The alluring Gironde countryside is a wine lover’s paradise and every traveler’s dream. This area is a feast for the senses: panoramic views, storybook castles, chateau-dotted hillsides, and winding rivers, all nestled among flourishing vineyards, in the heart of the Aquitaine. Here we discover the time-worn Cazeneuve Castle, ancestral residence of the House of Albret in the small commune of Préchac, France.
Chateau Royal de Cazeneuve
Located between the wine regions of Bassin d’Arcachon and the Sauternes vineyards, is the historic Château Royal De Cazeneuve; a family jewel of the Duke of Albret. It’s origins are in the 11th century and it was at one time the residence of Henry IV and Queen Margo; it’s a place where history lives on. Today this fortified castle remains a family legacy – cascading down through descendants of the ducal family de Sabran-Pontevés.
Chateau Cazeneuve majestically overhangs the Gorges du Ciron, surrounded by a moat and defended by two rectangular towers. The chateau has two-star Michelin Green status and is a classified Historical Monument. Here individual, private and group tours are received; along with bespoke gala dinners, weddings and seminars.
Chateau wine tasting experience
After a tour of the castle-fortress, medieval cellars, troglodyte caves and royal apartments, we entered the castle’s large vaulted reception room. Inside the walls were honeyed limestone, warmed by a medieval fireplace, accented with red velvet chairs and luminous silver candlesticks. Our tables were bejeweled, a feast for the eyes, with sparkling stemware and silver for pairing Bordeaux’s sweet wines, Sauternes. Sauternes is a French sweet wine taking its name from the Sauternes region and Graves area, here in the Gironde department.
We indulged in a wine-pairing luncheon fit for a King and Queen. Pairing Sauternes with scrumptious dishes was a delicious feast of flavours. This gilded sweet wine comes from a mix of Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc, and Muscadelle grapes that ripen until they are sweetened by the Botrytis cinerea, commonly known as noble rot. It’s a fungus that’s welcomed fungus by winemakers. It’s enhanced by moist conditions from the maritime climate of the Aquitaine, accompanied by low-lying misty fog from the Ciron and Garonne rivers. With this magical combination, grapes shrivel, resembling wrinkled raisins, resulting in the fine and concentrated sweet wines of the Sauternes region.
J.Christina is the blogger behind www.scribblesandsmiles.net. Blogging from the Midwest, J. Christina, and her husband, Mr. Christie, share their European trips so others can travel vicariously through their scribbles and images.