Aude guide

An insider’s guide to Aude in Occitanie, including the main attractions to visit on holiday, the best towns and villages to live in, the major festivals and events, and buying property in Aude. Home to two UNESCO World Heritage Sites, swathes of vineyards, Mediterranean coastline, a rich history and good food, Aude in Occitanie, is…

Narbonne’s perfect wine pricing

A self-service restaurant in which diners eat as much as they want (for €25.90 a head), that seats 500 and serves 240,000 meals a year does not seem to fit squarely with a wine list of 70 of the finest wines of the region. I  would associate such a list with a Michelin-starred restaurant. But after…

The Limoux Carnival, the longest in the world!

In the 14th Century, millers were said to have celebrated payment of their taxes to the Prouille Monastery, on a certain Shrove Tuesday. Since then, in Limoux although no procession, there is a vast coded comedy. The carnival is not so much a parade as a kind of dance, governed by rules handed down from father…

Languedoc, France’s New World wine region

The Languedoc is my adoptive French home. I see it as Provence without the tourists, without too many incomers like me pushing up prices and without, regrettably, the ubiquitous smell of lavender, thyme and pines. It is, however, archetypal Mediterranean wine country, with wild landscapes, Spain just over the Pyrenees, and vines stretching in every…

Château Grand Moulin, great Corbières wines

Located right inside the village of Lezignan-Corbieres, on the RN 113 (national road), the winery “Château Grand Moulin” also has a shop where visitors can taste and buy the range of wines produced in the Corbières. At the present moment Jean-Noël Bousquet, 56, operates 120 hectares (296 acres) of vines including 100 hectares (247 acres)…

Cathars and Cathar Beliefs in the Languedoc

The Cathars were a religious group who appeared in Europe in the eleventh century, their origins something of a mystery though there is reason to believe their ideas came from Persia or the Byzantine Empire, by way of the Balkans and Northern Italy.  Records from the Roman Catholic Church mention them under various names and…