477 Produits Du Perigord Luc.fauret.photographe477 Produits Du Perigord Luc.fauret.photographe
©477 Produits Du Perigord Luc.fauret.photographe

Gourmet Heaven

The Dordogne Valley has it all: the climate, natural beauty in spades, the stunningly preserved architectural heritage but also the food! From gourmet cuisine to simple family cooking, the Dordogne Valley is renowned around the world for its gastronomy.

Gastronomic bliss

Its reputation as a culinary paradise, la crème de la crème even by French standards, has earned the Dordogne Valley a reputation as gourmet heaven. Its diverse selection of dishes and ingredients reflect the region’s agricultural richness and long history of food traditions.

On offer, an array of tantalizing culinary treats, from Michelin-starred restaurants of gourmet excellence to simple traditional food cooked exceptionally. Eating is not a hobby, it is a way of life and the Dordogne truly represents the heart of French gastronomy.

Autumn brings its own special flavours

With so many seasonal products to choose from, you can find a vast array of delicious, fresh, organic and healthy distractions with plentiful options for vegetarians.

If summer brings sweet strawberries and melons, autumn is equally bountiful as its harvest season for walnuts, cep mushrooms and of course grapes.

You will also find goat’s cheese and the famous truffle which in January, in small villages and the medieval town of Sarlat, has its own dedicated market. Also on the menus of the region are duck confit, magret, Quercy lamb and veal, excellent wines…this place really is a food lover’s paradise.

Off to market, whatever the season

The emphasis on seasonal produce is the bedrock of the Dordogne’s culinary tradition. The region’s cuisine is deeply rooted in the rhythms of nature, and the use of seasonally appropriate ingredients ensures that each dish is at the peak of its flavour.

Traditional Farmers Markets reflect this principal and many have been running since their birth in the Middle Ages. Throughout the Dordogne Valley you will find a variety of bustling markets where you can buy and taste from the stalls laden with local produce sold direct from the producer.

Small markets happen weekly throughout the year. Often taking place under the timber covered market hall of the village like those of Martel or bastide towns like Monpazier, you will find them sprouting all over on various days of the week in the likes of Lalinde, Eymet, Argentat, the Sunday market of Issigeac or Objat and in the Tuesday morning market of Thenon.

Big markets

Some Farmers Markets, running throughout all seasons, are also huge, renowned not just for the quality of the goods on sale but also their size and importance.

The famous Saturday market of Sarlat takes over the entire historic heart of the town with sprawling stands filling all of the available space in the ancient medieval streets.

In Brive, the weekly Saturday market held at the Halle Georges Brassens bustles with locals buying everything from walnuts to live chickens and all manner of diverse locally grown fresh vegetables and meats.

In Terrasson, the market sprawls around the ancient bridge at its heart as it has done since the 14th century.

The large weekly markets of  Bergerac and Périgueux held every Wednesday and Saturday offer a huge choice of local fare as does the flagship market of the Périgord Noir region held in the village of Le Bugue. Every Tuesday and Saturday morning it has been running for six and a half centuries!

Night Markets

In the summer, night markets become a regular staple of the season like the Tuesday night market of  Le Bugue.

Marchés Gourmands pop up all over the Dordogne Valley at this time too. A night food market with a twist, dinners choose their diner from food stalls that prepare it for you there and then.

Long tables are set up for eating and then joining the other locals, you can sample this delicious food often accompanied by live music and dancing.

When in Rome...

The roots of wine making in the region date back even further than the Middle Ages, and stem from the Roman occupation and administration of Gaul.

With its rich soil and perfect grape growing conditions, The Dordogne Valley has historically been full of vineyards, and wine production has been a major activity for centuries since. Close to the major hub of production around Bergerac through to boutique wineries scattered throughout the Dordogne Valley, there is a massive choice for wine enthusiasts, whether you’re a connoisseur or simply looking to enjoy high-quality wines.

You can also find locally distilled top-end internationally recognised spirits from the likes of the Denoix Distillery in Brive, and more recently craft beer brewers.

Beers and Spirits

Distillation has also been a part of the Dordogne Valley’s history. The walnut based aperitif Vin de Noix liqueur is a popular local favourite.

La Vieille Prune likewise, this renowned plum brandy digestive has been knocked back for generations.  This local high end delicacy is hand-made at the distillery of Louis Roque in Souillac.

The internationally recognised Denoix craft distillery, based in Brive, has been making quality liqueurs and aperitifs since 1839. Producing over 20 lines of aperitifs, digestifs and liqueurs, including the very popular Quinquinoix walnut liqueur, visits and tastings are possible onsite at their lovely bar.

Craft beers have grown in popularity here too and definitely worth a visit is the microbrewery – the Brasserie Gaillarde – in Gignac.

For something really unique, try the Pissenlit Liqueur made by Lou Pé Dé Gril, an aperitif made entirely from dandelions in the village of Curemonte.

Viticulture Central

The major hub of wine production is located around Bergerac. Here established wineries produce the bulk of the regions high quality reds, whites and rosés.

With over 14 000 hectares, the Bergerac Duras Appellation is an AOC (Appellation d’origine contrôlée ) wine producing region, this label guaranteeing the genuine geographical origin of the wine and its standards of production.

The vast expanse of vineyards stretches out along the Dordogne river and the Bergerac Appellation contains 13 AOC labels for red white and rosé wines. Another important wine making hub surrounds Monbazillac, famous for its AOC sweet white wines which produce some 7 million bottles each year. It is of course possible to visit these wineries and sip their quality range.

Outside of these areas can be found some dynamic boutique vineyards whose reputation for quality surpasses their small size.  Garnering multiple awards across their range is one of the smallest wineries in France: Coteaux de Glanes.  Their small but excellent batches can be bought directly from the winery with directions to it indicated from the village of Glanes.

The small winery Mille et une Pierres is home to an organic vineyard and leader in Vin Paillé (straw wine) production. Following a traditional medieval practice of drying the grapes on straw, the Mille et une Pierres is part of the Vins de Corrèze, awarded with an AOC label in recognition for excellence in wine production.

From family-style to Michelin-starred

Restaurants in the Dordogne Valley

From top-notch gourmet restaurants to family-style cooking, the Dordogne Valley caters to a wide range of tastes and preferences.

The region’s combination of high-quality local produce, traditional recipes, and talented chefs has gained the region international recognition for its exceptional gastronomy and culinary excellence.

From innovative and refined dishes to simple, hearty and generous cuisine there is a great choice for vegetarians too. Local cuisine is not just about duck and Foie Gras, far from it.

Specialities of the region include walnuts, delicious cep mushrooms and truffles…throughout the Dordogne Valley you will find mouth-watering organic and vegetarian dishes on menus everywhere.