A carpet of meadows and vineyards unfurls beyond the town of Condom. Welcome to Armagnac. This northern expanse of the Gers département is renowned for its centuries-old distilleries. The terrain is ideal for unchallenging road trips: long boulevards lined with birch trees connect regal châteaux with picturesque villages of ancient stone, including La Romieu, Fourcès and Lectoure.
During the Hundred Years' War, the area was pinched between strongholds of the French and English armies, based in Toulouse and Bordeaux respectively. This past tumult has bequeathed it a number of bastides (fortified towns), created by wealthier villages as protection against attack.