It produces a third of France’s wines – which is more than the whole of Australia produces – yet the Languedoc sometimes languishes when it comes to talking about wine escapes. This seems almost criminal to us, as the area is home to some of the finest boutique hotels offering phenomenal wine experiences. Here are four of our Chic favourites in the region, all offering unique and unbeatable viticultural ventures.
Fresh, fruity and just a little bit tangy – words that could apply equally to this unique boutique hotel and the Rosé produced on its doorstep. In the space of a few short years, owners Marc and Tine Verstraete have taken the medieval hamlet of Assignan and transformed it into a playground for those who love good wine, food, and living.
If you can tear yourself away from photographing the riotously colourful streets of the village (the Verstraetes love pink, purple and red), there’s the wine bar, tapas bar (La Petit Table) and the restaurant (La Table) that play regular host to both wine tastings and ‘Wine School’, where guests learn to pair the vintages from the Chateau Castigno estate with local, organic French dishes. If you’re looking for a truly memorable experience, visit at the weekend for a ‘Nomad Kitchen’ experience, where the owner’s son cooks you a delicious barbecue meal amongst gorgeous Languedoc scenery – herbs are picked where you dine and, of course, there are lots of Castigno wines to work your way through.
Our advice? If it’s hot, try the Terra Casta – a red wine created specifically to be drunk chilled.
While the standard wine tours are available (and guests can walk and cycle amongst the vines), the hosts at this chic designer hotel prefer to showcase the estate’s wines at the La Plage dans les Vignes, one of the estate’s two restaurants. Here guests are encouraged to sample the estate’s wines at length. To provide a funky, upbeat backdrop to match the hotel’s designer chic, throughout the week there are regular live performances and DJs, playing everything from jazz to the latest laid-back tunes. Whenever you arrive, you’re sure to find something going on.
If you’re anything like us, you won’t want to miss the extensive spa at the hotel – the perfect place to refresh and rejuvenate before another afternoon of working your way through the local wines.
Become part of a new tradition at this gorgeous, Belle Epoque château. For the first time in decades, 2017 will see the vineyards on the estate producing new vintages, such as their Rosé d’Exception: ‘Les Clés de Paradis’. For those who choose to stay here, there’s an extensive range of wine activities, from tours to degustation dinners, to pairing classes. If you’re looking for something more, contact the hotel in advance with your requirements and they can create a bespoke experience that is sure to be memorable.
If you like what you’ve tasted – and we’re sure that you will – the Château boasts a sizeable wine shop, that not only sells the produce of the estate but a great sampling of what the entire Languedoc region has to offer.
We think that this hotel is perfect for families – while you’re off sampling the local tipple, the kids will be well looked after in the Kid’s Club. It has a fully-packed program guaranteed to return them tired, happy and ready for bed!
Similar to Chateau St Pierre de Serjac, Château Les Carrasses has recently re-emerged from the ashes of the past as a beautiful boutique Château with sizable vineyards, producing a spread of delicious wines. They’re serious about what they do – as you arrive in your room, you’ll find a selection of the estate wines, with the ability to order if you like what you’ve sampled! Our absolute favourite is the 2014 Les Carrasses Chardonnay, if you can get your hands on it!
In addition to weekly wine tastings, the hotel regularly hosts tasting dinners, pairing classes and guided walks through the vines as the evening cools. For something a little more hands-on try the half-day harvesting and winemaking classes, as well as blending workshops, which can be arranged. What better way to remember your Languedoc escape than with your own, one-of-a-kind vintage? You even get to stick on the label.
Hankering for some more viticultural inspiration? Browse our curated collection of ‘Hotels with Vineyards’ for more wine escape ideas.