News from the region

21st edition of Wines and Terroirs at the MEETT, a new mega exhibition center serving Southwest France!

Extended hours on Friday enable Toulousains to start their weekend with an epicurean journey!

Gourmets and epicureans gather Friday the 29 October through Monday the 1 November at Toulouse’s new exhibition center, the MEETT. Two events are taking place: “Wines & Terroirs” and “Chocolat & Gourmandises”. One ticket is good for both, which bring together over 300 producers from across France.

Sud Selections was present for the “nocturne” Friday evaluating wines from independent winemakers from renowned regions. Whether it be Chablis, Burgundy, Bordeaux…, or hidden wine treasures from Southwest France, we can help you source the wines you need. Just send us your requirements, and we’ll be more than happy to abide!

This company manages, as part of a pubic-private partnership, 3 sites, including two in heart of Toulouse: Pierre Baudis Congress Center, Vanel, and the MEETT next to the Toulouse-Blagnac Airport.

28th Annual Wine and Gastronomy Festival – Blagnac, France

The 16 & 17 October, Sud Selections participated in the 28th edition of the Blagnac Wine and Gastronomy Festival, a neighboring city of Toulouse and home to Airbus.

25 independent producers from all over France presented their winemaking savoir-faire.

Let us know which regions and winemakers you are interested in, and we’ll send you additional information. For qualified distributors, we can arrange shipment of samples preselected by Sud Selections.

Organic winemakers Juile and Bastien at Champagne Moreau

Paris Wine Rendez-vous

The 27 and 28 September Sud Selections attended the Paris Wine Rendez-vous, an event sponsored by Business and Taste France bringing together 19 cooperatives from around France.

We’ve evaluated these wines and have identified 15 cooperatives from the following regions that should be of interest to importers and distributors worldwide:

Alsace, Loire Valley, Rhône Valley, Beaujolais, Burgundy, Bordeaux, Provence, Luberon, Southwest France, Saint Emilion, Archèche, Languedoc-Roussillon, French Catalonia…

As we emerge from the Covid-19 crisis, wine stocks are running low. Let us know if you’d like to learn more about these quality French wines, and we can discuss the possibility of shipping samples to your firm.

Paris Wine Meet-up the 27 and 28 September 2021 

Last chance to send us your requirements!

Replenish and diversify your stock of quality French wines!

After a painfully long period of social distancing and with support from the French Ministries of Agriculture and International Trade, twenty cooperatives from the most prestigious regions in France will all be united in Paris to present their greatest wines!

With current restrictions affecting international travel, Sud Selections is ready to work on your behalf to preselect wines and arrange shipment of samples to your company. Just let us know your requirements in terms of preferred grape varieties, targeted wine regionspricing, and production capacity to meet and exceed your customers’ expectations.

Replenish and diversify your stock of quality French wines!

 Paris Wine Meet-up the 27 and 28 September 2021

After a painfully long period of social distancing and with support from the French Ministries of Agriculture and International Trade, twenty cooperatives from the most prestigious regions in France will all be united in Paris to present their greatest wines!

With current restrictions affecting international travel, Sud Selections is ready to work on your behalf to preselect wines and arrange shipment of samples to your company. Just let us know your requirements in terms of preferred grape varieties, targeted wine regions and production capacity to meet and exceed your customers’ expectations. 

Plan your next Grape Escape in the Heart of Southwest France!

Click here to download the entire B2 size map/brochure in a high resolution front and back pdf format that can be printed, folded, and shared with wine-lovers around the world!

Mi-Fugue, Mi-Raison…, a creation with inspiration from Perry Taylor, was translated into English by Jay Clifton, Sud Selections.

Jazz in Marciac – Listen live with France Musique!

Follow this link to listen to live concerts at Jazz in Marciac the 27 and 31 July and the 1 and 4 August.

Click on the arrow next to “Le Direct” at the top left of France Musique’s home page to join us in the the heart of Southwest France!

Program of live concerts starting each evening at 9pm Marciac time, 3pm EST in the USA.

27 July

9pm (3 pm EST) – Brad Mehlhau Trio,

11pm (5 pm EST) – Youn Sun Nah & Ulf Wakenius Duo, &

31 July

9pm (3 pm EST) – Gonzalo Rubalcaba & Aymée Nuviola, &

11pm (5 pm EST) – Richard Bona & Alfredo Rodriguez, &

1 August

9pm (3 pm EST) – Emile Parisien & Vincent Peirani, &

11pm (5 pm EST) – Roberto Fonseca & New Bulgarian Voices,

4 August

9pm (3 pm EST) – Belmondo Quintet “Brotherhood”,éphane_Belmondo

11pm (5 pm EST) – Michel Portal “MP85”,

Renaissance of Jazz in Marciac!

After months of uncertainty linked to Covid-19, the mythical Jazz in Marciac opened last night with two strong performances by Robin McKelle and Kimberose. Consult the following link to learn more about the festival and stay turned as Sud Selections provides a unique perspective, in English, to this festival and upcoming wine events in the Gascony-Pyrénées region this summer!

And discovery the festival program here!

As water flows, so does wine.

As throughout the world, there’s always been a direct link between water and the wine regions of France. As one follows the flow of water, one can understand how wine regions were formed centuries ago. Vineyards have always be affected by water, from the coast and from the rivers and lakes lying within. Water has a direct impact on temperature and climate, determining which grape varieties can be cultivated and thrive in a particular environment as well as the styles of wine that can be crafted.

For example, looking from the east, due north of Montpellier to the west in direction of Bordeaux, the Ariège, Tarn, and other tributaries (orange) rejoin the Garonne river and the Atlantic Ocean. In the Pyrenees Piedmont, tributaries meet up with the Adour river (green) and travel all the way to Bayonne and the coast, just north of Biarritz and not far from the Spanish border.

Taken together, as the water flows (green and orange), you have what’s close to a perfect presentation of the vineyard of Southwest France!

Madiran and Pacherenc du Vic-Bilh: rethinking wine tourism

DECEMBER 11, 2020 – Terre de Vins

Above: Château de Crouseilles (photos ©F.Hermine)

The Madiran – Pacherenc du Vic-Bilh appellations are struggling after the cancellation of their open house which has been taking place in November for nearly twenty years. But they are not giving up and betting on a rebound of wine tourism in 2021.

“Orders are having a hard time taking off even with free shipping”, admits President Pascal Savoret. “But we are trying to increase the visibility of the domains by relaying information from our winemakers, especially in terms of pickup options or free deliveries. There are already more than fifteen of them present on the site ( and those who participate can showcase their wines”. A handful of producers took advantage of the site at the beginning of 2020, many have joined in recent months or are the process of joining. This year’s boosted communication on the internet has proved effective with good results: Madiran has made a good comeback in terms of searches and hits and Pacherenc has made strong progress. This reflects the market, with Madirans holding their own in a struggling market for reds and Pacherenc progressing in a declining “sweet” context. The 19th Barrique d’Or auction took place virtually for the first time mid-November; it featured fifteen lots (the Barrique d’Or purchased by a Florida importer was a windfall for Anne and Fabrice Latapi who were participating in the event for the first time).

The appellation still intends to gain momentum on the web in 2021 with a change in community management that will be managed by a digital agency based in Pau, Zébrure, in collaboration with the Côtes-de-Gascogne and Saint-Mont appellations (website, Facebook, Instagram). Over the past year, communication has also been strengthened with a new slogan “Southwest Living” and a spiral logo, in a press release “to highlight Southwest Living and increase our notoriety”.

Reconquering local customers

“Although public tours have been cancelled, cellars will remain open in December,” insists Pascal Savoret. But we have to admit that people are not moving around much and there will be a decline in tourists who used to stop at our place to buy a few bottles on their way down from the ski resorts or spas”. The Hautes-Pyrénées Chamber of Agriculture has set up several farm drive-throughs for wine growers and cellars in Lourdes, Tarbes, Pau…where their wines can be sold” but that will not compensate the loss in sales from restaurants, [one out of every four bottles sold], and a general decline in consumption due to the pandemic at a time when families usually get together for a nice meal. It’s not surprising that wine shops in these big cities are running in slow motion”. Various events and tastings are being planned for next year in order to re-conquer the Toulouse market and other regional cities such as Pau and perhaps Biarritz. The appellation also partners with Southwest Wine Syndicate (IVSO) for major trade shows such as Wine Paris or tastings organized at wine shops and could even join forces with neighboring appellations like Irouléguy and Jurançon.

Notwithstanding in 2021, Madiran and Pacherenc will focus on wine tourism with a new reception room at its Maison des Vins. Work had been delayed due to the pandemic, but it should be operational by spring. A communications and wine tourism manager, currently being recruited, will be in charge of reorganizing the teams and generating new ideas “because in normal times, wine tourism represents 20% of our sales. Proof of this is the high attendance at the wineries this summer despite the cancellation of our wine festival and Jazz in Marciac”. The redevelopment of the Château de Crouseilles with its escape game, hiking trails and “sensory” paths has reinforced the attractiveness of the surroundings, as have the many events proposed by Alain Brumont (photo below), the Château de Viella… and we hope the forthcoming reopening of the Prieuré, a luxury hotel and gourmet restaurant located on the town square of Madiran .

Photo: La Tyre-A.Brumont©F.Hermine

Wine for winter: picking the perfect Malbec

Born in France and made famous by Argentina, malbec is a wine whose star is still on the rise. Here’s what you need to know about its production. Plus, we suggest five of the best bargain bottles to try. 


PUBLISHED 17 DEC 2020, 08:00 GMT (National Geographic)

Although it has its origins in France, Malbec is often associated with Argentina, where the high altitude and semi-arid desert conditions of Mendoza are an ideal terroir for the grape. 

One of the first wines to capture my imagination was Cahors, from Southwest France, where it’s known as ‘black wine’ because of the intensity of its colour. It seems a shame, therefore, that there’s now a tendency for producers from the region to put the name of the grape front and centre on their labels, rather than that of the region. The reason? Cahors wines must have a minimum of 70% malbec, and they’re hoping to capitalise on the grape’s growing popularity.

Despite the malbec grape being native to this part of France and having a long history in local winemaking, it’s primarily associated with Argentina, the world’s biggest exporter of malbec wine. The variety found in the South American country — to which malbec cuttings were imported, via Chile, in the mid-1800s — comes from stock that predates phylloxera, a blight that decimated French vineyards later that century, and from slightly different clones than those still prevalent in its homeland.

The high altitude and semi-arid desert conditions of Mendoza, where most of Argentina’s grapes are grown, act as an ideal terroir for the grape — and the reliable combination of perfect ripeness and supple tannins has made Argentinian malbec one of the most popular reds on the market. It’s produced in other parts of South America, too: over the border in Chile, for example, and in Peru (for a fresh, fragrant taste from Peru’s Ica Valley, try Santiago Quierolo’s Intipalka Valle del Sol Malbec 2018, sold by Corney & Barrow). And while there are malbec producers elsewhere in the world, including South Africa and Australia, the grape’s other main growing region is still France, where it’s also known as auxerrois or côt noir.

In Bordeaux, Malbec is mainly used as a blending component, although it’s increasingly bottled on its own. The grape thrives further south, too, with producers in the Languedoc region creating wines in a fresher, juicier style (Martinfort Malbec 2018, from Shropshire-based Tanners, is very easy-drinking). 

These days, it’s not uncommon for French winemakers to take advantage of Argentina’s near-perfect weather conditions (by teaming up with South American producers or launching their own overseas operations) in order to produce malbecs with more finesse than could be achieved back home. Château Lafite Rothschild, for example, has joined forces with top producer Nicolás Catena Zapata to run the Bodegas CARO winery, and luxury brand LVMH (owner of Moët & Chandon) has established the Bodegas Chandon wine estate.

Master of Wine Tim Atkin, who authors an annual guide to Argentinian wines, claims “the best is yet to come” for the country’s reds. And with this high acclaim in mind, it might be best to stock up on malbec while it’s still affordable.

Five bottles of malbec to try

Tesco Finest Cahors Mabec 2018, Cahors, France
It’s somewhat surprising to find this more traditional style of malbec available in the Tesco Finest range. Sealed with a cork rather than a screw cap, it offers a glimpse of old-style rusticity. £7.50.

Domaine de la Pépière La Pepie Côt 2019, Loire Valley, France
A slightly funkier incarnation of malbec from the Loire, where the grape variety is known as côt. Bright and brimming with fruit. Drink chilled with charcuterie or steak frites. £12.99. 

Château Rambauds Malbec 2018, Bordeaux, France
It’s rare to find a wine from Bordeaux that’s 100% malbec. This one has real elegance for the price. It’s a classic wine for a Sunday roast that will go down well with claret-lovers. £9. 

Terrazas de los Andes Malbec 2017, Mendoza, Argentina
A textbook Argentinian malbec, with plum, cherry and blueberry and smooth, velvety tannins. It’s hard to find a more gratifying red for the price. Steak is the obvious pairing. £16.99. 

Licanten Idahue Estate Malbec 2017, Curicó Valley, Chile
This beautifully perfumed Chilean malbec has a more overtly fruity style than typical Argentinian offerings. Pair it with duck or other game; it could even handle a touch of spice. £13.95. 

Published in Issue 10 (winter 2020) of National Geographic Traveller Food