The best vineyards in southern France

photo by Jay Bergesen on Flickr

If one had to pick the things most associated with France, it would be the romance, the castles, the food and the wine. All of them are available anywhere you are in France, from the tiniest village to the great cities. But although you can pamper yourself with lovely French wine wherever you are, if you are a true fan of wines then you absolutely must visit a few wineries at least. Many wine regions in France have fashioned themselves into tourist magnets, but still, the south of France wins both when it comes to natural beauty, and the quality of the wine. These warm regions produce mainly red wines and, rosé, but whites are not uncommon either. Here are some of the best vineyards in southern France that any wine-lovers should see.

Corbieres, Languedoc-Rousillon

photo by Scott Brenner on Flickr

Almost half of all French wines are produced in Languedoc-Rousillon, a region that encompasses much of the south of France. The mirriad of small villages and wineries in Languedoc-Rousillon make for a great visit dotted with stops along the way to taste the local food and wine. There are more vineyards in this part of France than anywhere else, and a traveler would need a lot of time, patience and passion for wine in order to visit all of them. Five of the most famous vineyards in Languedoc-Rousillon are located in the Corbieres region. Here you can find     Castelmaure in Embres et Castelmaure, Chateau Le Bouis in Gruissan, Domaine Baillat in Montlaur, La Voulte Gasparet in Boutenac and Mont Tauch, Tuchan.

Château de Fonscolombe and Château de LaCoste, Le Puy-Sainte-Réparade, Provence

Provence has its fair share of great wineries, but again, it would take months to see even part of them. To kill two birds with one stone, visit Château de Fonscolombe and Château de LaCoste, two neighboring vineyards near the small and charming town of Le Puy-Sainte-Réparade. Fonscolombe estate has a magnificent 18th century manor and tours that will show you state of the art wine production techniques, while LaCoste is smaller, more traditional and utterly delightful. Both estates produce red, white and rosé wines that you can buy at the vineyard as souvenirs.

Domaine de Fontavin, Courthézo, Provence

photo by Megan Mallen on Flickr

If you are a fan of sweet white dessert wines, visiting Domaine de Fontavin is a must. This vineyard produces the heady and unforgettable Muscat des Baumes de Venise, which you can buy for about 16 euro at the estate. The vineyard is newly built and not very interesting from the point of view of the architecture, but the it grows some of the oldest and most legendary grapevines in France, so die-hard wine fans will definitely enjoy their visit to one of the best vineyards in southern France.


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