Are you one of those people whose mouth waters at the thought of driving along unknown roads, discovering places for the first time and wondering what’s around the next corner? Do you dream of exploring ancient castles and abbeys and mooching around pretty villages and visiting bustling French markets? Does history and culture appeal to you more than lazing on a beach? If yes is your answer then Languedoc is your destination but remember its big so choosing the right location for your holiday is hugely important. The choice of B&B accommodation is wide too but there is one special place I never hesitate to recommend, and its name is Sainte-Hélène Chambres d'hôtes a B&B in the little town of Olonzac. Its owned by Kay and Mark who I first met 8 years ago when I was busy expanding my network to promote my vineyard tours. An obvious way to do this was with B&B owners who offer the sort of accommodation my clients would enjoy. Comfortable places that aim to attract visitors with a sense of adventure and who appreciate quality and professionalism. The moment I met Kay and Mark I knew we shared the same values and after visiting their B&B I felt sure that my clients would love to stay in the charming home of these lovely people.
Not that long ago I knew very little about wine. Fate brought me to the subject and opened up a new life for me, one I never imagined living and one that introduced me to people that I could never have met in my old life. And it brought me back to the Languedoc-Roussillon, this magical and very special place where I now live surrounded by vines and earning my living from and with them. Plus I wrote a much needed book about the region called The Wines of the Languedoc-Roussillon.
New to our range of offerings this year is our Wine Cellar Dinner Party and as with all new products there has to be a premier and this week we welcomed 14 wonderful people for the first time into the wine cellar at Domaine de la Senche in La Livinière.
The Languedoc region is blessed with many things but I think three of the most enticing things for visitors is the climate, the wine and the history and here at Vin en Vacances we have devised a tour that guarantees all of this. Catharism was a religious cult that spread through many parts of Europe during the 12th and 13th centuries but it was in Languedoc where it flourished and was openly practised. As it took hold the Pope tried to control the people and bring them back to the Catholic faith but his efforts failed and he realised he needed armed men to crush the Cathars in Languedoc. He eventually persuaded the King of France to join him in a Holy War, a crusade against Catharism. The king wanted Languedoc to be part of his realm and saw the crusade as a chance to achieve this dream so he raised a massive army led by the Dukes of France and the warrior Catholic churchmen who marched on Languedoc.