from this forgotten estate. A few years later he would take control of Chateau Bouscassé, his family’s winery, and implement similar changes. Today, Alain controls over 1000 acres of vineyard land, spread across both estates and consisting of several distinct terroirs and micro-climates.Download Full Club Write-up