|This article relies largely or entirely upon a single source. (March 2013)|
Monbazillac is an Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée (AOC) for sweet white wine produced in the village of Monbazillac on the left bank of the Dordogne River just across from the town of Bergerac in South West France. The appellation covers almost 2,000 hectares (4,900 acres) of vineyards.
The AOC of Monbazillac was first established in 1936, but the area has a long history of sweet wine production. Only wine made from grapes grown in Monbazillac that are affected by the "noble rot" (Botrytis cinerea) can be sold under the Monbazillac designation. (Dry white wines from the same area are sold as Bergerac sec.) The grape varieties Sémillon, Sauvignon blanc and Muscadelle are used for Monbazillac, and the permitted base yield is 40 hectoliter per hectare, although actual yields are lower for many producers.
Monbazillac wines are broadly similar to Sauternes, but a difference is that Monbazillac often has a significantly higher proportion of Muscadelle in the blend, which can lead to slightly different aromas. While Monbazillac in former times could be a simpler semi-sweet wine, the style in more recent years has been that of a fully botrytized wine, since from 1993 no mechanical harvesting is allowed, and harvesting in several tries is required.