Vin de Pays du Comte Tolosan is a Vin de Pays (VDP) title covering 12 administrative departements in the south-western corner of France. Its catchment area basically corresponds to the unimaginatively titled 'Sud-Ouest' (South West) region, reaching as far south as the Pyrenees mountains and as far east as the borders of Languedoc-Roussillon.
A Vin de Pays Regional, the VDP du Comte Tolosan title covers every vineyard of all 12 departments, irrespective of terroir and climate. It includes not only the 12 Vin de Pays titles, but also nine Vin de Pays de Zone, examples of which are VDP des Cotes du Tarn and VDP des Terroirs Landais.
As with almost all IGP / Vin de Pays titles, Vin de Pays du Comte Tolosan wines are red, white and rose. They are made predominantly from those grapes which have proved successful in the region, both traditionally and more recently.
The majority of VDP du Comte Tolosan wines are red, produced largely from local varieties such as Merlot, Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and even the purpose-made Arinarnoa. White wines, which represent only a small proportion of the title's output, are made from varieties such as Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc and Muscadelle. Those produced from a single variety (of which there are an increasing number) are subject to taste testing by an official panel, charged with judging whether a wine expresses the true varietal nature of the grapes it contains. This process – a legal requirement since the VDP review of September 2000 – imparts a certain level of reliability to these wines.
In 2009, the Vin de Pays (VDP) title in force since the 1970s was supplemented with Indication Geographique Protegee (IGP) – its EU equivalent. French wine authorities have actively promoted the use of IGP, which acts as a legal statement of quality and origin throughout the eurozone. Wine producers retain the right to use either title.