Is there any more perfect pairing for wine than a blend of classical romance and legendary chivalry?

The French town of Bergerac is equally renowned for its role in the love story of Cyrano de Bergerac as it is for its fine wines (not to mention elegant chateaux and a historic medieval centre).

Monbazillac (pronounced moh-bah-zee-YAK) wines are those rare, sweet, lovely dessert wines that few Americans—even wine connoisseurs—have tasted. This white wine is often compared to fellow French late-harvest Sauternes wines and is even made from the same grapes— sémillon, sauvignon blanc and muscadelle. Monbazillac, however, has a higher percentage of muscadelle grapes and, thus, sometimes sweeter aromas.

The wine is an Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée (AOC). Only grapes that are affected by ‘noble rot’ can be classified as Monbazillac; other regional grapes that are used for dry white wines are classified as Bergerac sec.

Lighter than a Sauternes, with a bit less alcohol content, a fine Monbazillac wine can become gold or amber in hue, with less floral notes and a spicier taste. Enjoy exotic honeyed notes like grapefruit, elderflower, quince, mango, passion fruit and citrus with a nutty aftertaste.

It is perhaps most famously paired with Foie Gras but also enjoyed with various desserts, main dishes and appetisers. It also serves as a perfectly chilled apéritif.

AmaWaterways offers a Limited Edition Tour for guests to visit the legendary Chateau de Monbazillac, a 16th century landmark in Early Renaissance style with some of the most magnificent views of the French countryside, to enjoy a tasting of this exquisite wine and guided tour. It is the perfect place to taste this somewhat secretive wine. Indeed, only roughly 20 percent of the wine is exported from France, with much of it going to Belgium and the Netherlands. Only about 5 percent is exported to the United States.

No visit to the Chateau de Monbazillac could be complete without visiting the nearby Bergerac region. Forever linked with Edmond Rostand’s Cyrano de Bergerac (and subsequent film and television adaptions like Steve Martin’s Roxanne), the town celebrates its literary connection with two statues of the romantic Cyrano. There is also a wine house, which features a small exhibit on the history of wine growing in the region.

One of the highlights is extensive medieval center and charming ‘old town,’ with lovely town squares and boutiques. The perfect marriage of wine and romance.

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