The flim of Kate Mosse's book 'Labarynth' in Carcassonne, has put this historic region and the Cathar story on the map. Join Decanter Tours in an exploratory tour of this less known but facinating area.
Day One – Domaine Gayda & Limoux
A three-course lunch with wine served in their superb restaurant overlooking the Pyrenees mountains.
Visit the Abbey of St Hilaire where the first sparkling wines were created by monks in 1531. This is a beautiful Abbey and we will spend a little time walking through the cloisters and taking a look at the wine cellar and other historical buildings.
Tasting of the famous sparkling wines. There are 3 styles of sparkling wine made here, Blanquette Ancestral, Blanquette du Limoux and Cremant du Limoux and you will taste all three.
Day Two – Minerve & the Minervois
The Minervois is a beautiful area of the Languedoc-Roussillon and produces some of the region's finest wines too. Today's tour will introduce you to La Livinière which is not only a very pretty village but also home to the only 'Cru' in the Minervois.
Start with a visit to one of the finest producers in the region where you will taste his red and whites wines following which we will have lunch at a country auberge.
In the afternoon we visit the beautiful village of Minerve where you will have a little time to explore before we head off to our second vineyard producing hand crafted organic wines that are enjoyed in some of the finest restaurants in the world. This tour also includes olive oil tasting and after this delightful visit we will make our way home with the route winding through the vineyards, olive groves and a back drop of the Pyrenees.
Day Three - Corbières and Lagrasse Tour
The Corbières is a region of contrasts; wild, windswept garrigue, where cigales sing and buzzards circle lazily against a blue sky.
Vineyards are perched on sides of rocky hillsides and the roads wind round and round as we make our way towards our first vineyard visit, Olleuix-Romanis, a family owned vineyard close to the village of Monseret. The vineyard is situated in the heart of the Boutenac region, an area dedicated to the culture of the vine since Roman times and the only cru in the Corbières. We will take a look at their traditional winery and then taste their superb wines, the reds made a blend of Carignan, Grenache, Mourvèdre and Syrah and the whites from Marsanne and Rousanne.
After lunch we will visit our second winery carefully chosen to give you a quite different experience from the morning visit.
Our last visit of the day will be to the pretty and historic village of Lagrasse where you will have some free time to explore before heading to a goat farm to taste their cheese.
Food and wine paring dinner - you have your own chef and private dining room in the beautiful town of Carcassone. A four course tasting dinner, matching the wines of the region with the different courses with your guide, who will explain the choices.
Day Four – Roussillon & Fitou
Today we drive into the Roussillon to the village of Calce which is the epicentre for top wine making in the Roussillon.
Here we will visit an organic vineyard producing superb Roussillon wines in this stunning landscape at the foot of the Pyrenees. We will have a tour of the winery followed by a fabulous tasting of the range of red and white wines produced in this interesting winery.
After the tasting we will take a stunning drive through the mountains. This route passes the fortress of Quéribus which is one of the 'Cathar Castles' this region is famous for. We are head to the little town of Tauchan, in the Fitou appellation and to one of the largest but finest cooperative wineries in the Languedoc. Here we will taste Maury (that perfect accompaniment to chocolate!) as well as Fitou.
Afterwards we will head for Domaine Jones in the same village and here we will meet Katie who produces medal winning wines from less than 5 hectares. After the tasting we will take the road back to Perpignan which takes us through the village of Vingrau which offers wonderful views across the mountains and valleys.
This tour can be adapted to include walks in the mountains, visits to Carcassone and the famous Cathar castles.