Topography is the study of the shape and features of land surfaces. It includes mountains, hills, valleys, ridges, rivers, lakes, everything natural or manmade. The topography can influence the weather and climate.
The topography of the Armagnac region is quite distinguishable in each of the production zones.
The Ténarèze in the Gers and Lot-et-Garonne (Ténarèze means on the crest) is a land of gentle rolling hills and some higher plateaus where the rivers flow north like the veins in a vine leaf: River Gers (175 kms), that gives the department its name, originates in the foothills of the Pyrenees flowing north before running into the Garonne near to Agen. River Osse (120kms), River Baïse (188kms) is a tributary of the Garonne. Average altitude 82m
Bas Armagnac in the Gers and the Landes is where the land loses altitude as it drops towards the west coast. The terrain is a lot flatter still with some gentle hillsides, valleys and marshes. The rivers include the Gélise which is a tributary of the River Baïse, Midouze (151kms) rises in the Gers and flows into the River Adour. The Landes forest is an important part of the area’s topography. Average altitude: 60-120m
Haut Armagnac in the east and south of the Gers is quite hilly with the River Gers and Auroue (62.4kms) flowing eventually into the Garonne. Average altitude: 150-200m
Water is an essential part in the history and geography of Armagnac. The aforementioned River Baïse and the Adour River
(flows into the Atlantic near Bayonne) were major waterways for the transportation of Armagnac in barrels and the Baïse (a left-bank tributary of the Garonne) started to be canalised in 1808 with the works finishing a few years later. (more on this in the History chapter).