Dry or sweet, these wines are produced from unique grape varieties that inevitably leave their mark on the style of the wine: Gros Manseng, Petit Manseng, Petit Courbu, Arrufiac…The appellation decree imposes a minimum of 60-80% planting with Petit or Gros Manseng and Petit Courbu (main varieties). Occasionally associated with other more minor varieties from the appellation such as Arrufiac or Sauvignon, they are also vinified alone for the most part.
The term Pacherenc du Vic Bilh comes from the Bearnaise “paisheradas”, “pacherads” meaning vines
supported on stakes from the old country (Vic-Bilh).
Dry Pacherenc du Vic-Bilh is a lively, fresh and fruity wine. It is often marked by notes of citrus and tropical fruit, and white-fleshed fruits like peach or apricot. Some, more complex, reveal floral, wisteria-like aromas. It is a highly original wine! It should be served at 10° as an aperitif, with mixed salad, savoury tarts, a vegetable tian or white meats. It also goes very well with more exotic dishes including sushi and sashimi.
The appellation area enjoys warm, dry autumns, advantageous to the sweet wines as this promotes slow concentration of the grapes on the vines. The grapes dry on the vines, giving them a high sugar content and helping retain their acidity, acting as a support for freshness. This process of natural concentration of the grapes by the wind (the Foehn effect) and the sun is known as “raisining” (dehydration of the grape which “overripens” on the vine, harvested by hand in the autumn). The harvests are carried out with a succession of selections, which take place from the end of October until the end of December.
Sweet Pacherenc du Vic-Bilh is an intense and complex wine. It is characterised by candied fruit aromas like apricot, dried fruit, like hazelnut or walnut, and honey. It is a harmonious wine, always well-balanced thanks to its natural freshness. It should be served at 8° for an aperitif, with foie gras, blue cheese, walnut or chestnut desserts, apricot or quince tarts. For a more original idea it can be enjoyed with duck in peaches or lamb tagine with lemon…