Local Information – The Gers
Characteristics: this is true farming country, sparsely populated with little or no pollution, rolling hills and valleys cultivated with vines, wheat, barley and sunflowers.
History: the area was populated by the Vascons from N Spain in the 7th century and later that same century became the principality of Gascony. In the middle ages during the 100 years war, the Gers (Gascony as it was then) was a frontier zone between the English based in Bordeaux and the French based in Toulouse. Most of the fortified towns (‘bastides’) like Montesquiou itself, date from these times.
Personalities: the exploits of Charles de Batz-Castlemore known to all as D’Artagnan of musketeer fame were not a figment of Alexandre Dumas’ imagination but based on the true life of this local nobleman. His mother Francoise Montesquiou-Artagnan was born in Montesquiou and he himself was born and brought up at Chateau Castlemore in Lupiac just 14 miles up the road from Le Marcade. The Chateau is still there to this day but in private ownership and unfortunately not open to the public.
For more details on his life, click here
Magret de canard: Duck’s breast. Confit de canard: Duck’s legs
Foie Gras: Fine duck’s liver paté
Armagnac: the Brandy of princes produced here in this area since Roman times
Floc de Gascogne: a distillation of grape juice fortified with Armagnac – 17% alcohol.
Pousse Rapière (push of the rapier): Orange flavoured Armagnac liqueur – 24% alcohol – most usually used as a base for a champagne cocktail.
Vin Sauvage: Local sparkling white wine fermented in the bottle using the méthode champenoise
Croustade à l’Armagnac: flakey pastry apple pie flavoured with Armagnac. – see picture below
- St Mont
- Cotes de Gascogne