- Q & A
The C?tes de Gascogne is a designated wine-producing zone in the Armagnac region of Southwest France. Known in English as Gascony, this picturesque area is marked by textured green vistas, medieval towns, sunny skies and far-off views of the Pyrenees Mountains.
For 2,000 years, Gascony's slopes have been devoted to the art of the vine. The area's ideal soils combined with the know-how of 1,200 local wine producers have made C?tes de Gascogne wines a leader among the wines of Southwest France. Today, 75% of C?tes de Gascogne wine is sold for export. The vast majority of these wines are dry, crisp, refreshing and aromatic whites; C?tes de Gascogne is one of France's most widely exported white wines.
The Fontans have been farmers in the heart of Gascony for several generations but it wasn't until the 1980s that Aline and Jean-Claude Fontan converted their two ancestral estates entirely to the vine monoculture. Today, their children, Nad?ge and Sylvain, direct Vignobles Fontan from Domaine de Maubet, the family's main property in the village of Noulens. Over the past three decades, the family has made considerable investment in state-of-the-art vinification and distillation equipment to a barrel room for the aging of their prized Armagnac. The new generation of Fontans is now recognized in the region as a quality leader in the production of both white wines and the full range of Bas-Armagnac grape spirits.
Combined total vine surface for the family's two properties, Domaine Maubet in Noulens and Domaine Grachies in Vic-Fezensac, is just under 200 acres. The vineyards are planted to Ugni Blanc, Colombard, Gros Manseng, Petit Manseng and a small amount of Sauvignon Blanc.
Domaine Fontan's Cuv?e des Mousquetaires was created in homage to Alexandre Dumas' literary heroes, D'Artagnan and the Three Musketeers. The fictional protagonist in three Dumas romance classics, D'Artagnan's rapier-wielding character was based on Charles de Batz-Castelmore, the real Gascon Count of Artagnan who served French King Louis XIV as Captain of the Musketeers (Royal Guard) in the 17th Century. Sylvain's 100% Gros Manseng with just the right amount of sweet and tart. These components were originally fashioned as an accompaniment to Gascony's famous foie gras. It pairs well with spicier Asian dishes though its presence could easily hold up to steamed clams with garlic and herbs.
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