Vines & Wines

We have had a love of wine for many, many years and have been collecting and wine touring for the last 20 years in our favourite regions in France and Italy. We completed our wine studies with Laithwaites to WSET levels 2 & 3 while living in England but the real experience and knowledge came from hands on glass tipping! Many visits to Decanter wine events and guided private tours taught us what we liked and, we tasted a lot! We are in our 4th season now living in the beautiful Dordogne Bergerac wine region and have spent many fabulous days out over the last three & half years visiting producers in the region and learning about the production, the terroir, the wines and the amazing people that produce them. Some great relationships have blossomed and some really great wines shared.

A dream of ours was to have an authentic 'cave' stocked with local bottles and the first year we created this space in one part of the stone buildings which faces the new wine tasting terrace. We hold wine tasting evenings for guests here so you can experience our findings in comfort with an easy to understand and relaxing pace with a few nibbles to pair and amaze your palette.

Once we were up to speed with our region we wanted to start offering wine visits like the ones we had been experiencing in Italy and France. While we are very happy to pootle off and see where the day takes us now, on holiday with limited days to spare, having a guide who knows the area saved us many many hours and even days in our own touring and introduced us to wines and producers we either would have struggled to find or never found at all.

We are currently in the process of setting this up to enable us to introduce visitors of Le Peynau to this beautiful region. Keep an eye on this space as we are not quite ready yet, but target is the coming summer season 2024!

How will it work?
All visits will be in our region and you will experience a variety of wines produced in the following areas
Bergerac, Monbazillac, Pecharmant, Rossette, Duras, Saussignac, Montravel, Haut Montravel
& Cotes-de-Montravel

With over 1200 wine producers we think it's better to spend the time in the vineyard rather than the car so no single visit is more than 30 minutes from our door.

Tell us what your tastes are or if you are not sure lets have a chat about what you like & what you don't and we will tailor the visits to your desires, however always be preparred to try something new! Also let us have an idea of your experience and back ground with wines, there is no wine snobbery here, you like what you like but, learning and to experince something you might not normally think you'd like is a joyous thing!
As we are still in set up please contact me to discuss our planned options.

For future availability or more information please contact us at:

A little bit about the region...

The Bergerac wine-growing region, a subregion of South West France around the town of Bergerac in the Dordogne department, comprises 93 communes. Its boundaries correspond more or less with those of the Arrondissement of Bergerac, immediately east of the Bordeaux wine region. 1,200 wine-growers cultivate an area of 12,000 hectares (30,000 acres). The Bergerac area contains 13 Appellations d'origine contrôlées (AOCs) for red, white (dry, medium-sweet and sweet) and rosé wines.

The vineyards extend across the southern part of the Dordogne department, the Arrondissement of Bergerac. Bergerac soil also features excellent drainage as a result of its proximity to the river Dordogne.

Approximately fifteen per cent of Bergerac AOC wine is sold outside France mainly to Great Britain, Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands.

The Bergerac area has produced wines since the thirteenth century and has exported wines since 1254, when it began shipping its vintages to England based on special privileges granted by Henry III of England. These dispensations gave the Bergerac community the right to assembly, special tax exemptions and the right to ship their wines to Bordeaux unhindered. By the fourteenth century, Bergerac had strictly defined quality standards for its wine growing areas. Despite Bergerac's special privileges, during this period, Bordeaux was known to use its position, downriver and near the mouth of the Garonne river, to give its own wines priority over barrels of Bergerac wines being transported on freight carrying "gabarres" (river barges). However, the Parlement of Guyenne granted Bergerac a charter to transport freely its wines to the Atlantic in 1511. By that time, the Protestant-dominated Bergerac was also trading with Holland and Scandinavia via an overland route.

Soil composition and geology.

The nature of the soils mirrors the extent of the wine-growing area.

The lacustrian calcareous source rock of the south-eastern area produces brown soil containing calcareous pebbles. The soil varies in thickness.

To the north of the River Dordogne, the source rock contains sands and clays mixed with gravel; the latter produce acid soils with a faded brown colour, while an accumulation of minerals deep below the surface create an impermeable sub-stratum known as "tran".

In the south-east, boulbènes formed from sands and washed out silts result in a crusting soil that is poor in nutrients.

To the west, calcareous source rock that was once marine, produces brown soil containing calcareous pebbles. These are the same soils as those found in the wine-growing areas of the east Gironde, such as Saint-Émilion, Côtes de Castillon, Côtes de Franc.

During the Quaternary period, the River Dordogne deposited terraces of gravel alluvia on both banks. These soils are acidic and not particularly fertile, but they offer good drainage.

Grape Varieties

The red wines are a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot, sometimes supplemented by Côt or, less commonly, by Fer Servadou or Mérille. They are often dark in color, with full-bodied flavours.

The white wines are mainly a blend of Sémillon with Sauvignon blanc, Sauvignon gris and Muscadelle, to which Ugni blanc, Ondenc and Chenin blanc are sometimes added. These combinations lead to the creation of fruity, dry white wines that can be powerful, and of medium-sweet or sweet wines that are aromatic and powerful.


While most appellations produce red, white, sparkling and medium sweet to sweet wines the following is basic guide to what they are thought to be best at, though I know producers who will protest this...

  • Bergerac AOC: dry white wines, rosé wines and red wines. These are wines that can be enjoyed young (from two years old).
  • Côtes de Bergerac AOC: mellow, soft red wines that can be stored. They only reach their prime after several years' storage in the wine cellar.
  • Montravel AOC: dry white wines and red wines.
  • Haut-Montravel AOC: sweet white wines.
  • Côtes de Montravel AOC: sweet white wines.
  • Monbazillac AOC: white dessert wines that can be stored for a long time.
  • Pécharmant AOC: red wines. These are wines suitable for medium-term storage.
  • Rosette AOC: sweet white wines. This appellation, which is the smallest within the wine-growing area, produces little-known wines that are medium-sweet to sweet.
  • Saussignac AOC: white dessert wines that can be stored medium to long-term.