Wine tourism and leisure in the South of France
Breathtaking landscapes, ancient architecture, and a mosaic of unique vineyards to discover—these are the defining features of the great Occitanie region. Wine lovers who want to discover the South of France from different perspectives can choose from a wealth of prestigious locations and emblematic wine estates that perfectly embody the spirit of the region. To facilitate the journey, wine producers of the region have joined forces to create the Sud de France Wine Tourism Club.
The Sud de France Wine Tourism Club will ensure wine lovers experience a marvelous journey through Occitanie. Many wine producers open their prestigious mansions or offer gîtes and B&Bs on their properties, allowing guests to immerse themselves in the nature, culture, and history of the area.
A visit to Château de Paraza breathes life into the saying “Live like a god in France.”
Located at the edge of the magnificent Canal du Midi (UNESCO), the refined 17th-century château is an important stop for wine lovers who appreciate history. In fact, the Château de Paraza served as a base for the engineer Pierre Paul Riquet during part of the building of the canal connecting the Mediterranean Sea to the Atlantic Ocean. In the same vein, visitors can continue a delightful travel through time by visiting neighboring Mas des Tourelles. Guests will experience a complete change of scenery by visiting this stunning historical reenactment of a Gallo-Roman cellar.
The Sud de France Wine Tourism Club has a comprehensive website where travelers can choose a tour according to their criteria. From gourmet trails that lead around the Laguna of Thau with a lunch of fresh Bouzigues oysters, to a special tasting of Noilly-Prat vermouth and the chance to understand its unique story, guests can complement these experiences with suggestions of award-winning restaurants in the region. Nature lovers can recharge their batteries at the Valmagne Abbey or hike around the Massif de la Clape—the perfect way to combine nature, culture, and wine appreciation.
There are more than 25 routes along which to discover this region. Enchanting activities offered by professionals—such as tasting workshops, gourmet walks, festivals, farmers’ markets, and harvests—can greatly enhance your experience.
Here is just a snapshot of ideas:
Abbaye Valmagne: Close to Sète, near the Laguna of Thau, this abbey is a poem in stone in the Lord’s vineyard. One of the few abbeys to have kept its wine estate, the Abbey de Valmagne has produced great, quality wines for eight centuries, today in the appellations of “Coteaux du Languedoc” and “Grès de Montpellier.”
+33 4 67 78 47 32| www.valmagne.com
Village Castigno: Slow down and seize the day at Village Castigno, Château Castigno’s hybrid hotel creation, a whimsical world of intimate design, charming elegance, tantalizing tastes, eco wine and pure, untainted French charm.
+33 4 67 38 05 50 | www.chateaucastigno.com
Cave Labastide: Since 1949, the Labastide de Lévis wine cellar has been a major player in the history of the Gaillac vineyard. Its importance and dynamism make it a motor for the appellation. The cellar of Labastide is the oldest in Tarn, which draws upon more than 100 cooperative vineyards that cover 1,000ha (2,470 acres).
+33 5 63 53 73 63 | www.cave-labastide.com
Maison Cazes: Located between the Pyrenees and the Mediterranean Sea, in Rivesaltes, Maison Cazes, founded in 1895, is at the heart of the Roussillon region. The values here are undeniably related to the wine world: Know-how has been passed down from one generation to the next, along with respect and control of the terroir.
+33 4 68 64 08 26 | www.cazes-rivesaltes.com
Domaine Riberach: The village of Bélesta’s former wine cooperative in the Roussillon has been entirely remodeled to allow the public to benefit from a top-of-the-line hotel and gastronomic restaurant that preserves the site’s historical and viticultural character.
+33 4 68 50 30 10 | www.riberach.com
Château l’Hospitalet: This is a vineyard that celebrates the French “art of living” year-round through its hotel, restaurant, tasting cellar, and an artist in residence.
+33 4 68 45 28 50 | www.chateau-hospitalet.com