The region makes claims to be among the earliest viticultural centres of ancient Gaul, though possibly after those of Languedoc around Narbonne, with wine production established in early 1st century. Roman merchants transported wine to Bordeaux and Northern Europe down the Tarn River, and vineyards soon followed in the valley. Archaeologists have found Roman pottery in Montans.
The town of Gaillac grew up around a Benedictine monastery in the Middle Ages. As elsewhere, vineyards flourished in the care of the monks, who needed wine for religious purposes. In time the Counts of Toulouse gave Gaillac the right to put a rooster on the barrel in recognition of their wine.
- The traditional red wines of the region are considered able to be kept for 8–10 years. They are made of the grape varieties Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Duras, Fer or Syrah. Rosé is made from the same grapes.
- "Primeur" red wine is made for drinking young, it's a marketing scheme based on Beaujolais Nouveau. The template is followed so closely that primeur wines must be made from the Gamay grape and are released for sale on the third Thursday of November.
- The white wines are made of Mauzac, Sauvignon blanc or Muscadelle, Len de l'El and Ondenc, local grape varieties. Table wines, dessert wines and sparkling wines are all made.
The vineyards cover 4,200 hectares (10,000 acres). The production is between 110-150,000 hl of red wine, 45-60,000 hl of white wine, and 20,000 hl of rosé.
- Cahors AOC - a similar wine producing appellation downstream from Gaillac
- List of Vins de Primeur
- Tourism in Tarn