Another Great TripAdvisor Review!

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!”


I like to serve dishes, French or fusion, that our World Visitors can discover and appreciate. Travelers from Japan love sea food but I knew enough not to feed them shrimp tempura. I treated them to a Liz’s bouillabaisse.

Here is the receipe:
As for all my ingredients, the fish need to be very fresh! Then add onions, carrots, tomatoes and potatoes, salt and pepper.
I use the carrots for the color and the potatoes to thicken the broth and give it more of a “bisk” look and taste.
Sauté the fish before in a little amount of colza oil.
Sauté oinions, carrots, tomatoes and potatoes.
Put all ingredients together in a steamer and cook for 10 minutes.
Remove the bones, keeping only the meat of the fish.
blend fish and vegetables with some fresh dill. Serve hot. You can add on top a grilled toast covered with ementhal or gruyère cheese. or a grilled garlic toast!

With this gorgeous weather, many visitors from Down Under , the US and the UK have been taking advantage of this.

Our new guests brought back the mementos of our friends. We are continuing to post more pictures! Thank you again for the great memories shared during 2012 !  HAPPY NEW YEAR ! Hope to see you again soon in 2013 !

Wall of Fame part 2

Wedding with O’Wines! Thank you Michael and Fay











La Barbacane

Place Auguste Pierre Pont
11000 Carcassonne

04 68 71 98 71

Make a reservation online or by calling.

Thursdays to Mondays
from 7:30 pm to 9:30 pm

Closed in February.

Less than 20 minutes from O’Vineyards.  (includes time for parking outside the castle and walking to the restaurant)

Price range: 100+ €

The michelin starred restaurant within the castle walls of Carcassonne describes itself as:

The atmosphere in La Barbacane is one of charm and elegance –from its beautiful wood panelled interior and stained glass windows to the enchanting view.

La Barbacane offers a wide range of tempting dishes, created with imagination, flair and artistry. Executive Chef, Jérôme Ryon and Pastry Chef, Régis Chanel, put forth a sophisticated and skilful re-thinking of traditional French cuisine while using ingredients of the highest quality.

La Barbacane received its first Michelin star in 2002, and maintains the same level of excellence today. It remains the only Michelin-starred restaurant in the medieval citadel.

I’ve previously written about dinner at La Barbacane on this blog as they serve O’Vineyards wines alongside their delicious food.

During the holidays, the medieval Cité de Carcassonne quiets down a lot.  The best restaurants stay open year-round because they cater to local clients and can stay open even during the slowed down winter months.  We had a marvelous dinner a few nights ago at La Barbacane, the Michelin starred restaurant in l’Hotel de la Cité.

barbacane piano lounge and barHotel de la Cité – La Barbacane

We got there a little early (typical Americans) and chilled out in the Piano Lounge / Library area (where the bar is).  They started me off with a nice glass of sparkling rosé from Castelmaure while we waited for our hosts, the Lablaudes.  We nibbled on lucques (local olives) and a few exotic tidbits to start us (e.g. endives, anchovies, radishes, trout egg).  Everything was light and fun and made us hungry for more as we lounged about in the piano bar enjoying the live music.

Jérome Ryon, the chef, and Georges Gracia, the manager and sommelier, guided us through a wonderful and surprising meal.

jack be little - stuffed gourd at l'hotel de la cité barbacane restaurantWe started with a shrimp-stuffed jack be little, a small yellow-orange gourd.  It looks like a tiny pumpkin (think bell pepper-sized).  It was a hefty appetizer but I can deal with a little heft.  And it paired wonderfully with a surprising Chenin blanc from Saumur that really cut through the fattier elements of the jack be little.  Truly tasty.  Next up, scallops on a thin pastry garnished in some sort of wonderful sauces and paired with a blend from Rives Blanques.  The dish was garnered with some cabbage and quince confit.  And then duck as the plat de resistance paired with a robust Minervois from Chateau Oupia.

And we finished off with a nice citron sorbet and a startling white from Maury.

Everything was fresh and top notch.

La Barbacane sometimes gets pigeonholed as the more conservative fine dining destination in Carcassonne, with a greater focus on traditional haute cuisine.   But this meal showed that Jérome is very creative when you give him room to breathe.

The wine list

We started off with a sparkling rosé from Castelmaure.

  • AOC Saumur Domaine du Collier 2005 “A Foucault” à Chacé
  • AOC Limoux Chateau Rives-Blanques 2009 Cuvée “La Trilogie” à Cépie
  • AOC Minervois Chateau Oupia 2007 Cuvée Mémoire d’André Famille André Iché

And we finished off with a surprising white from Maury.

Of course, as a wine nerd, one of the coolest parts of the meal is to see how Georges Gracia pairs the various courses with wines.  He chose a lot from the region because he knows how I roll, but he also gave me at least one surprise from the Loire.  And what a surprise!  We started and ended with whites from regions that are much more known for their red wines: Saumur and Maury.  And I have to say I’m very pleased with both.  The Saumur was Chenin although I wouldn’t have guessed that blind.  It had sort of a burnt pear nose that was pretty restrained and then a really intereting body.  I think it was perfect to start off the meal and cut through some of the fat on the pumpkin.  The Maury at the end was a real shocker too.  Delicious sweet wine that could compete with this very tart citron sorbet.  Any wine lovers who eat at the Cité should try to get one of the very talented sommeliers to guide them through a meal.  It’s a real experience for any foodie.

I toured the restaurant and cellar at La Barbacane, the main restaurant in l’Hotel de la Cité.  This is one of the big attractions at the medieval castle of Carcassonne.  It’s a huge treat because this Michelin-starred restaurant is a landmark in one of France’s most visited monuments!

Georges Gracia, the sommelier and restaurant manager showed me how everything gets done at the restaurant and we took a moment to talk a little about Languedoc wines and O’Vineyards’ place amongst them.  If you speak French, you should just check out the video footage.  Otherwise, the summary is that the Languedoc is going places and winemakers like us hope to be a pretty big part of this future.

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.