I just had a spectacular hike to the Chateaux de Lastours last night where we had a picnic and watched the sunset. One of my buddies at ESC Dijon’s wine commerce program stayed at the B&B this week with his girlfriend. And Gabriella Opaz came up from Barcelona too. Everybody asked me how they could spend their last night in town so I suggested a picnic in the Chateaux de Lastours.
Lastours is a tiny village north of Carcassonne and it used to be the headquarters for the Lords of Cabaret, the guys who give their name to the Cabardes. Lastours was the center of their feifdom and all the surrounding lands were farmed in the name of these lords. They built these fortifications on the high ground above Lastours and the ruins still stand today. And they’re open to the public. So if you want to see a castle that isn’t crawling with tourists, check out Lastours after hours. We walked up and were the only people there. We sat down and had a lovely picnic with some sandwiches and O’Vineyards wine. If you do this, don’t litter! You have to be very tidy or else you’ll ruin this historic site.
Lastours is about 25 minutes north of Carcassonne so you’ll need a car, but it’s totally worth it if you like nature, breathtaking views, and castle ruins. There are lots of stairs too and it’s sadly not accessible to wheelchairs.
Additionally, we went at sunset but you have to be very careful and bring flashlights if you do this. The path down is rather treacherous in the dark and there aren’t always handrails so be safe.
This post is about an event held by the Independent Winemakers of Aude (Vignerons Independents de l’Aude) that organizes dozens of picnics around the departement of Aude. The picnics all take place on June 12 and 13, 2011. For information about visiting O’Vineyards and eating with us, please see our vineyard visitors page
Picnic with a winemaker
Basically, 29 or so wineries have signed up to host picnics in their vines. This is a great opportunity for people to visit vineyards throughout Aude. O’Vineyards isn’t participating in this event, but I will certainly attend another winery’s picnic. And I might be organizing a similar idea for our new vineyard owners from Naked Wines
Map of villages with picnic locations
Because the list of winemakers is a little intimidating and contains lots of tiny villages you’ve never heard of, I made a map of all the villages that hava a participating winemaker. Look at the map to find the picnics nearest to you. And then consult the full list below to find out which winery is hosting the picnic.
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View PIQUE-NIQUE CHEZ LE VIGNERON INDEPENDANT® in a larger map
List of winemakers and villages
- Château l’Amiral à Aigues Vives
- Domaine des Cavalières à Argens Minervois Monday only
- Domaine les Maels à Argens Minervois Monday only
- Domaine le Par à Argens Minervois Monday only
- Domaine le Colombies à Herminis
- Plo Roucarel à Couffoulens Sunday only
- Domaine du GrandArc à Cucugnan
- Domaine des Souleilles à Donazac Monday only
- Château des Fénals à Fitou Monday only
- Domaine Moucheyre à Fitou
- Le Courtal de Vidal à Fitou
- Domaine de la Rochelierre à Fitou Monday only
- Domaine de Mingraut à Fontcouverte
- Domaine de la Grange à La Palme Monday only
- Domaine Vignalet à Laure Minervois
- Château de BelleIsle à LézignanCorbières
- Château Grand Moulin à LézignanCorbières
- Domaine de la Lause à Monze Monday only
- Domaine Lalaurie à Ouveillan Monday only
- Domaine la Salynette à Paraza Sunday only
- Domaine du Viala à Paraza
- Domaine BertrandBerge à Paziols Sunday only
- Château FabreCordon à Peyrac de Mer Monday only
- Château Lalis à Ribaute Sunday only
- Domaine des Homs à RieuxMinervois
- Château du Tourril à Roubia Sunday only
- Château Canet à Rustiques
- Domaine de Rolland à Tuchan
- Domaine les Maillols à Villegly