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…

Do you know what a “circulade” is?

In the Languedoc, a so-called “circulade” is a traditional village that has been built in concentric circles. The centre, which one might expect to be the site of a château-fort or a parish church, is as often as not, empty. Though the highly structured circulade plans are medieval in origin, dating from the eleventh and…

Narbonne – Beyond the Sea

I love a good surprise and every so often, I’m caught off-balance by the original approach communities take when presenting themselves to the world. This is the kind of suspense I live for — a bolt from the blue reminder that deep travel offers so much more than the same-old-same-old snooze-fest of someone else’s idea…

10 Reasons to Visit Languedoc

Draped along France’s Mediterranean coastline, from the Pyrénées in the west to the Cévennes mountains in the east, Languedoc offers a hugely diverse mix of terrain, culture, plantlife and wildlife… SUNSHINE And lots of it! The region’s climate is largely Mediterranean with hot dry summers, rainy winters, and moderate springs and autumns. After Corsica, it’s the hottest region in France, with…