Harvest, Winemaking and Tourism

Posted by Joe The Winemaker:

“Finnnnnnnnnnished! The 2102 harvest has finished fermentation and the pressing of the skins was completed Saturday 3rd of November!

When you grow grapes and make wine, you sometimes wonder whether the months of September and October exist. You start to clean and prepare for harvest in late August and the next thing you know; you are getting ready for Christmas!
During the harvest season, visitors are always amazed at how much happens on a daily basis.

Anyway we are extremely happy with the quality of our 2012 harvest and look forward to tasting with all our visitors!”

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.

B&B Walking Distance from the Castle

room in 42 victor hugoDowntown

42 Victor Hugo – 142€ – 160€
42 Rue Victor Hugo
11000 Carcassonne
33 (0)9 77 52 44 36

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.

On the Canal

Péniche Mirage –  106€ – 520€
28 rue du Canal
Ecluse d’Herminis
33 (0)6 16 46 28 67

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.

In the castle

L’echappee Belle – 75€-125€
5 Rue Raymond Roger Trencavel
La Cite 11000 Carcassonne
33 (0)4 68 25 33 40

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.

terrasse cote citeAt the foot of the ramparts

Côté Cité – 77€ – 147€
81, Street Trivalle
33 (0)6 89 35 61 51

A B&B at the foot of the castle, just outside the remparts.

Other accomodations

For a full list of accomodations, check out Trip Advisor’s Carcassonne Hotel page.  Whether or not you trust the reviews, it’s a pretty complete list of lodging options in and around Carcassonne.

Some of our very first guests took lots of photos of their room at O’Vineyards Bed & Breakfast.

O’Vineyards Bed & Breakfast Room

syrah bnb roomIt’s hard to show just how spacious the rooms are in a single photograph.  You want to show details on how the floor and ceiling are finished, a hint of the spectacular view on the Syrah vines, the size of the bed, how much space there is to move around and breathe, and so much more.

I’m very appreciative of these excellent candid photographs by our guests.  This first picture shows ceiling, floor, and the big glass doors.  And there’s even a bottle of wine to serve as a scale so you know just how big the bed really is!

“Why is there a bottle of wine,” you ask?

Because every O’Vineyards room comes with a bottle of wine!!  Trust me: a bottle of Trah Lah Lah is much more fun than a chocolate on your pillow.

O’Vineyards Bed & Breakfast Bathroom

syrah bathroomAnd here’s a photo of the bathroom.  Again, it’s hard to take a photograph that shows how spacious it is.  You want to give a glimpse of the walk in Italian shower.  You want to show that things are clean and new.  But that there’s still character and warmth in the finish and decorations.

Again, a brilliant photo!  Thanks to our guests who took these wonderful photos and shared them with the world.

This post is about finding a gite, B&B, or other lodging options in the Minervois near Carcassonne.

Of course, if you want to stay at a vineyard near Carcassonne, I strongly recommend staying with me at O’Vineyards Bed & Breakfast.  But I’m technically in the Cabardes (which is a small area to the west of the Minervois).

Winemaker B&Bs, gites, and other lodging

I should start by saying that this is not an exhaustive list.  Whereas I posted a full list of lodging options with Cabardes winemakers, the Minervois is almost 4 times larger than the Cabardes.  So I’m just going to list a few winemakers who I know have lodging on their estates.

Clos Centeilles, Siran – An excellent winemaker with chambres d’hotes and gites on the property.

Domaine des Homs, Fanjeaux – A house rental in the middle of an organic vineyard in the Minervois

Le Pech d’André – Small gite on a vineyard in Azillanet; they run a vineyard blog too.

Chateau Canet, Rustiques – A Terra Vitis vineyard that looks toward sustainable agriculture with cottage rental

Domaine Vordy Mayranne , Minerve – Gite on a mom and pop vineyard

sleep inside a giant wine barrelLe Relais Occitan, Beauvoir – This used to be an operational winery, but now it focuses on rather unique lodging.  You can sleep inside one of the old wooden fermentation tanks (150 hectoliter foudres) that have been outfitted as single and double rooms. They also have more conventional rooms and gites if you’re into that sort of thing. ;D

Domaine Vignalet, Laure Minervois – There is a photo of a pretty delicious-looking Cassoulet on their website and this vineyard seems very homey.

Domaine du Siestou, Laure Minervois – This vineyard lodging comes with bikes to go riding alongside the Canal du Midi

Domaine du Viala, Paraza – I’m not sure if this is a winery or not.  It used to be though!

Full directory of lodging in the Minervois

minervois village mapThe Minervois has created a pretty elaborate index of lodging options which you can sort by village or how many stars its received.  Although I’m pretty sure there are some folks missing from this database too.  It’s a big area and getting everybody to work together on this sort of listing is like herding cats.

I hope all this is helpful and that you find a lovely place to stay in while visiting the Languedoc Roussillon!

I took some exterior photos of O’Vineyards Bed & Breakfast now that it’s nearing completion.  Things are looking good!

bed and breakfast in the vines

You can really see how close the rooms are to the vines.  How clear the sky is.  This is life on a vineyard after all!

the cabardes room window and merlot vines

This is the window of the Cabardes room.  You can look out over the Merlot vines from here.  Sit watching the high road of Villemoustaussou with Carcassonne off to the south.  Soak in the sunny south of France in the privacy of our vines.

cabernet and montagne noire seen from the Cabernet Room

What a view!!  That’s Cabernet Sauvignon stretching off toward the valley in Villegailhenc and La Montagne Noire beyond that.  This photos taken from inside the room so it’s actually the view.  Hard to believe, right?

This is a list of Cabardes vineyards that provide bed & breakfast services or other lodging options north of Carcassonne.

Of course, if you want to stay at a vineyard, I strongly recommend staying at O’Vineyards Bed & Breakfast.

But this post includes all the options for staying with winemakers in the Cabardes.

Why stay in Cabardes?

The Cabardes is a gorgeous region of France that is very close to the historic medieval castle of Carcassonne.  Proximity to the Cité makes the Cabardes a perfect vacation area because it means you can visit the Cité de Carcassonne, the Canal du Midi, and benefit from all the amenities of Carcassonne.  There’s a train station and an International airport (almost exclusively RyanAir flights though).  You’re less than hour’s drive from the Mediterranean coast, about an hour from Toulouse, about an hour and a half from Montpellier, and a couple of hours from the Pyrenees.

I should also mention you’ll be surrounded by delicious wine!!  🙂

The Cabardes AOC is small, dominated by independent wine producers, and features a unique blend of Mediterranean and Atlantic grape varietals.

Vineyard B&B, gites, and other lodging

O’Vineyards Bed & Breakfast – VillemoustaussouB&B and Syrah at O'Vineyards seen from plateau de la bade

4 elegantly furnished B&B rooms with direct view on the vines.  You’ll be sharing the building with us, a Franco-American family with a small vineyard and winery just north of Carcassonne.  We’re very happy to host, and we have a full range of high end red wines.

Ventaillole, Ventenac Cabardes

B&B on an organic vineyard in Ventenac Cabardes.

domaine des homs giteDomaine des Homs

Technically, this is in the Minervois but I thought I’d mention it since the winemakers also produce some Cabardes and these two appellations are close neighbors that share the south-facing slope of the Montagne Noire.  This is a gorgeous house in the center of their Minervois property and the adjacent photo shows how the vines creep across the front of the property.

Auzias – Pennautier

A gite with view on the winery. Red, white and rose wines.

Cazaban Gites – Conques sur Orbiel / Villegailhenc

4 gites located on a small organic vineyard.  Red and rose wines.


Rayssac used to have gites, but I don’t know if the new owner maintains them anymore.  The website has changed significantly recently so watch this space.

Chateau Pennautier properties – Pennautier

The de Lorgerils have a lot of different properties and gite offers.

We’re still building at O’Vineyards Bed & Breakfast, but the windows are now installed.  It’s such a beautiful day.

It’s funny how putting in a window can really focus your attention on just how much beauty you’re exposed to every day!   We’re surrounded by these gorgeous vines and mountain views so we can easily take them for granted.  But they’re stunning.  And days like this are reminders to stop and enjoy the view.

Montagne Noire & Cabernet SauvignonThe Cabernet Sauvignon. In the distance, contreforts de la Montagne Noire


Pyrenees and Merlot VinesThe Merlot with the Pyrenées in the background


The full photo album of O’Vineyards views is on our Facebook page.  Excuse the mess, the scaffolding, the ladders, stuff taped to windows, etc.  We’re really going forward at full speed with construction and we just wanted to take enough time to stop and enjoy the view. 🙂

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

  1. 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.
  2. Take the exit towards Pennautier. Continue 500m to a small roundabout and go straight over.
  3. 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.
  4. At the last juction, bear left. the road sign “Ave de la Montagne Noire” (confusing as it seems to show a right turn)
  5. After another 500m you will see our red brick color building in the middle of the vines.