The fruits of the French wine-producing region Languedoc-Roussillon go beyond the grape. While the coastal wine country has long combined salty sea air, mountainous landscape, and medieval architecture, it has more recently seen promising biodynamic developments by local winemakers like Gérard Bertrand, whose boundary-pushing sustainability efforts have made waves internationally.
But at the heart of Languedoc-Roussillon is its rich history. The hilltop town of Cacassonne, about an hour inland from Bertrand’s vineyard, is home to a medieval citadel La Cité. As such, a visit to the area means full immersion in both vino culture and local heritage. Without further ado, an all-in-one guide to the Languedoc-Roussillon experience.
Friday afternoon: Arrive at Montpellier airport and hop in a car bound for Narbonne (approximately a one hour and 15 minute drive). Check into land-and-sea oasis Château l’Hospitalet, where a quaint room, wine country views, and endless tastings await.
Friday evening: Head downstairs to the hotel’s acclaimed restaurant, L’Art de Vivre; Chef Laurent Chabert’s locally sourced and inspired dishes are the epitome of elevated Languedocien gastronomy, paired perfectly with Gérard Bertrand’s robust wines.
Saturday afternoon: After breakfast of café au lait and pain au chocolat at the inn, head for Gruissan, a charmingly gray seaside town known for its primary export: salt. Take a stroll along the water near Le Salin de Gruissan to check out the salt marshes or visit the boutique and eco-museum to learn about salt harvesting. For lunch, you’ll want to experience La Cambuse du Saunier, where freshly caught fish, oysters, and other local seafaring specialties (all generously salted) are on the menu.
Saturday evening: Time for a quick power nap to regain your strength for dinner. Take a car to the center of Carcassonne. Upon passing through the medieval citadel’s historic walls, take a bit of time to wander the streets and explore a few of the shops as you make your way to Hôtel de la Cité’s La Barbacane restaurant for a dinner of rich cassoulet (a classic local pork and bean stew) and, of course, more wines.