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French name for southwest France; see there.

The wine-growing areas of this large region (french Sud-Ouest) with about 160,000 hectares of vineyards are among the oldest in France. From a purely geographical and historical point of view, southwest France includes the entire area between the Massif Central, which forms the eastern border, and the Atlantic coast in the west and the Pyrenees on the border with Spain in the south. Julius Caesar (100-44 BC) first called the Roman province he conquered between the Garonne River and the Pyrenees Aquitaine (French: Guyenne). Emperor Charles the Great (742-814) incorporated it into the Frankish Empire. After an eventful history as an independent county, the acquisition of Gascony and then under English rule from the middle of the 12th century onwards, the area did not finally become part of France until 1453. In the Middle Ages, the Catholic orders cultivated viticulture here, with the Cistercian monastic order in particular making a great contribution.

The demand of the Dutch from the 17th century onwards for eaux-de-vie and sweet wines shaped the wine style. At this time the name Haut-Pays (upper country - upstream from Bordeaux) became common. However, for a long time the wines were overshadowed...

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