This was without doubt one of the best experiences we’ve had on our honeymoon in France. Joe and Liz, the owners of O’Vineyards, are a fabulously welcoming, friendly, fun couple who made us feel completely at home the moment we arrived for our visit to their winery to be followed by lunch.
We had biked up from Carcassonne (about 35 mins if you take the D118 route) and arrived somewhat hot and bedraggled. Joe immediately offered us a large glass of ice cold water, swiftly followed by a glass of delicious white wine, as we cooled down in the surroundings of their beautiful home.
Joe then took us outside, where we enjoyed 360 degree views of the beautiful countryside and rolling vineyards stretching as far as the eye can see. He explained about the different grapes they grew, and the different cultivating and cropping techniques they used to get the best crop out of each type of grape.
We went then went into the sorting and fermentation room. Joe talked us through the entire process, from harvesting to sorting, fermenting, distilling, mixing and barrelling. We tasted generously sized samples of their reds straight from the tanks and barrels. (Joe later quipped that he couldn’t understand why French domains normally serve such small sample sizes – the one thing that they have in abundance as wineries is wine!)
This was then followed by a delicious lunch cooked by Liz, where the conversation and wine never stopped flowing. To start, we had a fresh salad with slightly curried eggs, local red spiced lamb sausages and home made pates. For the main we had perfectly cooked crispy whole legs of duck with artichokes and courgettes picked less than one hour ago from their garden, with the tastiest fried rice I’ve ever had (no grease, but packed with flavour) and a duck sauce with fresh herbs from the garden. We then had some excellent cheeses (including a brie that Liz had added walnuts to – yum) followed by chocolate brownies and vanilla ice cream.
Throughout the whole meal our glasses never went empty. We had a glass for both red and white, and we continued to try different wines throughout lunch. Our favourite was their Proprietors Reserve 2005, of which we bought 2 bottles.
Throughout lunch Joe and Liz kept calling their gardener, Michael, over for glasses of wine and to sample all the dishes – this seems absolutely in keeping with their characters, which are welcoming, inclusive, fun and caring. It was just like being with friends and family.
We had such a great time that we’ve booked to come back for their B&B getaway weekend – 2 night with meals and wine. We absolutely can’t wait to return.
Joe and Liz, thank you for such an amazing experience (especially when it was supposed to be your day off!) and pass on our thanks to Michael for making the garden look so lovely and produce all those yummy vegetables and herbs.
Can’t wait to see you again soon! Helen and Aaron xx
Alexa, Thank you for your TripAdvisor review!
“Lynsey’s Hen Do” by Alexa_waugh
5 of 5 stars. Reviewed May 21, 2014 NEW
I booked this wine tour for my sister’s Hen Party and I cannot recommend it enough. We arrived to a beautiful welcome, followed by a brilliant tour of the vine yard and the winery. It was very informative and Joe was excellent with the group of women asking lots of questions… and drinking quicker than he could fill the glasses! After sitting outside with a glass of wine, we went in for lunch and the food was incredible. the wine was free flowing and the dining experience was relaxed. Joe and Liz joined us for drinks and we couldn’t have had a better time. the only disappointment was having to leave the few bottles of wine we purchased because we couldn’t carry them in hand luggage. I cannot express how highly i recommend the tour. If you are looking for info on wine, to drink lots of wine, to see the workings of a small business, taste amazing food and drink more wine… then i throughly recommend you book this tour. Plus you can stay there too so no excuse for having to drive!
Edith Jacob (Canada) celebrated her birthday with friends Jean-Pierre Gelard et Cathou Camara (France). They shared the table with a group of ladies from Ireland celebrating Marianne Bolger’s birthday!
Mike & Penny Peckpt loved the O’ Fine Wines!
Joseph & Maryann Pace from Malta and many visitors from UK
Beautiful Evie and Handsome Nael
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.”
Happy St Patrick’s Day to you all! How do you like our O’Chasan dressed in green and ready to go!
At O’Vineyards, St Patrick’s day will be celebrated ALL WEEK! ….. Good excuse to have more green … or white … O’Chasan! Cheers!
Restful Ambience at O’Vineyards
A beautiful sunrise! The almond trees in bloom! Joe and I were happy to welcome Kristen & Russ Moorhead znd their colleagues and friends!
From TripAdvisor Senior Reviewer Grant Hughes who visited us with his wife Fiona. Thank you Grant!
“An unexpected surprise, but what a great evening!”
TripAvisor 5 of 5 stars. Reviewed July 22, 2013
“We are spending a few days near Carcasson in France and we got a little frustrated with driving into town, so we did a search of local places to eat……we found this just a mile or so from where we are staying and thought it was just a restaurant!!!
When we arrived we were greeted by a nice American chap(Joe) – our first surprise as when we called to book we spoke to a French lady (liz).
We were then introduced to the other 4 couples (surprise 2) and given a superb crisp white wine to try.
Then Joe gave us all a tour of his vines and his winery and told us all about how he makes his wonderful wines. More tastings ……. Moving on to some out of this world reds (OMG is a good name for it!).
Then we all sat down to a lovely meal (prepared by Liz, who had obviously spent hours in the kitchen and prepared all sorts of interesting and tasty things for us all to eat) the wine and the conversation flowed and we met a crowd of interesting and friendly people.
This was more like a dinner party for friends than a meal out and we had a fantastic time and, even though we are not particular wine buffs, we appreciated the very fine wines that our host gave us, which he obviously was very proud of and rightly so.
This family obviously love their work and have a passion for their art! If you like wine you should try all of them! You can buy them through Naked wines on the Internet . Look for ‘Domaine O’vineyards’
Then we sat on the terrace in the warm evening looking over the vineyards and ‘sampling’ more delicious wines with cheeses and a hand made desert! More conversation and laughter…….
We finally bade everyone goodbye at around midnight and back to the b+b.
The wines were so pure and unadulterated……. No hang over this morning (surprise no …. I lost count after about the third bottle!)
I thoroughly recommend this as a ‘ must do’ if you are in the area. One of the best holiday decisions we have ever made!
Thank you Joe and Liz for a wonderful dinner party, great wine, great company and great food!”
O’Vineyards main activity is making and selling wine. In a region where wine can be found in abundance, we are fortunate to be able to attract a high number of adventurous epicurean world travelers because of the good wine we serve generously to accommodate the fine food we provide.
Nothing is irrelevant to a wine enthusiast who likes to tour a winery/vineyard: the vines, the pruning, the harvesting, the winemaking process. We show our equipment and explain each step.
A thorough tour requires time and energy, and our international visitors evidently appreciate our efforts. And we thank them all. Cheers!
Liz’s Salmon Rillettes
At the request of our World Travelers Sabine Bessey and her husband Ebaheart, here is the receipe of Liz’s Salmon Rillettes:
Get from the fish market about 200g of fresh salmon
heat your oven at 200°
Few drop of lemon, salt and pepper, roll your salmon inside of an aluminium sheet
cook in the oven for 10 minutes
Cool the salmon in the refrigerator
smash it with a fork
put in the ginger and garlic sauce
back in the refrigerator until the serving time
prepare the ginger-garlic sauce:
3 table spoon of mustard
about 20g of garlic. 20g of ginger
mix with about 3 table spoon of olive oil
put the sauce to the refrigerator.
Before serving, mix the salmon and the sauce.
Burbot in butter sauce
I like the small fresh burbots! Have to wake up early to get those at the fish market!
Very fast and easy receipe! Saute the fishes in a small amount of butter. add the garlic and parsley. When the garlic is golden, add some more butter, add the chopped parsley. Cook only one minute. Serve immediately!