Thursday, January 31, 2008

Cahors '95

The second time we visited Cahors was in 1995 (the first was in 1989). This time we found our way up to an overlook on a bluff across the river and took some photos of the city from up there.

The center of Cahors on the Lot River.

Cahors is built in a loop or meander of the Lot River, called a boucle in French (boucle = curl or buckle). The city was a prosperous commercial and educational center in the middle ages, and the Knights Templar established themselves there for a while.

The towers of the Pont Valentré rise up over the western edge of town.

The city's most famous monument is probably the Pont Valentré, a fourteenth century towered bridge with a legendary history. I posted a brief résumé of the legend here, along with a better photo of the bridge that I took in 1989.

A spillway and lock (écluse) on the eastern bend of the Lot.

Cahors is also famous for something else: its red wine. The Romans brought wine grapes to the Quercy region over two thousand years ago. Later, in the middle ages, Eleanor of Aquitane and Henry II Plantagenet favored Cahors wine in their court. The English, apparently, dubbed the wine "black" due to its dark color and rich taste.

The primary varietal in Cahors is côt noir, also called auxerrois. The same grape is known as malbec in Bordeaux and simply côt here in the Touraine region. A.O.C. wines in Cahors must contain at least seventy percent côt.

You can find Cahors in many wine shops in the USA. I like it, and if you like tannic reds, you might, too.


  1. My memory of Cahors, from many years back, was crossing the bridge and leaving the city and coming upon two neighbors who were having a tremendous row. We had been visiting the city from our rented rural vacation digs near Najac.

  2. I love the legends connected with the architecture of le Moyen Âge. Somehow, when I see the buildings, the stories ring true. The photos and the comments of your two visits to Cahors are captivating.
    I am your 39,114 visitor! No Cahors wine but un vin rouge du Pays d'Oc: Le Petit Sommelier. Un verre à votre santé, Ken and you. Celebrating your travels and my cyber trips on your blogs. Thank you for sharing.

  3. I've never cared for Cahors, town or wine. It's funny how some places just don't take...


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