Saturday, July 17, 2010

An Addendum to a Long Day in the Languedoc

Last Wednesday we posted a day of driving around the surrounding area of Saint Chinian and discovering the ruins on a hilltop. My curiosity was getting the best of me so I hopped on Google Earth to see if I could locate the ruins. I had a vague idea but no luck.
Then I thought maybe our hosts in Saint Chinian, Andreas and Anthony may know of it. Within 24 hours of sending an email, Andreas came back, not only with a location but the name of the ruins.
After a little Googling, I discovered the following information;

Chateau Saint Baulery
The Château was built in the 1500's on the ruins of a 12th century fort. Records of wine making in the building date back to 1550, and ruins of stone cuves from that period are still visible. The Château and 37 acres of Carignan and Cinsault vines were purchased by the Durand and Valentin families in 1970. The winery was in poor condition and the families started restoration work immediately. At the same time, they planted additional acreage of Syrah and Grenache. At the time of the purchase, the Durands already had 30 acres of their own vineyards, including a small recently planted parcel of Syrah, one of the first in Languedoc. The Valentins also brought in their own 20 acres, mostly Grenache, Carignan and Cinsault. Today the Domaine consists of 128 acres of AOC vineyards, mostly in Pic Saint-Loup, with all of the Appellation wine estate-bottled at the Château.

This view shows the dirt road we drove up to the ruins, not quite sure if we were on private property or not. My curiosity took the better of me and I was hoping I would not be confronted by an angry farmer as I walked the final metres from the road side. Sue stayed by the car.

In this closer image, although fuzzy, you can see the foundation walls of the Chateau - just to the right, nearer to the road is the little chapel shown in last Wednesday's post.
  The remains of the Chapel in 2006

As they said in Watership Down, "You've read the book, seen the film, now try the stew" I now need to try the wine from Chateau Saint Baulery.
I was suitably impressed with the wonders of the Internet and cyber friends. Without them, I would never have learnt about these historic ruins.


  1. Interesting post. Yes, I often wonder how we managed before the internet, but we did. Diane

  2. All the new technology we can't live without but really, we are so lucky to have cell phones, iPods, iPads, computers... finding information you can get in seconds. And the most important, traveling.
    It is hot and humid in Los Angeles today, even at he beach. I will take the cold over the heat.

  3. It's been an interesting few days on the Tour, eh?

  4. Diane,
    Love researching thru the internet, Sue does the Food thing, me music and cycling - yes it opens our world and we meet people as a bonus.
    I don't mind the heat so much - today we raced in a 50 kms team time trial in single figure temps at a regional city of Ballarat. Give me the warmth. Ballarat was built on gold discovery in the mid-1850s. Bit like California. Brrrr it was cold.
    Yes loving Le Tour but find ir hard to stay awake - live coverage is from 10.00 pm to 2.00 am.


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