The little known gem of the Southwest
Pacherenc du Vic-Bilh comes from the compression of the Béarnaise expression “Pachets en renc” which means piquets (vine posts) en rang (in rows) and Vic-Bilh is the old name of the province. The Pacherenc du Vic-Bilh are discreet and surprising wines.
White wines produced from native grape varieties
The main grape varieties are the Petit or Gros Manseng and Petit Courbu, sometimes blended with the more minor varieties such as Arrufiac or indeed Sauvignon. Wines that once again bear witness to the fact that the Southwest is an astounding area of production for great whites.
NB: When a bottle has Pacherenc du Vic-Bilh on the label it is bound to be a sweet one. When it is dry, it will be specified.
Sweet Pacherenc du Vic-Bilh
The late harvests (vendanges passerillées*) have established the fame of Pacherenc. These sweet wines are intense and have lovely complexity. Balanced, they are defined by their aromatic richness and by their lovely freshness. The slow natural concentration of sugar in the grapes preserves the necessary acidity for this balance. The first grapes are generally harvested from mid November and the last harvest takes place on 31st December. For the sweet whites, the harvest is entirely hand picked.
* The passerillage (raisining) on the vine, is a small wonder of nature, helped by the hand of the winemaker, allowing the grapes to concentrate in sugars gradually.
Dry Pacherenc du Vic-Bilh
Less well known, the dry Pacherenc assumes a character even more confidential. With freshness as its keyword, its light, fruity, lively and fresh character gives easy-going and adaptable wines. Generally harvested at the same time as the Madiran or maybe a week before, they are harvested in cool temperatures to preserve the aromas.
Every year a blind tasting is organized to designate the wines that best represent the appellations of Madiran and Pacherenc du Vic-Bilh throughout the year. This election takes place every year and the selected wines will be used to promote the appellation during different operations: samples are sent to the press, to the Madiran Maison des Vins for tastings or used during the numerous events organized by the syndicate and its partners.