Coming from New Zealand I have to say the scenery of the South of France isn’t too different from home – lots of hills, lots of greenery and lots of farm animals about the place. However of course the biggest difference has to be the castles and old stone ruins dating back centuries, which is just marvelous.
But being me, I tend to search out information on vineyards in the region rather than trying to find somewhere to stay much to my boyfriends’ annoyance (bearing in mind that we did spend the previous day walking around for 4 hours with our 16kg backpacks trying to find somewhere to stay which wasn’t ‘ complet ’.
So since our first destination – Nimes – was fully booked out we headed onto Narbonne where I found plenty of info on vineyards nearby. However we have now learnt that if you don’t call/e-mail ahead to French vineyards they will be closed – an important lesson we learnt fairly quickly after walking roughly 20kms in the Narbonne countryside and only coming across one open vineyard for tasting. Needless to say we were well impressed with the tasting and it is most definitely our favourite in the area.
This vineyard goes by the name of – Domaine de Montfort. We were lucky enough to be hosted by the winemaker himself however between his very little English and our very little French it was mostly a game of charades. The small vineyard has about 20ha and produces an assortment of Southern French varietals. Here are my top tipple picks:
Vin de Pays Rose made from Cinsault & Grenache – crisp, refreshing and a lot of cranberry flavours in there. Perfect for a summer’s day.
Vin de Pays Red made from Syrah, Carignan & Grenache – with an amazing perfume on the nose I knew straight away this was a winner. Lots of black fruits coming through with a nice warmth of alcohol and sprinkling of spice that lasts on the palate for a good minute.
Therefore after perhaps a not so tasting-filled day in Narbonne I decided to hit the books and do a bit more research on our next destination – watch this space for more details..
Narbonne travel tips:
– Check out the ‘Office de Tourisme’ on your way in to town to get some sightseeing info.
– We stayed at the Hotel de Paris – fantastic large comfy rooms for around 60 Euro per night.
– Make sure you eat a ‘jambon et fromage’ crepe – you can get these all over France but one of my best ones was from a little crepiere near the canal in the centre of town.
– Want to do it backpacker style but love the alcohol?? Head to the marche ‘Spar’ where you can get beer and vino from 1 Euro for a litre! It’s also a great place to pick up some salami and cheese for dinner to eat by the canal.
– For contact details for Domaine de Montfort, please click here.