Painting and Art Holidays
Facebook like
Version Francaise

Accommodation, Our Holiday Home, South of France

Wines of Languedoc - Faugeres

Wine Tour of the Local Faugeres Caves and Vineyards

Cheers

Cheers, from Isabelle and Stuart

Languedoc is, in fact, the largest wine-producer in the world! Historically, the region was known for making the majority of France’s cheapest table wine, perhaps not the best reputation, but this has been changing in recent decades, and the Languedoc can now claim to be amongst France’s best wine-producing regions.

Our village Laurens is in the heart of the Faugeres wine region, one of the premier wine making areas in Languedoc.

We are not wine experts, but we enjoyed researching the local wine caves, chateaux and domains, so that we can bring this wine tour to you.

Below is a list of wineries within the Faugeres region, all within a few kilometres of our house. We tried them and we liked them!!...why not book a stay with family and friends, and try a few of the local wines for yourself.

Map of wine tour

1 - Abbaye Sylva Plana - Wine Cave and Restaurant - Laurens

Abbaye Sylva Plana Abbaye Sylva Plana Abbaye Sylva Plana

In the village, just a short walk

Abbaye Sylva Plana is in the village of Laurens, about a 10 minute walk from the house. As well as a wine cave, Abbaye Sylva Plana is also a restaurant, we have eaten there many times and can highly recommend it. And of course with the great food, they also serve a range of their own wines.

From their literature...

L'abbaye Sylva Plana following it's 800 years heritage of Cisterciens Monks, still works 147 acres completely organically using natural compost and traditional horse and carts. They provide nesting areas for bats which in turn eat insects from the vines.

This means that the harvests are lower yields but picked and sorted by hand for quality.

They work in association with domaine Deshenrys. This domaine has been in the Bouchard family for 5 generations and has taken steps since 2009 to become organic.

Location: In the village.

Website: www.vignoblesbouchard.com ....Tel: (33) (0) 4 67 24 91 67

Divider

2 - Frederic Brouca - Laurens

Frederic Breuca Frederic Breuca

In the centre of the village, very near the house

Frederick Brouca wines are 100% organic and are one of the oldest totally organic wines in the region. Most of Frederics wines are exported to America, but you can arrange to visit and have a tasting with the manager, Simon. We have tried a several of their wines and can highly recommend them.

Location: A short walk in the village, near the school.

Website coming soon: www.fredericbrouca.com

Or to arrange a tasting, tel: Simon Bertschenger (33) (0)6 82 77 21 22

Divider

3 - Caveau des Schistes - Laurens

Schistes Cave Schistes Cave Schistes Cave

Wine Cave on the edge of the village

This cave is on the main road on the edge of the village. It has a selection of Faugere wines from a number of vinyards around the local area. We have bought several wines from here which have always been very enjoyable and good value.

From their literature...

Created in 1979 by the Laurens co-op cave, it was taken over in 2008 by Les Crus Faugeres which includes all of the co-ops of Faugeres wine. They provide a shop front for smaller independent wine producers.

Location: On the main road, opposite the north entrance to the village.

Divider

4 - Mas Olivier Cave - Faugeres

Mas Olivier Mas Olivier

Faugeres - Just to the north of Laurens

Just a couple of kilometers up the road from Laurens is the village of Faugeres. Faugeres wines are at the heart of the Languedoc region, and Mas Olivier is one of these winning many awards for their wines.

From their literature...

This cave is a shop front for mainly local producer Mas Olivier, but also for a few other local smaller producers. You can taste a variety of wines, but also have access to a variety of local "products of the land" (Pate, olives, honey etc)

Location: Head north from Laurens, the cave is on the main road just past the Faugeres turning.

Website: www.les-crus-faugeres.fr ....Tel: (0)4 67 95 35 39

Or for an English version of Mas Olivier: www.mas-olivier.eu/en

Divider

5 - Chateau de Chenaie - Caussinoijouls

Chateau de Chenaie Chateau de Chenaie

Head north from Laurens and turn left...

A few kilometers from Laurens head for the village of Caussinoijouls. Here right in the heart of the village on a hill lies the Chateau.

We have visited this Chateau many times and it has always been closed, so unfortunatly as yet we have been unable to try the wines, but the historic chateau looks nice!!!

From their literature...

Situated in an 11th Century Chateau in the centre of Caussiniojouls, Chateau Chenaie offers you the experience of 5 generations of wine makers.

The vines are an average of 35 years old and the grapes are picked and sorted by hand.

Location: Head for the village of Caussinoijouls and go up the hill in the centre of the village.

Website: www.chateau-chenaie-vins.fr ....Tel: (0)4 67 95 30 29

Divider

6 - Chateau la Liquiere

Chateau la Liquiere Chateau la Liquiere Chateau la Liquiere

We tried it and we liked it...

A little further on from Chateau de Chenaie, you will find Chateau la Liquiere in the centre of the village La Liquiere

We first came across their wine when eating in a local michelin star restaurant, we liked the wine so much we visited the cave and bought some more to enjoy at home.

From their literature...

Chateau La Liquiere is a family business which started in the 1950's.

It covers 160 acres and produces only Faugeres AOC. (Official Faugeres wines) Divided into over 70 parcels growing a variety of different grapes. Each year they produce 10 different wines produced for 50 vats. This allows them to have a large selection of wines with aromatic flavours.

They use two different "vinification" caves. An ancient traditional cave equipped with buried vats using gravity. The second modern cave which is more functional.

Website: www.chateaulaliquiere.com ....Tel: (0)4 67 90 29 20

Divider

7 - Domaine St Antonin

Domaine St Antonin

Head north from Laurens and turn left...

When we visited the Domaine St Antonin, it was early in the season and they weren't really open. However they were very friendly and let us in to have a look around. We bought a couple of bottles and they were very nice. We'll definitely be going back.

From their literature...

Our family-run estate (26 hectares) is located in the South of France, in the Faugères appellation, on the village of Cabrerolles.

Frédéric Albaret gained experience in vine-growing and wine-making by working in several wine-producing companies, long before being a wine-producer became fashionable. Then, Frédéric Albaret decided to create his own estate from scratch. He started Saint Antonin in 1994 with 13 hectares of vineyard.

His wife, Fabienne, started working with him on the estate in 2001, as they opened a brand new cellar. The family has expanded together with the estate : in 2012, the latter comprises 26 hectares.

Divider

8 - Chateau de Grezan - Nr Laurens

Chateau de Grezan Chateau de Grezan

Vinyard and Restaurant

Chateau de Grezan is very close to Laurens just a kilometer or so to the South, just a short drive, you could even walk if you fancied..... or maybe not if you want to buy some of their wines.

As well as the vinyard there is also a restaurant at the chateau, we haven't eaten there but it looks nice. We did however buy some of their wines. They are a little bit more expensive that some of the wines we have bought. They explained to us all about the different grapes growing on the various slopes facing in different directions, giving different quality grapes and hence a range of wines. All very interesting, but a bit beyond us!!

Divider

9 - Domaine du Rouge Gorge - Nr Magalas

Domaine du Rouge Gorge Domaine du Rouge Gorge Domaine du Rouge Gorge

Our favourite wines....

A few kilometers to the south of Laurens near Magalas is Domaine du Rouge Gorge or the vinyard of the red robin.

Their gold label 'Red Robin' is currently our favourite red wine and the Domaine Affanies is Isabelle's favourite white, both pictured above. When we visit the house we tend to pop in for a tasting, they are always very friendly. It is a wine we enjoy very much and is also good value at just over 5 Euros a bottle, so we usually buy several cases to bring back to the UK.

From their literature...

For more than 50 years the Borda family has run the Rouge Gorge and Affanies domains, both of which are sold from the domaine les Affanies near Magalas.

The site has a beautiful collection of antique wine making machinery.

The Domaine du Rouge Gorge has won 11 medals for their wines sinse 2012. The 2015 rose has been selected for the prestigious "Guide Hachette des Roses 2016/2017" (wine guide book)

Tel: (0)4 67 95 30 29
Divider

More About Languedoc Wines

Like its Provençal neighbour, the Languedoc’s sunny climate is ideal for growing grapes and it has long been associated with wine-production. It is, in fact, the largest wine-producer in the world! Historically, the region was known for making the majority of France’s cheapest table wine, perhaps not the best reputation, but this has been changing in recent decades, and the Languedoc can now claim to be amongst France’s best wine-producing regions. There has been an emergence of boutique wines and smaller vineyards in the area. Many of the smaller producers will offer tastings at the vineyard and this is a good way to try some local wine and buy straight from the growers.

There are several AOC (Appellation Origine Controlée) regions in the Languedoc, these include Coteaux du Languedoc, Corbières AOC, Minervois, Saint-Chinian and Faugères.

If you are really keen then you can try a ‘Wine Walk’ during which you can sample many different local wines whilst enjoying the pleasant surroundings of this great wine-growing area. Try the Wine Walk in Pézenas. The Languedoc is serious about wine, there are even ‘Wine Schools’ where you can learn as you drink!

vines

Background

The Languedoc-Roussillon is a staggeringly beautiful part of France, with the snow-capped mountains of the Pyrenees providing a dramatic backdrop to rolling vineyards and charming medieval villages. It is a large region which extends along the sandy beaches of the Mediterranean coast from the Spanish border to the Camargue and inland to the foothills of the Pyrenees and the Massif Central.

Vines everywhere

It is also the biggest wine region in the world with vineyards as far as the eye can see, stretching along the plains near the coast and up on to the ruggedly steep slopes inland where wild herbs grow amongst the vines. The vine thrives in the warm Mediterranean sun and grows on a variety of soils resulting in a varied growing environment for the vine.

In such a perfect climate, just about every grape variety you can think of flourishes. The main red grapes are Carignan, Syrah, Grenache, Mourvedre and Cinsault while for white wine Chardonnay, Bourboulenc, Grenache Blanc, Picpoul, Muscat, Sauvignon Blanc and Clairette are most widely planted.

Diversity of wine styles

This huge range of terroir and vine varieties, creates a wonderful diversity of wine styles. Limoux is justly famous for its elegant sparkling wines and cool-climate Chardonnay. The coastal vineyards near Pinet produce refreshing, mouth-tingling Picpoul de Pinet which goes perfectly with oysters from nearby Bouzigues. There is a good choice of fresh, zingy whites from single grape varieties such as Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier and Chardonnay as well as richer, more complex whites which demand food.

The majority of Languedoc wine is red and it comes in all guises. From muscular, spicy reds from the Corbières and Fitou to more refined, syrah-based wines from Minervois la Liviniere with their seductive aromas of olives, black pepper and dark fruit. The sprawling Coteaux du Languedoc region produces both fruity, easy drinking reds as well as brooding, savoury, oak-aged wines which linger long in the mouth. Pic St Loup, Montpeyroux and La Clape are named ‘crus’ in the Coteaux du Languedoc appellation and are centres of excellence for red wines.

Pretty pink, raspberry-scented rosés are produced just about everywhere and are perfect for slaking the thirst on a hot summer’s day. For lovers of dessert wine there are the heady, scented muscats of St Jean de Minervois and Frontignan as well as decadently sweet red wines from Maury and Banyuls. Divine with chocolate!

Food

A food lover’s paradise, the Languedoc has a good attitude towards food and eating. The food is simple, sun-drenched and delicious. Traditional meals tend to follow the French tradition of taking one’s time over several courses with good company. The region’s abundant olive groves produce high quality olives and oils, the sunshine determines the growth of excellent tomatoes and these form the basis of many meals and sauces. Also known for some of the world’s best oysters, the Languedoc is a great place to eat.

Toulouse is famous for its cassoulet. This hearty dish epitomises the food of this particular part of the Languedoc. There are versions of the dish from Carcassonne and Castelnaudary. Cassoulet is a hearty dish made with beans, several different meats and the herbs of the region.

fruit and vegetable stall