Have you a passion for wine? Would you like to have your own personal Master of Wine accompany you while you visit some of the renowned vineyards of the Languedoc?
This cruise is for those who love wine but also want to see the sites of the
Languedoc and visit the bustling markets for which the south of France
By alternating sightseeing days with wine days, it provides the perfect balance between sightseeing, wine tasting, and cruising, ensuring that you get the best out of your barge
holiday in the Languedoc.
The Languedoc is the largest and one
of the most dynamic wine regions in the world. Discover its fabulous
wines as you cruise with your expert, personal guide, Master of Wine
Juliet Bruce Jones.
During your days of wine discovery, you will:
- Visit top producers who are not normally open to the public
- Drink excellent wines from all over the Languedoc,
including some barrel tastings
- Revel in the diversity of wines, from stylish
sparkling wine from Limoux to world-class Syrah based reds
- Be accompanied by a Master of Wine for all visits and tastings
- Juliet will also bring the wines to you so you can
sip fine Languedoc wines as you glide along the canal under the plane
After your pick up at about 5pm, you will be taken to where your barge is
moored to meet the rest of your crew. We shall let you get settled in
and unpacked which is the most strenuous part of your week. We will
then enjoy a glass or two of the famous sparkling wine of Limoux, where
"champagne" was invented and meet Juliet, our wine host for the week.
Wine day 1 - The Magic of Minervois
For our first full "wine day", we explore the diversity of the Minervois
wine region which stretches across the foothills of the broodingly
beautiful black mountains, east of Carcassonne. The two properties we
will visit illustrate the different faces of this energetic region, the
modern and dynamic in contrast to an historic property which produces
the best wine in the world! Domaine St Jacques d'Albas is in the
process of being beautifully restored by its current owner, Englishman
The cellar is full of gleaming stainless steel
tanks and the state-of-the-art barrel cellar is a delight! The
award-winning wines are made from traditional Languedoc varieties,
Syrah, Grenache and Carignan and have a freshness and rich fruitiness
which is very distinctive. Their top wine, La Chapelle, is named after
the 11th chapel of St Jacques d'Albas which can be seen from the
Press comments on Languedoc wines "The southern French
winegrowing regions of Languedoc and Roussillon provide rich terrain
for fine wine discoveries. Some real gems are available..." Wine
Spectator. "The Languedoc-Roussillon — one of the undiscovered bastions
of delicious, value-priced wines" Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate.
"Increasingly the Languedoc offers the greatest concentration of
hand-crafted French wines with real individuality for under €10 a
bottle" Jancis Robinson, The Financial Times. "The best wines of the
Languedoc are concentrated and powerful Syrah based reds which offer
the meaty flavours and the ageing potential, of the nearby Rhone
valley." Wine Spectator.
Our second visit is a real treat!
Massamier la Mignarde, one of the leading properties in Minervois La
Livinière, a subregion which is the source of the finest Minervois
wines. This historic property, originally the site of a Roman villa,
has been owned by the Vernet family for six generations. The impressive
17th century chateau, now the family home, is part of a collection of
buildings which once housed several families who worked on the domaine.
The top red wine, Domus Maximus, won the title of "Best Wine
in the World" at a wine competition in London. Perhaps even better is
their other Minervois red, Tenement de Garruilghas, which is fermented
and aged in oak barrels.
Wine day 2 - Corbières and La Clape
Narbonne is the cradle of viticulture in the Languedoc where the Romans first
planted vines. The Corbières region sprawls over the mountains between
Narbonne and Carcassonne and we visit one of the most famous properties
in the region whose wines are in much demand. We then pay a special
visit to an organic domaine deep in the countryside of La Clape,
towards the Mediterranean Sea. We start the day with a visit to Domaine
La Voulte Gasparets, which has been in the Reverdy family for six
generations. The Reverdys are perfectionists, which is clear to see
from the state of their barrel cellar, as well as the quality of their
The wines are widely exported and highly sought after.
Domaine Pech-Redon is a stunning property perched high on the Clape
Massif, a wild, rocky hill which separates Narbonne from the
Mediterranean. The charismatic Christophe Bousquet will take us on a
tour of his cellar and wines and explain the unique terroir of La Clape
and his philosophy of organic viticulture.
Wine day 3 - Classy Vin de Pays and St Chinian
The Languedoc is full of contrasts and our visits today illustrate this
vividly. The first visit is to an elegant chateau where we will taste
in a lofty, vaulted cellar; the second is a one-man-band who makes
excellent wine in a tiny garage. Chateau Perdiguier is a beautiful
thirteenth century castle which is classed as an historic monument and
is still family owned. We will have an exclusive tour of the family
apartments and view the recently discovered frescoes in the tower
before tasting the fine range of Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon
wines in the vaulted cellars.
We then meet up with winemaker
Luc Bettoni who will take us on an intimate tour of his vineyards and
tiny cellar. His first vintage at Domaine Les Eminades was in 2002 and
he is set to become one of the stars of the future. He makes excellent
red St Chinian, as well as a fine barrel-aged Sauvigon Blanc. As well
as tasting his bottled wines, we will also have a sneak preview of
future releases and taste in barrel.
Lunch and cruise.
Pre-dinner Mystery wine tasting! Juliet will arrange a blind tasting of
six mystery Languedoc wines which involves matching wine descriptions
to what you taste in the glass. No prior wine knowledge required but a
sense of humour helps! A fun way to round off our week of wine
As this is
a guided theme cruise, a supplement to the standard charter fee will
It's not how far nor how fast, it's the pleasure of the journey that keeps people coming back for more.
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