I will be visiting Carcassonne for a month in September. Can anyone recommend a vineyard, wine merchant or restaurant ‘off the beaten track’ that I really should not miss?
Take a look at another thread about Cabernet Franc l’Orangerie which comes from there.
Thanks very much - on the must visit list!
Hi @David_E, it’s a liiiittle out of the way (but worth it, IMO!) but an hour’s drive from Carcassonne is Domaine Jones, and I can’t recommend a visit enough. I helped at two harvests there and Katie (the winemaker and owner - originally from Leicestershire!) is the most welcoming, engaging and brilliant lady and her husband Jean-Marc is absolutely lovely too! And the wines are just superb - so much so, the red was one of my wedding wines. The vineyards are pretty stunning, too…
We took some friends called Jones there for a tasting last summer! Enjoyed the tasting and the enthusiasm of Katie and Jean-Marc. So which red did you serve at your wedding Laura, the Grenache or the Fitou?
What a wonderful recommendation! Thank you very much - it will be well worth the hours drive!
@JayKay Aw fantastic to find another Domaine Jones fan! We had the 2013 Fitou - one of the wines we (sort of) helped pick grapes for! Which of their wines did you like best? I love how Katie’s doing awesome stuff with lesser-known grapes like grenache gris!
@David_E Glad to be of service hehe. The co-op in Katie’s village is well worth a visit too. If I remember rightly it has this huge panel drawing stretching around the room giving the history of wine in witty cartoons. They’re the work of the very talented artist Tim Bulmer, and if you haven’t seen his work I highly recommend it!!
I loved both the Fitou and the Grenache Gris. This latter is a real gem.
Loved them all including a cheap and cheerful rose, just right in the stinking hot day we visited. However, the Fitou is the superior wine but I just love the juicy fruity Grenache! And like the Grenache Gris so much it was the White served at my 60th birthday meal last September.
Probably not ‘off the beaten track’ but I recommend Chateau Pennautier on the road out of Carcassone to the north. For many years it was my standard wine for everyday drinking - still good, I still buy it from WS occasionally.
Another splendid recommendation, thank you Normeric.
I will report back in October!
We always drop in to Tour St Martin at Peyriac Minervois (they do a striking oaked chardonnay) and Trois Blasons at Azillanet. Don’t forget to visit spectacular Minerve and drop in to Domaine le Cazal on the way down. There’s also a small producer on the road into Beziers who produce an excellent dry muscat - Domaine de la Barthe.
Thank you very much. This thread has provided us with some excellent suggestions - none more so that your contribution. Very many thanks.
I am going to Carcassonne in August so will also try out these recommendations.
I started thus thread off in January and am grateful for the many excellent suggestions made to enhance our visit to the Carcassonne area in September. We could not visit every vineyard recommended but did get to:
Domaine Jones (thank you Laura). An outstanding visit! Katie and Jean Marc were outstanding hosts and we bought some 2014 Carignan, 2015 Magabel and, best of all, 2011 Blanc Berrique Grenache.
Ch de Pennautier (thank you Normeric). A very smart and smooth operation! The wines are also very good and we enjoyed their Ch Pennautier 2013 and, in particular, the ‘Espirit de Pennautier’ 2015 which is made from the grapes from their highest vineyards.
La Clape AOC (thank you JayKay). We visited two vineyards. Abbey des Monges and Ch Rouquette and tries their traditional white wine. The Augustine 2016 from Abbey des Monges was good but the 2017 Ch Rouquette ws excellent.
Finally, the ‘La Cantilene’ 2015 from Ch Sainte Eulalaie was an outstanding red wine that we thoroughly enjoyed.
Thanks to everyone for their tips and suggestions!
So glad to hear you enjoyed your visit to Domaine Jones! They are just lovely people and their wines always amaze me. I haven’t tried the Magabel or Blanc Berrique so I’d love to know what they were like?!
Great to catch up with your adventures! Glad that you had a good trip.
We tasted both with Katie and the 2011 Blanc Berrique was quite different to anything we expected! There is a story behind the Blanc Berrique, but this is probably best left to Katie to tell to her visitors! However, she did say that she passed a bottle to a local Michelin-starred chef, who recommended it be drunk with a North African Tagine! We might give that a go, but we will see. When we open a bottle of both these wines, I will report back!