Nicole & Adam Russell, Victoria & David Green came with beautiful Baby Evie Green!
Nicolas & Nadia Souchon came with handsome Baby Nael!
Victoria Green posted a review on FaceBook:
“We had a wonderful afternoon with our kind, thoughtful and generous hosts. Delicious, flavoursome wine and tasty food in their spacious and comfortable home/establishment. Highly recommended. When we left it felt as if we’d known them for years.”
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O’Vineyards offers an array of Food & Wine Experiences. Click to read the TripAdvisor travelers reviews about our Wine, Food and Lodging.
“Some Naked people came to pick up their wine last week, and we all had a blast!”
I admit it was somewhat alarming to hear these words coming from Liz during my first few days at O’Vineyards. I was going to have to live with these people for several weeks, so I needed an explanation. Luckily Ryan had previously posted about the Naked Wines Angels, who are the main actors in O’Vineyards’ new vineyard share program. One hundred “Angels” rented some of O’Vineyards vines and are paying Naked Winemakers Ryan and Joe O’Connell to see these vines through wine fruition. Now, the Naked Wines Angels are streaming in one by one to pick up their wine. If you are still confused, they are perfectly normal people–properly clothed and everything–they just went that extra mile because they really like our wine.
Michelle and David, Naked Angels
So, meet Michelle and David. They are Naked Angels. Liz and Joe had the pleasure of meeting Michelle and David (I unfortunately was not here yet) when they stayed at the B&B around two weeks ago. They enjoyed a tour of O’Vineyards and shared good times and good food around the Winemakers’ Table. As Michelle very poetically puts it in her TripAdvisor review: “We arrived strangers and left as friends.” They also reportedly arrived as fully clothed and sober angels, and left as…
As many of you know, O’Vineyards opened our Bed & Breakfast this summer. We got a lot of clients online and I thought I’d share some of the easiest free resources I found, especially free B&B listings.
Why use free B&B listings
Not only do these websites serve as useful guides to their readers, they also provide valuable search information to search engines. If your website is linked to by quality sites that focus on travel and accommodations, search engines like google are more likely to realize that your website is pertinent to search requests about travel and accommodations.
Of course, it’s often more effective to pay for ads on more upscale websites that are more carefully targeting their audience. But these are free and, unless the website is doing something very wrong, they can’t really hurt you. So might as well investigate.
List of Free Listings
GPS 4 touring – This website focus on GPS coordinates and mapping to organize different travel and accommodation offers. This is a perfect example of a free listing page. It’s not trying to do any crazy SEO games or make any type of commission. It’s just a free resource. It’s not as glossy as Mr and Mrs Smith, and it won’t send you as much traffic. But it’s free and it caters to a particular kind of traveler who wants to have GPS coordinates for all their travel destinations.
Global bed and breakfast links This site is pretty straightforward. It’s an index of all sorts of B&B sites around the world. That’s nice because a lot of resources are restricted to just UK B&Bs or just USA sites. Think about finding more limited scope directories like those too! But here’s an International directory that anybody can use no matter where they are located.
My B and B This one looks the glossiest out of the three I’m listing. They mirror the site in a lot of different places and in many different languages, all of which might send traffic back your way.
Tonton Marcel, a French and German guide to agritourism, dropped by O’Vineyards toward the end of harvest. They’re on the lookout for the unpretentious, country relation of Mr. and Mrs. Smith who also runs accommodations on the farm.
Photos they took while here
Tonton Marcel separates the wheat from the chaff
I think this is a guide that needed to exist. One of the big problems with agritourism is that you’re never sure if you’re getting a cool, modern farm experience or a cheap little cot in a hayloft with a farmer who seems to dislike visitors. This second group is often a historical artifact resulting from the way farmers used to make a little spare cash.
There was a time when your horses got tired and you’d ask one of the locals if there were any pensions before the next big town. A place where you could tie up your horses and shut your eyes until morning. Those places still exist. A lot of farms and vineyards run their chambres d’hotes or gites in a similar manner. You show up, get the key, and then they’ll avoid you at all cost for the rest of your stay. The room is located on a farm, but otherwise you’re as separated from the farm experience as possible. These places also tend to be a little run down. A little rusticity can be charming, but people also expect a certain level of comfort.
Modern agritourism, especially in wine, can result in massive investments like four star hotels with a view on the vines. Every comfort imaginable. But then these accommodations can go a bit too far and you forget you’re even staying at a farm.
Tonton Marcel seems to seek out the special sweetspot between authenticity and modernity. They’re looking for operators like my family. We actually make wine and we’re winemakers before we’re hoteliers. But at the same time, we understand that you should show your guests a bit of hospitality and we’re savvy enough to include them in the winemaking process when we can. Guests at O’Vineyards will almost definitely remember the winemakers as they look back fondly on their stay.
So the guide finds farms like mine. And I think a lot of kids my age are looking for this sort of experience. I say kids because the average age of our B&B guests so far is about 35. That’s exceptionally low for a B&B. It’s eye opening for a lot of operators who think that only older couples are interested in the bed and breakfast concept.
So here’s hoping that Tonton Marcel becomes as much a household name as Mr & Mrs Smith.
It’s got me thinking about doing my own video in this music video or movie teaser style. I looked back on 2011 to see what other music videos and wine themed teasers were catching my attention. Here are the top three:
So the question now is … should I make a music video for O’Vineyards or Love That Languedoc? I really like the idea. I’d be proud to have a cool video like the ones above. But I’m not sure it’s the best way for me to spend my time this winter. Other projects take precedence for now. But still… I’d like to do it. I also wish I had one of these camcorders. /drool
Carcassonne and the surrounding area are very popular travel destinations because of the charm, character and history of the region. Rather than staying at a cookie-cutter hotel when you visit Carcassonne, consider taking advantage of some of the incredibly unique accommodations available in the area.
Obviously if you’re looking for holiday accommodation on a vineyard, I highly recommend visiting me at O’Vineyards! But vineyards aren’t the only cool place to stay while you’re in Carcassonne.
This is a list of accommodations on the Canal du Midi and Canal du Rhone. These are bed & breakfasts, gites or other lodging alternatives that let you sleep on a boat that cruises down some of France’s grooviest canals.
Obviously, I’d like to see you stay at O’Vineyards Bed & Breakfast which is a few kilometers from the Pont Rouge stop of the Canal du Midi. But staying at a vineyard isn’t quite the same as staying on a boat. So here’s a list for the fluvial accommodation lovers out there:
Canal du Midi
France is renowned for having a diverse landscape, and the department of Aude is particularly rich and varied. One of the few landmarks that manages to unite this vast area is the Canal du Midi or Canal des Mers that connects the Mediterranean coast to Toulouse (and thus allows ships to pass from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean without circumnavigating the Iberian peninsula).
28 rue du Canal.
06 16 46 28 67
This post is about charming Bed & Breakfast rooms available in Carcassonne.
Obviously, I’d love for you to come and stay with me at O’Vineyards B&B, but we’re not very close to the castle. So if you like slurping red wine and you’re going to have a car, you can come sleep at our place. Otherwise, here are some excellent options that are walking distance to the medieval Cité de Carcassonne.
This is a really unique building in the Bastide St-Louis (the historic downtown). The interior is a very contemporary design and the exterior is a rather ornate historic facade. The location is perfect for short walking trips into the town for restaurants, cafes, local markets, concerts and everything else that locals do. It’s a tiny bit removed from the more touristic sites of the citadel (a good thing in many ways), but it’s still walking distance from the ramparts.
Stay on a barge on the Canal du Midi. This has been fully outfitted as a charming B&B / houseboat. The owners are onboard to take care of you. There’s also a jacuzzi on top of the boat. Prices range a lot depending on how much luxury you want on the peniche. Children have to know how to swim if you want to stay on the boat.
This B&B is notable because it’s actually in the medieval citadel. A lot of people don’t realize just how big the castle is. Hundreds of people live within those ramparts. There’s a school, dozens of restaurants and shops, 2 hotels, a hostel, and a B&B.