Vineyard homes in the largest wine producing region in the world

 

Following the announcement of the new Languedoc-Roussillon-Midi-Pyrénées region, La Durantie is situated in the largest wine producing region in the world, in terms of surface area. Made up of 273,000 hectares, the area produces around 15 million hectolitres per year, under the wine labels Appelation d’Origine Protégée (AOP) and Indication Géographique Protégée (IGP).  Promoted under the umbrella brands Sud de France and Vins du Sud-Ouest, exports of these regional wines are growing rapidly, enjoyed in countries as far as China and The United States of America. See link to infographic here

 

This bodes well for home owners at La Durantie wishing to rent out their home for part of the year as the Midi-Pyrénées continues to grow in popularity among Britons seeking a holiday home overseas. Rightmove Overseas Search Trends illustrate that the Midi-Pyrénées has experienced a year-on-year increase from November 2015 – February 2016, in November (15.6%), December (29.8%), January (19.2%) and February (31.2%).  Similarly, the beautiful bastide village of Cordes sur Ciel , sitting on a rocky outcrop overlooking vineyards and rolling hills, was among the top ten most searched locations in France on aplaceinthesun.com (in Spring 2016).

 

 

La Durantie sits on a wine domain, overlooking undulating vineyards and miles of oak forest, boasting its own wine label and discounts for home owners. Gaillac, just 10km away, is one of France’s première wine regions, covering around 2,000 hectares, with the first vine plantations dating back to Roman times. In 1983 the vineyards were among the first to be accorded the Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée, a French certification granted to certain French geographical indications for wines, cheeses and other agricultural products. The geographical area of Gaillac is so varied, resulting in two very distinct vine-growing areas.  The left bank of The Tarn River tends to be planted with red varietals, whilst the right bank contains a higher proportion of limestone and granite, making it more favourable to white varietals.

 

The area offers an array of possibilities for wine enthusiasts, including tastings at Chateau de Mayragues or cycling through the expansive vineyards. One way to get around as many vignerons as possible is to drive or cycle the Route des Vins, with 112 vignerons producing Gaillac wine (AOC), including the Gaillac Fraîcheur Perlée, a semi-sparkling dry white wine, or the Gaillac Primeur red, known for its distinctive fruity taste.

 

As you can see The Tarn is an attractive region for wine lovers. Keep checking our blog for news on The Tarn and exciting developments at La Durantie or follow us on Twitter @ChateauDurantie and like our Facebook page La Durantie.


Spring Renovation, Construction & Living

 

Renovation…

 

As The Tarn prepares for the sun basking spring months, the renovation of the belle époque chateau at La Durantie is  underway. In order to achieve the desired elegant interior design, some unwanted aspects of the chateau are currently being removed to open-up the bar area and entrance to the chateau. The cellar will then be damp proofed by digging around the whole exterior of the chateau and replacing the front steps with new stone steps.

 

The building will preserve its original parquet flooring, conserving the high-quality design found in many other French chateaus of this Belle Époque period. In order to keep the flooring intact the ceilings underneath will be removed and then reinforced.  Additionally, in certain areas of the chateau the flooring will need to be reinforced to accommodate for the number of people expected to make use of the chateau’s facilities.

 

The chateau will be the heart of La Durantie’s country club, drawing in residents and members from the surrounding area to share stories over a meal, attend courses and events, and simply relax in a friendly atmosphere. The spring months will call people outside for walks through the Country Club’s wildflower meadows and winding pathways, or to share an aperitif on the chateau’s very own terraces.

 

 

Construction…

 

In the chateau grounds, the first two houses have walls up and roofs on with with just the terracotta tiles to be added. The dry sunny weather has made working conditions more pleasant, whilst the environmental agencies are continuously working hard to conserve the area’s biodiversity, removing any stray frogs from the site and re-housing where necessary.

 

Irises in full bloom at La Durantie

 

Living…

 

With an average of 2,000 hours of sunshine per year, the Midi-Pyrénées is one of the sunniest regions in France. Spring comes particularly early to the Tarn, offering abundant sunshine and double figure temperatures from mid-March onwards.  The rolling hillsides of The Tarn will soon be covered in a blanket of fuchsia pink and purple blossom, providing the perfect opportunity for walks and cycling through the many bastide villages and vineyards of the Tarn.

 

With the arrival of better weather and longer days, The Tarn will soon be exuberant with village festivals and other spring events. The ‘omelette festival’ in the nearby village Larroque took place on Easter Monday and is a fun annual local event if you like to try something different! An annual flower show is also taking place on the 15th May in Sorèze called ‘Art et passion au jardin’, showcasing a variety of small flowers, rosebushes and aromatic plants. The town of Sorèze sits between the Canal du Midi and the Montagne Noire, offering breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside at this time of year. Whilst there, make sure to visit the magnificent “Abbaye-école”, a former royal military school under Louis XVI which once welcomed some very prestigious names.

 

Aerial view of Sorèze, © tourisme-tarn.com

 

Another exciting event taking place in May is the Toulouse International Art Festival, a completely free festival, bringing you the very best of the contemporary creative art scene from France and abroad. Painting, sculpture, photography, video, performances, choreography and silent films with musical accompaniment will take place in some twenty locations around the centre of Toulouse. The venues can also be visited at night, guided by the beautiful city lights.

 

La Place du Capitole at night, Toulouse

 

As you can see The Tarn has plenty to offer during the spring months. Keep checking our blog for upcoming events and exciting developments at La Durantie or follow us on Twitter @ChateauDurantie and like our Facebook page La Durantie.