This was without doubt one of the best experiences we’ve had on our honeymoon in France. Joe and Liz, the owners of O’Vineyards, are a fabulously welcoming, friendly, fun couple who made us feel completely at home the moment we arrived for our visit to their winery to be followed by lunch.
We had biked up from Carcassonne (about 35 mins if you take the D118 route) and arrived somewhat hot and bedraggled. Joe immediately offered us a large glass of ice cold water, swiftly followed by a glass of delicious white wine, as we cooled down in the surroundings of their beautiful home.
Joe then took us outside, where we enjoyed 360 degree views of the beautiful countryside and rolling vineyards stretching as far as the eye can see. He explained about the different grapes they grew, and the different cultivating and cropping techniques they used to get the best crop out of each type of grape.
We went then went into the sorting and fermentation room. Joe talked us through the entire process, from harvesting to sorting, fermenting, distilling, mixing and barrelling. We tasted generously sized samples of their reds straight from the tanks and barrels. (Joe later quipped that he couldn’t understand why French domains normally serve such small sample sizes – the one thing that they have in abundance as wineries is wine!)
This was then followed by a delicious lunch cooked by Liz, where the conversation and wine never stopped flowing. To start, we had a fresh salad with slightly curried eggs, local red spiced lamb sausages and home made pates. For the main we had perfectly cooked crispy whole legs of duck with artichokes and courgettes picked less than one hour ago from their garden, with the tastiest fried rice I’ve ever had (no grease, but packed with flavour) and a duck sauce with fresh herbs from the garden. We then had some excellent cheeses (including a brie that Liz had added walnuts to – yum) followed by chocolate brownies and vanilla ice cream.
Throughout the whole meal our glasses never went empty. We had a glass for both red and white, and we continued to try different wines throughout lunch. Our favourite was their Proprietors Reserve 2005, of which we bought 2 bottles.
Throughout lunch Joe and Liz kept calling their gardener, Michael, over for glasses of wine and to sample all the dishes – this seems absolutely in keeping with their characters, which are welcoming, inclusive, fun and caring. It was just like being with friends and family.
We had such a great time that we’ve booked to come back for their B&B getaway weekend – 2 night with meals and wine. We absolutely can’t wait to return.
Joe and Liz, thank you for such an amazing experience (especially when it was supposed to be your day off!) and pass on our thanks to Michael for making the garden look so lovely and produce all those yummy vegetables and herbs.
Can’t wait to see you again soon! Helen and Aaron xx
Pretty busy around the winery so I haven’t had time to write much about the EWBC. But here is some unedited video of an exclusive winery and vineyard tour we did at Iby in the Burgenland.
The Austrian Wine press trips had the great idea of splitting us all up into small groups and sending us off with different winemakers. We all had totally different experiences and we’ll all get to write about them differently. Very very fun. Plus I just love meeting the producer and tasting the wines with him or her. It’s the way wine was meant to be shared and it’s a welcome break from these long table tasting marathons of 50 different Blaufränkisch in 60 minutes. *gasp*
I also enjoyed the excellent company of three lovely ladies on this trip. Olga Mosina (a Russian wine blogger), Onneca (a Barcelona punk who I believe makes or represents a delicious cava), and Mariëlla Beukers who has already published her thoughts in Dutch. But there’s also a translate button for English. 🙂
More to come later when I have time to write write write type type type. For now, let it be known, the wines were delicious.
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.