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The appellation is named after the capital of the same name in the Département of Lot in southwest France. The vineyards, which cover some 4,500 hectares, are located on both banks of the river Lot, northwest of Gaillac. The wine growing region is one of the oldest and most famous in France. The Celts (Gauls) were already producing wooden barrels here in the 6th century BC. Under Emperor Domitian (51-96) the Romans cultivated wine here. In the 13th century, Cahors wine was exported to England, where it gained an excellent reputation as "black wine". In Cahors the later Pope John XII. (1244-1334) was born in Cahors and for over 400 years there was a university founded by him. When he was Pope in Avignon on the Rhône, he had winegrowers from Cahors come here to grow the predecessor of Châteauneuf-du-Pape.

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