08 September 2013

Wine Tasting in France at Chateau La Grave

One of our French holiday highlights was the visit to Chateau La Grave, a winery in the Minervois area.

As many of you may know, our holidays in France was for us the only opportunity we had to prepare our wedding. One would think finding a suitable wine for a wedding in France is an easy task! But the reality is that the choice is SO large and the wine all so tasty, it is in fact a nearly impossible task! 

Luckily with my sister and her partner working in the hospitality industry (Hotel l'Etoile and Le Couvent Carcassonne), we got briefed on the current trends and received some good tips. Mister Slimalicious and I agreed that the wine at our wedding would have to be from the Languedoc-Roussillon, to reflect my heritage and also because I am very proud of the great variety of wine the region produces. 

Our visit to Chateau La Grave
Only a few kilometres away from the village where I grew up is located a family owned winery which make some of the best wine Languedoc-Roussillon - and more precisely the Minervois region - has to offer. I often heard of Chateau La Grave but never actually visited nor tasted their wine. So when we drove past a road sign indicating the property was only around the corner from where we were, I decided to take Mister Slimalicious there for a French wine tasting session. 

Wine tasting room curved in the rock 
A warm welcome
It was my first time wine tasting in France. It is usually an activity reserved to tourists and while I have often been wine tasting in Australia, I never had the opportunity to do it in France. Our host at Chateau La Grave was a very welcoming lady, passionate about wine as you would expect from anyone working on a wine estate in the south of France! 
The lady spent several hours with just the two of us in the beautiful tasting room, talking about their wine, the terroir, about our wedding also...we had a fantastic time!
She made us try their ENTIRE range of wine, with generous serving too (needless to say we were quite tipsy by the end of it). 


Wine variety
Funnily enough when we arrived at the winery, I realised one of my friends from high school (whom I haven't seen for nearly 10 years!) was working there as a wine maker! That comforted me in choice to try the Chateau's wine: my friend is a wine-maker from generation to generation, he grew up on an estate and studied oenologie (wine science) at Uni.
Chateau La Grave produces "Vin de Pays" and "AOC" wine (Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée - Origin-Controlled Wine). The later follows strict guidelines and guarantee a wine of especially high quality which reflect a specific terroir (area). Wine from Chateau La Grave are only available in restaurants and specialist shops (cavistes).

The harvest are about to start! 
Our favourite wines
Unlike in Australia, after spending two hours there I didn't feel pressure to buy a bottle. But I have to be honest: all of the Chateau La Grave wine were amazing, so we still ended up buying a couple of bottles! French prices too!  
  1. Expression Rosé - AOC Minervois rose wine  (Shiraz/Grenache) - RRP: 10 Euros
  2. Chardonnay Vin de Pays des Hauts de Badens - RRP:  4 Euros


Disclaimer: I did NOT receive any form of financial nor material compensation for writing this post. My experience at Chateau La Grave was just fantastic and I highly recommend anyone travelling near Carcassonne to visit or sample their wine. 


Have you been wine tasting before?
What did you like most about it?


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