A Château in Languedoc France
Sometimes you want to plan a retreat for an entire group of family or friends, and I know just the place – the very elegant Château Ventenac. The ‘castle’ borders the Canal du Midi and is right next door to the 13th-century church of Ventenac-en-Minervois in the Languedoc region of southern France.
Drive along the narrow D26 through miles of carefully-tended vineyards, and suddenly you round a corner and – voila! The canal, the village, the Château and the little ancient bridge come into view. The six-bedroom gîte is beautifully appointed, with gardens and terraces overlooking the canal and just waiting to deliver a self-catered getaway for you and your friends or family.
The little village has the necessities of life … croissants from the boulangerie and wine from the Château de Ventenac Wine Cave, now a co-opérative that makes and sells wines using grapes from the same vineyards you pass on your way into the village. A couple of times a week, mobile market vans visit the village to sell fresh local produce. There’s even a chicken van, and the Mairie announces the van arrivals over a loudspeaker system –village culture at its best!
But, here is my favorite part. On the Château grounds, there is a lower gateway that provides access to the Canal du Midi. The gate is locked with a padlock – a la the Marcel Pagnol story and film, Le Château de ma mère (My Mother’s Castle) – but the code is kept in the kitchen. You can slip through the gate and meander for miles along the tree-lined Canal. Merveilleux! We’d love to hear from you!
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