The Wine Areas

Côtes de la Malpère: Our closest appellation which lies to the south-west of Carcassonne. Not well known (if at all!) in the UK but home to some of the Languedoc’s new breed of innovative vignerons who use traditional grape varieties for Appellation Contrôlé wines as well as single varietals such as Viognier and Chardonnay to make vin de pays.

Worth a visit:
DOMAINE LE FORT
11290 MONTREAL
Tél.: 04 68 76 20 11
LA CAVE DU RAZES
11240 ROUTIER
Tél.: 04 68 69 02 71
CHATEAU MALVIES-GUILHEM
11300 MALVIES
Tél.: 04 68 31 14 41

 


Corbières: The Languedoc’s most prolific area and during the last century produced huge quantities of often forgettable wines. Indeed, in the not too distant past, wines were imported from Italy to give body to the local cépages. Those days are long gone, and the accent now is of quality over quantity. Corbières now has its first Cru, Corbières Boutenac of which the following producers are recommended:

Co-ops:
Embres-et-Castelmaure 04 68 45 91 83
Camplong 04 68 43 60 86
Paziols et Tauchon 04 68 45 40 56

Domaines:
Fonsainte (route de Ferrals) 04 68 27 07 63
Du vieux Parc (Conilhac) 04 68 27 47 44
De Villemajou (Gerard Bertrand 04 68 42 68 68 St-André de Roquelonge)
Château le Villerouge (Fabrezan) 04 68 43 61 89
Cabriac (Douzens) 04 68 79 19 15

Châteaux:
Aiguilloux (between Thezan & Montseret) 04 68 43 32 71
La Baronne (Foncouverte, Montagne d’Alaric) 04 68 43 90 20
Lastours (Portet de Corbières) 04 68 48 64 74
-Restaurant reservations: 04 68 48 64 77
Des Ollieux (Boutenac) 04 68 43 32 61
Les Palais (St Laurent de Cabrerisse)
De la Voulte Gasparet 04 68 27 07 86 (Boutenac)

Minervois: A favourite day out is a late morning wine tasting in the Minervois (remember to arrive before 12 O’clock as most of France still shuts between 12 and 2!) followed by lunch in Minerve. Recommended producers are Chateau de Gourgazaud (the lady who looks after the tasting room and direct sales is Dutch and speaks very good English) or Domaine Ste Eulalie where the winemaker, Madame Isabel Coustal will personally welcome you (her English is also excellent)- worth ringing to make sure she is going to be in. Have lunch in the hill-top town of Minerve; We suggest Relais Chantovent (04 68 91 14 18) whose set menus start from 19 euros. This is good French food in pleasant surroundings. See if you can make the waitress smile!

La Liviniere is the only Cru in Minervois (since 1998).

Cella Vinaria (Co-op de La Liviniere)
Abbaye de Tholomies 04 68 78 10 21
Borie de Maurel (Félines-Minervois) 04 68 91 68 58
Combe Blanche 04 68 91 44 82
Ch. de Gourgazaud 04 68 78 10 02
Clos Centeilles (Siran) 04 68 91 52 18
Laville-Bertrou 04 68 91 49 20
Doms. Maris 04 68 91 42 63 Robert Eden (known as Bertie)
Domaine Ste Eulalie 04 68 91 42 72
Domaine Vipur 04 68 78 10 25 (open 10-12, 2-6 Mai a Octobre)

Côtes du Roussillon: Another favourite day out from Les Vergers is a drive down the valley from Lavelanet, through Quillan and on to Maury. Best to set out before 9.30 am if you want to do some wine tasting as they shut for lunch at 12am. Before reaching Maury stop at the Cave Co-operative d’Agly (on the main road on the right) for a degustation and perhaps buy a few bottles (Chateau Montner is recommended). 5 km down the road we reach Maury and in the middle of the village on the left is Les Vignerons de Maury. Another tasting and try Les Roches Noires, one of their top red wines. Then out of the car-park and turn left, following signs to Château de Quéribus, a ruined Cathar castle. You can park quite close to the Château and walk up the hill for some of the most spectacular views of the Roussillon countryside. Nearly lunch-time now so it’s off to the nearby village of Cucugnan and L’Auberge du Vigneron. (excellent value French cuisine with menus starting at 21 euros and a very good list of local wines). Also nearby, but with a longer climb to get to, is Château de Peyrepertuse.

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