Head south of the village of Saint Chinian in Languedoc-Rousillon and you’ll find Château Pech-Ménel. (which loosely translates as Chateau of the heavens and hilltops) just outside the village of Quarante. Refined and elegant wines are produced here which really do seem to reflect the personality of the two sisters at the helm, who are descended from one of the older wine growing families of the area, and the emphasis here is on perfecting the ageing of their wines. The vines are treated with respect in this area which is rich in relics from the days of antiquity, no herbicides are used and the resulting wine is of an intense and authentic flavour.
But with 55 hectares set in the very heart of the garrigue and a palpable passion for the terrain, flora and fauna around them, you can also come here to enjoy the abundance of local produce. Organised walks, picnics and other events in amongst the vineyards are on offer and you can visit during the harvest or stock up on some of their homemade jellies and jams. The serenity of Pech-Ménel is a perfect and sublime way to round off your visit to Saint-Chinian.
It’s hard to do justice to such a diverse and rich region in just a few days so if you can, stretch your stay out for longer. It’s a region that should more than sate the palate of a wine loving beginner but also offers diversity and depth to the connoisseur and lots to do for those who are looking for more than just wine. Above all else, there’s an abundance of pleasure to enjoy here, with mile upon mile of soul soothing but dramatic landscapes, outdoor living at its very best and endless opportunities to indulge your senses.
Transport: The region is served by a number of airports and Easy Jet fly from the UK to Montpellier and Béziers. Other airports are Perpignan, Nîmes and Carcassonne.
Plan your visit – Get the app: The AOC Saint-Chinian have a great little app where you will find details of the wine producers, routes for local walks, details of other tourist attractions and even recipes. Visit their website www.saint-chinian.com or your app store.
Visit Saint-Chinian – what to see and do