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Vendange Villas in France - Our ‘Pick of the Crop’ for Wine Lovers
The annual ‘Vendange’ in France is in full swing and the vineyards are buzzing with armies of grape pickers and trundling tractors piled high with the precious harvest. Naturally it’s a time for vineyards to celebrate their vintages so we’ve picked out a several luxury villas, chateaux and country houses in France which are especially well placed for wine lovers to sample and stock up on fine French wines.
The ‘black wine’ of Cahors is not only reputed to be one of the darkest reds in the world but was also the prized wine of Roman Emperors, Peter the Great and Pope John XXII! Only around 4000 acres of the original Cahors winelands now remain but these have been given the prestigious AOC status. Many of the 200 or so Domaines and Chateaux offer vineyard tours with tastings and are within an hour’s drive from the beautifully transformed hill fort of Chateau Marcoux and the watermill, millers house and romantic, ‘Rapunzel’ tower of Le Moulin de St Sulpice.
Just 14 kilometres from St Tropez, an Englishman and a Scotsman are producing fine red, white and rose wines at the boutique vineyard of Le Baou d’Enfer in the foothills of the Massif Des Maures. The Englishman is the owner of the luxury Provencal villa, Le Baou, which is surrounded by the vineyards, and the Scotsman is Colin Clement who is putting years of wine making experience into realising his dream in the South of France. Up to 15 friends and family can stay in the lap of luxury at La Baou, sipping the wines on the sun dappled terraces and gazing on the views while lounging by the pool.
In the south of the Bergerac winelands, the Monbazillac vineyards have the prestigious AOC status for delicious dessert wines which make the perfect accompaniment to the regions’ prized foie gras and Rocamadour cheese. Surrounded by the vineyards, Chateau de Monbazillac is the perfect fairytale castle to enjoy a complimentary tasting, complete with pointy turrets and towers, an elegant Renaissance interior and beautiful terraced gardens overlooking the Dordogne valley. The chateau-style French villa of Le Buzard is just 25kms from Monbazillac and the Chartreuse-style Domaine de Thenac is also less than half an hour’s drive - part of a National Stud Farm with thoroughbreds grazing in the surrounding paddocks.