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, and vineyards soon followed in the valley. Archaeologists have found Roman pottery in Montans. King Francois I of France gave King Henry VIII 50 barrels of Gaillac red wine at the Field of the Cloth of Gold summit in 1520. Local lore in the region of Cunac claims that the gift came from the vineyard there.
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 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.
Renowned wineries include Domaine Croix des Marchands, Château Palvié, Domaine Barreau, Domaine Vayssette, Domaine d'Escausses, Château Clement Termes, Château de Saurs.