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Wine Route of Languedoc/Rousillon


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We are planning our yearly Christmas trip. Every year we go to a different wine region of France.

Our research from the Languedoc/Rousillon area, shows that it is one of the largest wine producing areas in France.

However, the literature we have received from the Tourist departments, shows no actual "Route du Vin", like other regions have.

Any idea where we would find this?

Any idea which city we should base ourselves in?

Restaurants? Wineries to visit?

(I know, I know, everything is probably closed the week between Christmas and New Year's, this happens to us every year, wherever we go.)

The information we received from Carcasonne didn't seem all that interesting. We usually like to stay in a larger city in the area, and take day trips.

Should I post this on the "Wine" thread instead?

Also, I assume there is a difference in spelling for the Roussillon in this Southwest part of France and the Rousillon in Provence, which we've been to.

Thanks for all your help.

Philly Francophiles

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Just a bit north of the Languedoc, but very nice & they do have a wine route if you go to Gaillac's page

Chateau de Sallers is a very nice place to stay with a good restaurant.

If you're interested in this area let me know & I can post more information.

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Thanks, Dave, I'd like that. We like wine from Gaillac, and the site you sent sounds super. Is it near any other wine route, to visit as well?

I couldn't find a link to the place you recommended.

Any other information would be welcomed.

Is it near Sarlat? Someone recommmended staying there.

Philly Francophiles

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This spring we spent three days at Auberge du Cedre which is the residence for the Domaine de Cazeneuve vineyard. A favorite of Graham Tigg, this very hospitable inn is quite centrally located in the Pic St. Loup/ Montpellier area of Languedoc.. Rooms vary from inexpensive to moderate; meals may be taken a la carte in the Orangerie or pension in a private room to the side. Breakfasts are copious and good. We condsider this an excellent address.

eGullet member #80.

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Thanks, Dave, I'd like that. We like wine from Gaillac, and the site you sent sounds super. Is it near any other wine route, to visit as well?

I couldn't find a link to the place you recommended.

Any other information would be welcomed.

Is it near Sarlat? Someone recommmended staying there.

Sorry as usual I had the address slightly wrong. The real address is: salletes

Sarlat is very nice & should be Ok in December. It has become very 'touristy' in the season from June through September. I was there in late June on a market Saturday & it was a zoo.

In any case Sarlat is probably about 3 hours north of Gaillac. Of course Cahors is right on the way & they do have a few wineries & just south of Cahors are the Quercy wineries. Could be an itinerary?

Just so happens that this is our area of "le France profound" so we know it pretty well.

More than happy to give more info if you're interested.

Can echo Margret's recommendation. We've stayed there & its nice & very friendly. Also, its right in the heart of L/R/.

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Thanks, Dave, I'd like that. We like wine from Gaillac, and the site you sent sounds super. Is it near any other wine route, to visit as well?

I couldn't find a link to the place you recommended.

Any other information would be welcomed.

Is it near Sarlat? Someone recommmended staying there.

Sorry as usual I had the address slightly wrong. The real address is: salletes

I stayed at the Chateau de Salettes two summers ago and can enthusiastically recommend it; it was a beautiful place to stay. Although a bit far from where you want to be.

As for a city to stay in Languedoc, what about Montpellier?

www.parisnotebook.wordpress.com

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We are planning our yearly Christmas trip. Every year we go to a different wine region of France.

Any idea which city we should base ourselves in?

I know this is heresy for those who carefully plan their itineraries to coincide with great restos, vineyards and such, but I think the Languedoc lends itself marvelously to wandering about. I agree with Felice that Montpellier is a great town as is Carcassonne (without mentioning those up north in what most of us think of as Provence), but two years ago we had two meetings in Barcelona 20 days apart and one in Geneva in the middle and we rented a car and drove lazily from Spain to Switzerland going the southern route and vice versa the northern route. It was simply great. Their overproduction of wine is ours to enjoy.

John Talbott

blog John Talbott's Paris

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Auberge du Cedre is a favoured destination. It's a marvellous place with a wine list (very fairly priced) which you could use as your route planner in the certainty that it will lead you to no mistakes.

The website gives what is really just a summary. The wine list at table is a beautiful hand-written production with comments on the wine, the vineyards, geology and above all, the producers with details extending sometimes to their families and careers.

Unfortunately, I think the auberge closes in December but check it out if you want to touch the pulse of the region where the best producers are driven by the search for quality, character and the sense of terroir.

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I also support l'auberge du cedre. just came back a week ago. Sitting on the terrasse with a bottle or two from their excellent list, together with the simple, but rather tasty food is one of those moments when life seems so unbelievably good.

It should be mentioned however, that the accommodations are rather simple and for all but one room the bathrooms and toilets are on the hallway (and are super clean). Also the rooms are not made daily. If that does not bother you, then it is the place to go.

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I also support l'auberge du cedre. just came back a week ago. Sitting on the terrasse with a bottle or two from their excellent list, together with the simple, but rather tasty food is one of those moments when life seems so unbelievably good.

It should be mentioned however, that the accommodations are rather simple and for all but one room the bathrooms and toilets are on the hallway (and are super clean). Also the rooms are not made daily. If that does not bother you, then it is the place to go.

eGullet member #80.

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Thank you all, the Auberge is, indeed, closed when we are going.

(As are most places the week between Christmas and New Year's. But that is when it is easiest for us to go, and we usually have to search harder, but eventually find open places!

John, we like the lazy driving idea. But do you have any sort of route advice, or city to base?

Montpellier or Cahors sounds good...Anyone have recommends there?

I think Sarlat is too far north. Anything around the east coast that's also near wine routes? Gaillac sounds interesting...

Philly Francophiles

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Any planning for the Languedoc should include at least a glance at Graham Tigg's list of good addresses. It exists, I'm sure, several times on this forum, but for good measure, here it is again.

In the general neighborhood (50km) of Loret and Auberge du Cedre are Can Peio, a very sweet Catalan bistrot located in Junas to the east, and Auberge de Saugres to the west, where we had a lovely lunch surrounded by locals on Easter Day. AdS also has rooms, which we will sample next spring.

eGullet member #80.

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I've been in the area a few times and have occasionally stayed in Lezignan-Corbieres. I've temporarily forgotten the name of the hotel, but it was fairly basic with a very traditional, rustic restaurant - open fires, grilled meat etc. It's a small town, but central for wine regions to the north, south and west. If you want to stay somewhere bigger, then Narbonne is nice.

Another time I stayed on the coast in Bouzigues, at La Cote Bleue. A wonderful location, but that was a working visit so I can't remember much about the hotel. Good for visiting the coast.

Places to go? I agree with John that it's a great place for just wandering around but I'd head for Sete, Minerve, the valleys heading west from Perpignan up towards Limoux (Cathar castles and fantastic scenery), Carcassonne (touristy), Toulouse (if not too far).

It's one of my favourite wine regions, but I don't know of any wine routes. However, there is a big co-op in Limoux (Sieur d'Arques) that is well worth a visit, as well as Mont Tauch in Fitou. Try individual properties in Minervois like Chateau Maris.

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As you usually stay in a larger city then I would also second basing yourself in Montpellier. I don't have a hotel suggestion but would recommend (links are to my site) Cellier-Morel in the centre for dining. A visit to Beziers is worthwhile for a walk round the old town and views over the pays, plus there's a fine market in Les Halles. If you're in Montpellier then Bezier is an easy 30 min. train ride.

Ref. wine routes, then in the Herault department there has been a growth in recent years of signposts to domaines in all the villages. For visits the finest wines in the Languedoc are made by small growers and single estates. In winter especially, when visitors are rare, you'll need to make an appointment. Don't let that put you off, it just makes it easier for the vigneronne and you'll know they'll be there. There are some notes and suggestions on my site here

Graham

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Auberge du Cedre is rightly a very popular place and reservations are often difficult. Because of this we've also stayed at Domaine du Pélican at Gignac in the Hérault where Monsieur and Madame Thillaye de Boullay offer rooms and, by arrangement, evening meals. Like all small chamber d'hotes you need to book ahead - the telephone number is +33 (0)4 67 57 68 92 and the fax is +33 (0)4 67 57 68 92. The house is relaxed and the rooms are spacious enough for some privacy. It's also a beautiful quiet location with views over the valley of the Hérault.

Madame has something of a reputation as a cook in the locality and often prepares meals for groups or family event – she uses mainly local ingredients with some imagination and the result is near the top end of good domestic French cooking. The wines are their own and, as Graham Tigg says, the area around Aniane and Gignac is the heartland of modern Languedoc wine production. Conversation over dinner will inevitably turn to wine and you'll probably get an amusing and informative local insight on Mondavi's attempted incursion a few years ago. (Be sure to watch a copy of Mondovino before you go for a perspective on Aimee Guibert.)

Mas de Daumas Gassac is nearby and when you visit there to taste the wines, be sure also to come away with a few bottles of their balsamic style vinegar – it comes as a surprise to find this but the quality is stupendous and, unlike the wines, I don't think you can get it anywhere else. Grange des Peres is also a few minutes away but generally they do not receive private callers though off-season you can try anyway. The lesser known Domaine de Conquettes produces wines which match the style and quality of their better known neighbours and in my view offer the best buying opportunities in the area in both the reds and the whites.

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John, we like the lazy driving idea. But do you have any sort of route advice, or city to base?

I can only tell you what we did that time.

We came from Girona over the mountains at Puigcerda, up the green road (besides the Aude - a trip I'd done on moto at 20) to Quillan, then by Carcassonne, then green roads thru Mazamet, then wandering up to Millau, the Tarn Gorges (the most under-rated, under-touted phenomenon I know of), up to le Puy, then St Etienne and Geneva. Reversing direction, we had less time so used more red than green roads Geneva-Sisteron-Apt-the Luberon-Montpellier-Narbonne-Perpignan-Barcelona.

We had done most of this on prior trips in different directions, so we had no destinations except for Geneva and really just sought green roads, Michelin Must See Scenic spots and places to plotz from the Gites or Relais of Silence guides.

I wish I could give you exact Gites/etc but Colette's archives are currently inaccessible.

We ate in rather ordinary places (except in the shadows of El Bulli), drank rather ordinary wine, and had a spectacular time. That's what it's all about - Non?

John Talbott

blog John Talbott's Paris

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December's not the choicest time to be in the Languedoc, but if it's not raining torrentially, you'll have the place to yourselves. I'm in the process of moving to Montpellier, so I know that town fairly well, and like it a lot.

For a hotel, I can recommend the Hotel des Arceaux, which has lovely rooms with free wi-fi, and the best baguettes I've ever tasted for breakfast. An almost pornographically wonderful market sets up across the street on Mondays, too.

There's also a very fine shop selling mostly wine in town, the Maison Régionale des Vins et Produits de Terroir at 34 rue St Guihelm, where you can get some idea of the breadth of the region's production, at least on the higher end (ie, over three Euros a bottle).

I picked up a couple of wine maps on my last visit in January. One says Région Langedoc Roussillon, and comes from the Languedoc Roussillon Tourist Board and the other is the Wine and Heritage Route map of the Montpellier agglomeration, which I must have picked up at their tourist office there on the Comédie.

There's a small chance I'll be in the area from November thru February, so I might well be able to offer more and better suggestions as the date gets closer.

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We stayed near Gaillac for a couple of weeks last year and really enjoyed it - a very relaxing time. So much so, in fact, that we're heading back there in September. We enjoyed the Gaillac wine - we see it very rarely in the UK, but with the help of the Hachette Guide we tracked down some bargains, particularly Gaillac doux wines.

What else did we do down there? Well, day trips to Laguiole for knife purchases and food (Hotel Auguy); the Tarn Gorge, Millau viaduct and Roquefort; Toulouse; Carcassone; Albi - spectacular fortress-like cathedral; Cordes sur Ciel and Le Grand Ecuyer resto.

We also chanced upon Chateau de Salettes - the restaurant was closed (can't remember why) but we had a light lunch down by the pool which was simple but pleasant.

PS

Edinburgh

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Sigh... I'm not sure I like the way this thread is going. Too many of our local treasures are being exposed. We who live in the area sort of keep quiet about it for fear of being over run.

However; for a gulleteer I'll spill some more beans knowing that the information will be well used.

Cahors sounds good...Anyone have recommends there?

The restaurant across from the train station is wonderful (never can remember the name), the bridge & Saturday market are musts. More good local wineries than you can shake a bottle at. Head east to St. Cirq Lepopie for a visual treat, Figeac yes, Villefranche de Rouergue is neat (Le Epicurien is good for lunch or dinner.) Continue to Belcastel & Le Vieux Pont (Hotel as well as stared restaurant.)

Albi is not to be missed. A favorite vintner is Domaine de Chalon just up the hill from Cordes. Try his Gaillien both red & white. Local grapes, limited production, damn good. Salettes wine is pretty good as well.

Enough! You have a wonderful selection of advice. I can echo much of it from personal experience. THE Viaduct is truely a wonder of the world; don't miss it. Montpillier is where we may move if we get a hankering for city life again.

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Wow!

Great, great advice from all!

Thank you so very much!

I've got plenty to keep me busy in my researching, which I thoroughly enjoy!

I'll update you all in a few months, and then again, after the trip.

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

EGullet rocks...

And, don't worry, Dave, mums the word!

:wink:

Philly Francophiles

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Just to fill in the chinks in your notebook, here is a sample of the kinds of places we stay in, chambre d'hotes and small hotels, many of which serve an evening meal as well as breakfast. These are from my "hope chest" list for the Languedoc. Not in any logical geographical order:

10 minutes from Carcassonnes: La Ferme de La Sauzette

In Carcassones: Le Traoupet

In Faugéres: La Vigneronne

In St. Chinian: La Maison du Parc

In Corbieres: Chateau Donos

A boutique hotel in Pezenas: Hotel de Vigniamont

Near Narbonne: Les Palombières d'Estarac

In St. Thibery: St. Thibery

Near Beziers: Château de Murviel

eGullet member #80.

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Salut,

This is so far my favorite region in France, and I hope you enjoy your December trip.

I remember seeing, as we drove through the Côte Vermeille, signs for different wine routes. There are vineyards everywhere west of Collioure, Port Vendes and Banyuls-sur-Mer (highway A-9) in this southernmost region bordering Spain. Signs for wine tasting abound.

We didn't follow a wine route, but parked the car off one of these roads and walked a bit (see below, mid-October).

gallery_29580_3281_67715.jpg

The town of Collioure is astonishingly beautiful, and in December will be blissfully tourist-free. Below is a view of the harbor at sunset.

gallery_29580_3281_1849.jpg

Have fun!

Meg Zimbeck, Paris by Mouth

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Salut,

This is so far my favorite region in France, and I hope you enjoy your December trip.

I remember seeing, as we drove through the Côte Vermeille, signs for different wine routes. There are vineyards everywhere west of Collioure, Port Vendes and Banyuls-sur-Mer (highway A-9) in this southernmost region bordering Spain. Signs for wine tasting abound.

We didn't follow a wine route, but parked the car off one of these roads and walked a bit (see below, mid-October).

gallery_29580_3281_67715.jpg

The town of Collioure is astonishingly beautiful, and in December will be blissfully tourist-free. Below is a view of the harbor at sunset.

gallery_29580_3281_1849.jpg

Have fun!

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