Labastide d'Armagnac: Medieval Village in France

Labastide d'Armagnac

Medieval village in the famous Armagnac region

Labastide d'Armagnac is considered the pearl of the Armagnac region of France. This part is best known for the alcoholic drink Armagnac. This is older than, for example, Cognac, but less well-known. You can visit Armagnac farmers near the village and taste the drink for yourself.

The strong alcoholic drink is named after the Armagnac region. The drink has been made since the 12th century. This is done in a slightly different way than Cognac. Armagnac is distilled once, with Cognac this is done twice and at lower temperatures. Both distillates are aged in oak barrels. The grapes used are also often the same. Armagnac has an alcohol percentage of 40%, Cognac also or slightly higher.

The Armagnac region is protected; on August 6, 1936 it was given the name AOC, (Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée). As a result, only grapes harvested in this area may be distilled into Armagnac. These are the regions:

  • Bas-Armagnac
  • Armagnac-Ténarèze
  • Haut-Armagnac

Visiting the village

The church of Labastide d'Armagnac. ©Corno van den Berg

The village of Labastide d'Armagnac is still a medieval village, where time seems to have stood still. Various families have been making Armagnac here for centuries. I went to see it and made numerous excursions in the area.

The name comes from bastide, this is a typical medieval town from the south of France. It stands for strikingly straight streets with a central square and a church. Labastide-d'Armagnac still breathes the past.

Visit Armagnac makers

Stéphane de Luze of Château de Briat. ©Corno van den Berg

In this region you can visit numerous Armagnac distillers. Part of it is located around the village of Labastide d'Armagnac. With well-known names such as Domaine d'Espérance, Château du Prada and Château de Briat. You will receive an explanation about the process, the various types (various grapes) and you can taste. It is well worth it.

Notre Dame des Cyclistes

The unique Notre Dame des Cyclistes. ©Corno van den Berg

The Notre Dame des Cyclistes is a special church near the village of Labastide-d'Armagnac. Since May 18, 1959, the old chapel has been dedicated to famous cyclists. He was officially consecrated by the Bishop of Dax. Here you will find more than 600 jerseys from world champions, but also from winners of the Tour de France. The church is literally full of cycling memorabilia.

Read my trip for Notre Dame des Cyclistes

Cycle route La Scandibérique

Taking the Cycle rRute La Scandibérique. ©Corno van den Berg

La Scandibérique is a famous cycling route of thousands of kilometers through Europe. The Pilgrim Route runs from Norway to Spain. It runs also through the Armagnac region. I cycled through forests and small villages for a while. It is a good way to discover this area. You can rent a bike in town and set out. You can do this alone, but also with a local guide.

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