Cahors is a dark red wine from grapes grown in an area around the town of Cahors and westwards towards Fumel. It is an Appellation d'origine contrôlée (AOC) (Controlled designation of origin) which forms part of the South West France wine region. The dominant grape variety in AOC Cahors wines is Malbec, which must make up a minimum of 70% of the wine, and which is known locally as "Côt", "Côt Noir" or "Auxerrois". It is supplemented by up to 30% Merlot and Tannat.
There are 4,200 hectares (10,000 acres) of Cahors vineyards, with a planting density of at least 4000 vines per ha. The designation AOC Cahors may only be used for red wines. There is also some white and rosé wine produced in the same area and it is sold under the designation Vin de Pays du Lot instead. There is a well marked Wine Route with most vineyards offering Degustation (wine tasting) . The most important places are Mercuès, Parnac, Luzech, Prayssac, Grézels, Puy-l'Éveque and Vire sur Lot. They are all located in the valley of the Lot.