A lot of people ask me what wine regions are closest to Toulouse, because they’d like to get out of the city to taste some wine. I thought I’d write up my wine tasting recommendations in one place.
If you want to spend a day visiting a wine region near Toulouse, I’m naturally going to recommend that you visit me at O’Vineyards or spend the night in our B&B. I’m a little more than an hour’s drive from Toulouse and after you visit O’Vineyards, you can spend some time at the Cité de Carcassonne. But this page has information about all the other wine regions you can visit near Toulouse.
Wine regions close to Toulouse
Gaillac (near Albi) – Probably the closest wine area that people talk about frequently. You can check out Albi’s cathedral or the Toulouse Lautrec museum on the same day as they’re in the same area as Gaillac.
Cabardes (near Carcassonne) – The Languedoc-Roussillon appellation that is closest to Toulouse, Cabardes is just a few kilometers away from the Cité de Carcassonne, so that can be an interesting day trip or weekend.
Cahors – This is the original home of Malbec, a grape varietal made popularized in Argentina. Try to find a winery that makes real black wine, so dark you can add water and still not see through it.
Madiran – A southwestern appellation that has gained notoriety more recently for it’s highly tannic wines generally dominated by the Tannat grape variety.
Cotes de Millau – I don’t know much about the wines, but it’s made right around where they make Roquefort cheese (and you can often visit those cheese caves). So if you’re into salty blue cheeses this would be a pretty epic day trip.
Armagnac – Not strictly wine, but worth mentioning, as this spirit is distilled from wine. Similar to cognac but aged differently. Check it out if you like spirits.
These are generally ordered by a combination of how interesting I think they are and how far they are from Toulouse. It’s not an exact science because some wine regions are very large and oddly shaped and so even though most of the region is farther away, some wineries in it may be closer. To illustrate this point, the map here shows all the southwestern French wine designations, but Cabardes (which is technically Languedoc-Roussillon and not southwestern France) is not shown even though it is much closer than most of southwestern France. Such is life!
Here is a more complete list of wine areas classified as Southwestern French wines which includes some regions that I don’t know as much about:
Côtes du Frontonnais
Vins de Lavilledieu
Cotes de Brulhois
Cotes de Buzet
Cotes du Marmandais
Cotes de Saint-Mont
Madiran / Pacherenc du Vic Bilh
Cotes du Duras
Vins d’Entraygues et du Fel
Cotes de Millau
Irouléguy (Basque country)
One way of bringing traffic to the website or the vineyard is to be included in lots of regional directories.
Since the New York Times and Stephen Colbert announced the death of the white pages, it might be a good time to talk about the future of information directories and annuaires online.
So with companies refusing to deliver the white pages, let’s look at online alternatives.
Here are a few links to directories that list O’Vineyards. Notice that they’re all pretty specific. Deligogo only does food and wine. Languedoc Midi Info is obviously based on Languedoc and Midi listings. Best of Carcassonne gets ultra specific and only includes listings around Carcassonne. Some of these directories charge you to be included. Others allow anybody to sign up. I think specific directories like this are cool because (a) they fill the role of the yellow pages so people can find your business and (b) they give you content-specific backlinks which help search engines define and highlight your site.
Best of Carcassonne – Ultra specific, but I can’t promise that the girl in the photo will be here. 🙂
I took clips from George Frêche’s speech at ViniSud to explain why he should adore my website. The video’s in French, so I wrote up the whole thing in English for you!
Six reasons Georges Frêche loves Love That Languedoc.
“You don’t need seniority to be good. You just need to be smart”I get a lot of crap because I’m only 24, I’ve only been a winemaker 5 years, and the website isn’t even 4 months old. Yet I want to come in and change everything like some inexperiencd upstart. Well, Georges knows that you don’t need seniority! Heck, there are NO fourteenth generation web designers. Also, I think a large part of our success on Love That Languedoc can be contributed to our cooperation with individuals and groups that DO bring some wisdom and seniority to the table.
“Take what works and throw out what doesn’t work.”I know, right! This sort of try everything and keep what works is founded in an empiricism that I can really get into. I didn’t know how Love That Languedoc would play out (and I still don’t! It could go a lot of different directions!) But I knew that I couldn’t wade through the administrative back channels, building a project through conventional means. I just launched. And it worked. So… he’s gotta keep me now, right? 😀
“It’s our fault if we’re in a crisis. We are the masters of our fate.”Georges comes down on winemakers a little hard on this point. But let’s say that I agree that collectively, we are responsible for the crisis. It’s not you or me or that guy… but all of us. And I also agree that we are masters of our fate. The entire wine industry (not just Languedoc-Roussillon or France) leaves its fate in the hands of journalists and critics. A few exceptions exist. Most of the exceptions are massive corporations that have found ways to leverage their size into selling power. Very few winemaking regions have a public image that they control. Or our idea of control is to send press releases all the time. But today, it’s our responsibility to cultivate an audience and give our message to them directly! (e.g. Love That Languedoc)
“Manifestations turn the majority of people against our message by annoying them.”This just reminds me of my wine-alerts project. We have to get our winemakers to take our infamous street-blocking manifestations to the web. In the real world, only the French see our manifs and it just annoys most of them. We alienate. On the web, we can manifest with a positive message with our clients overseas. That is so much better than alienating/annoying your neighbors and tourists.
“Today, we need to be on the GLOBAL market.”If you want to talk global, you have to talk web. It’s just stupid simple. If you have the budget to put billboards and print ads and Maisons du Languedoc everywhere, that’s great. You should totally continue doing that. However you should ALSO do the web thing which costs like pennies by comparison. And if you have no budget but you have fifteen minutes per week, it’s time to start going online. There are people around the world who will listen to you. And that’s Love That Languedoc. I want to bring wine from the region to monitors around the world. And it’s working. So… you gotta love me, right?
“Politics bedamned, we need smart people.”I bet you thought I was going to say I’m super smart. But that is not my point. Freche says he needs smart PEOPLE, not just one smart person. Love That Languedoc is succeeding because it brings together tons of smart people. There are smart people in this region and they have opened their doors to this new project because they see the potential power of communicating our message to the world! If I have convinced you that Georges Freche loves Love That Languedoc, or if I’ve convinced YOU to Love That Languedoc, please please please visit the website and talk about it to all the smart people you know. Link that thing up.
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.