I now believe there is no safe plan in the world we live in
Liz and I decided to escape to London for a relaxing mind clearing weekend. ( yea right )
Apparently the British have decided to emulate their French neighbours by way of a very tourist unfriendly rail strike. All of my preplanned underground voyages were eliminated with the closing of the jubilee and Elizabeth lines. That was after our Stansted express to Liverpool Station ended up being a journey by bus.
We did however make the best of our Saturday with a boat cruise on the Thames and dinner at Louie London where we reminisced about New Orleans with executive chef Slade Rushing formerly of Brennans on Royal Street. We even got treated to a new creative version of southern pecan pie and bananas foster. (He could see I needed the calories)… I guess it could have been worse and I should be grateful that we can get to a Place like the center of London in less than 4 hours . All in all great little getaway !
We knew it couldn’t last…
After a few quiet nearly protest free years it looks like things will be getting back to “manifestation normality” or possibly worse.
It began earlier this year with the extraordinary rising costs of production for the many French artisans throughout the country. We are not quite ready to replace these small businesses with super stores because of their necessity to the many rural areas.
But that’s nothing compared to the government announcement of the retirement age rising to 65. I have become French enough to assure you that is not going to happen and the protests will only become more common until this goes away.
We are making our travel plans cautiously and suggest all do the same !
We have all incurred numerous set backs during the Covid years and just when I thought things were returning to normal Putin ( Putain ) decided to throw the world in disarray .
The reason I bring this up is that although I noticed the inflation around the world I didn’t anticipate the effect this could have on the French “baguette”. The price of electricity has actually forced some smaller boulangeries (bakeries) to close certain days during the week or even indefinitely. I dread to think of what might happen if we can’t get our “daily bread” !
One of the main reasons for the French revolution was a shortage of bread so stay tuned . Fortunately our electric bills have remained the same through our due diligence and there is no shortage of wine for our many visitors and friends we see at the vineyard !
BYOB (bring your own baguette) might have a whole new meaning here soon. Cheers !
On behalf of the O’Vineyards Family we wish each and everyone a Joyous Healthy and Prosperous New Year !
The weather here continues to be unusually mild for this time of year but that makes for great working conditions.
We were very fortunate to have some good hard frosts in early December so the vines went dormant allowing us to begin the winter pruning.
With very little rain in the forecast our winter work should be finished early this year and that is a comforting thought as we hope to be planting a few hectares of new vines in the Spring.
The Spring and Summer 2023 bookings are starting to come in and it looks like things will be getting back to pre covid normality.
We intend to have a relatively quiet winter so we are ready to go when our Visitors return in the Spring !
Hope to see you all soon
This will be my valiant effort to rejuvenate the O’Vineyards blog and hopefully keep it interesting enough to keep you following.
As I mellow with age i find that writing is more satisfying and a bit less strenuous than the field work.
I am posting this on Christmas eve while I sit on our deck sipping a scrumptious claret that I happen to have made myself ( 2006 Reserve ). The temperature is 21 ° (70° F) and considering that Carcassonne is the same latitude as Niagara falls that is kind of amazing.
Christmas day will be our usual feast accompanied by wines from our 2005 vintage and then its back to work on Monday.
We are in the process of setting up a prototype of our new micro winery concept which you can read about on our site. We will be using about 500 SQ FT of our barrel room for the project.
Promise to keep you updated over the coming months!
The wellbeing of our guests is our top priority. We are sorry but due to the current circumstances we are temporarily closed.
Our hearts and thoughts go out to the people who have been affected by this unprecedented event.
Thanks to the healthcare workers, local communities, and governments around the world who are on the front lines working to contain this coronavirus.
Like all business depending on tourism, we are feeling the impact of this coronavirus event as we remain shuttered through April 25, 2020.
Although we cannot welcome you at the winery for now, we are still able to ship our wine around the world. Please feel free to visit our wine page to support – help your independent winemaking and raise money to fight the coronavirus.
Thank you and looking forward to seeing you at the vineyard very soon!
Today we emptied about 90,000 bottles worth of wine from our French oak barrels. Each barrel is tasted for quality control prior to going into the blend . From time to time some of the barrels don’t make the cut . This control is very time consuming and difficult but somebody has to do it !!!
This older video below will give you more details of the whole process. Cheers!
This brief video was done just to prove I could get inside my tanks!!! Each tank is cleaned several times a year with food friendly acid based products, a pressure washer and good old elbow grease. The finished product even meets the standards of my maniac wife Madame Propre aka Mrs Clean!
Thanks Pierre and Lynsey for visiting us! and Thank you for this original review on TripAdvisor!
beautiful, lovely, elegant, graceful, magnificent, superb, superlative, excellent, wonderful, perfect, tasteful, stylish, refined, distinguished, decorous, aesthetic, lovely, sumptuous, exquisite, welcoming, friendly, convivial, warm-hearted… with “super” and “extra” before each word, and that will describe the beginning of a hint of my recent experience at O’Vineyards.
Words from Polly Curtis organiser of Steph’s Hen Do Event.
Before the Event:”Our weekend in Toulouse and visit to you is finally here! We are very excited…
Cannot wait to finally meet you all, you’ve been by far the easiest people to deal with and so helpful! So thank you in advance for all of that! See you Sunday! “
After the Event: “We are back to reality in the UK, and wanted to send you an email to say thank you so very much for everything you did this weekend.
I couldn’t have asked for our day to have been better. Everyone said how incredibly welcome you made us all feel, as shown by how relaxed everyone was all afternoon!
The wine was lovey and plentiful!! We enjoyed a few more bottles in the park that evening, with a few saved for the top table at the wedding!
Your food was delicious and the efforts you went to for all our varying requirements was above and beyond!
I’ve attached a few photos, and if you wanted us to write a review of any sort to go with it for anything don’t hesitate to ask!!
Enjoy the rest of your summer, it would be hard not to in such a beautiful place!
How to find us
Domaine O’Vineyards, located in the North Arrondissement of Carcassonne, is just minutes from the Carcassonne train station, the Medieval City, and the Carcassonne Airport.
GPS coordinates: 43.259622, 2.340387
Wine, Dine, Relax at our Boutique Vineyard
Unique thing to do in Carcassonne
Wine Cellar. Winery Visits. Wine Tasting.
Wine & Food Pairing
North Arrondissement of Carcassonne
885 Avenue de la Montagne Noire
11620 Villemoustaussou, France
Tel: +33(0) 630 189 910
Best by GPS.
Follow the signs to Mazamet/ Villemoustaussou using the D118. At the end of the last straight part of D118, you will come to a roundabout with the Dyneff gas station.
Take the exit towards Pennautier. Continue 500m to a small roundabout and go straight over.
Look out for the second road on your right, Avenue des Cévennes which curves up hill (about 1km) to Avenue de la Montagne Noire on the left.
At the last juction, bear left. the road sign “Ave de la Montagne Noire” (confusing as it seems to show a right turn)
After another 500m you will see our red brick color building in the middle of the vines.