Abby and Adam

Thanks Abby & Adam!

A groovy wine tour at Domaine O’Vineyards

I’d heard from some of the other Naked Wines Angels and Archangels that a visit to the Domaine O’Vineyards in France is an absolutely excellent experience. So when we were in the Languedoc this summer, we decided to book a night with meal and wine tasting with Joe and Liz O’Connell.

Joe giving his groovy wine tour
It was a really, really hot on the day we visited. Apparently it was the hottest September that the region could remember. We’d spent the day wandering around nearby Carcassonne and lying by the lovely but very breeze-less Lac de la Cavayereand we were literally expiring when we arrived.

We were over half an hour early, but Liz, Joe and Muse the dog opened the doors and welcomed us into a wonderfully cool room and opened an ice-cold bottle of delicious white wine. It was absolute bliss. And, it wasn’t a thimble-full of wine either, it was a nice, big, juicy glug.

The view from our balcony
Liz and Joe were like these super cool hipsters. Not cool in a modern way. More a laid back, 70s throwback sort of way. Joe kind of shuffled around in his Hawaiian shirt, jeans and sandals, humming away to his Beatles and Elton John music with a wry, knowing smile while Liz wafted in and out in her denim shorts and huge shades. Apparently they met while she was sunbathing nude on a beach in California. Says it all really. Very cool.


My husband and I enjoying the yummy wines

The winery and the vineyards were absolutely stunning. Joe had designed the building himself and the decor and structure were an interesting mix of modern, rustic and baroque. All peppered with art that you felt they’d collected on their journey through life. Our bedroom had a fabulous view of the vines and I joked to Liz that I would need a ladder to get onto the ginormous bed. Everything was very luxurious and felt like a proper treat. Again, probably not stylish in a modern or conventional sense, but all very cool, eclectic and distinctive.

When everyone else arrived, Joe introduced the event as “not a wine tasting, but a wine drinking”. And, that really set the tone for the event. The measures were generous as were the hosts with their time and attention.

Stunning sunset over the vines
The tour itself was informal and fun. It didn’t feel like a stuffy lesson on winemaking. But it had enough content to be interesting and enough interaction for us all to feel comfortable and get chatting.
Joe and Liz moved to France with their son Ryan to make the type of wine they wanted to make, the way they wanted to make it. Apparently, there have been some frustrating times along the way navigating the Languedoc Appellation rules. But he’d come out the other side and has earned a great deal of respect for his wines and methods both in France, England and across the pond in America where his son, Ryan does a great deal of work with Naked Wines USA.
Me with Joe and Liz and the star of the show, Muse

At the tasting and meal, we were treated to glass upon glass upon glass. So much so that I think we tried everything in their range. The wines were stylish and interesting, without taking themselves too seriously. For example, all the bottle labels were designed by the family and one even had the head of a Naked Wines Archangel on it.

My favourite wine was probably the O’Chasan 2015. I’d never tried a pure Chasan wine before, but apparently it is a popular, but underrated wine of the Languedoc region. Very light and easy drinking and perfect served crisp cold. We also loved the O’Syrah 2011. A smooth and peppery Shiraz that left my mouth warm and very happy for a long time after each sip.

We tried pretty much the whole range

The food was all lovingly prepared by Liz. The website promoted the meal as “home cooked food”. Well, if you live in a house with about 20 chefs! I have no idea how she managed to create all that food. We enjoyed course after course of interesting and intricate Asian-French-Californian fusion food. And Liz lovingly enthused about how she made each dish and her added personal touches.But the real star of the show was their beautiful conker dog, Muse. He seemed to lead the wine tour, obviously knowing the route by heart. Staring lovingly up at us all with gorgeous eyes, hoping to perhaps get a few of Liz’s supper treats.

What a view to have from your dining room table!

When we finally stumbled to bed, I’ve never seen such a beautiful sky from our balcony overlooking the vines. Hundreds of stars and with not an artificial light or sound in sight.

The whole experience was extremely relaxing, very decadent and, well, groovy baby….

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.