Two very different Châteaux visits, aboard Luxury Hotel Barge Rosa as she cruises through the Sunflower Fields of the Gascony Region.
A Tale of Two Châteaux in the Gascony Countryside
Château de Goudourville
Perhaps not one of the best known castles in France, le Château de Goudourville is certainly one of the most beautiful. Constructed almost 1000 years ago as a lookout for the castle of Gasques it has since become a wonderfully serene estate in its own right. Redesigned during the renaissance it was given a gargantuan spiral staircase and its towers were levelled, during the 18th century the castle was further refined with the addition of an esplanade and large French windows to allow more light into the interior.
Though it is mainly used for weddings these days, Goudourville has played host to some very famous historical figures, including Pope Clement V, King Henry IV and even Queen Catherine de Médicis. And its medieval charms abound, from the 11th century guard room to an original 16th century fireplace and a coat of arms that has existed for over 1000 thousand years.
Château Bellevue La Forêt
Interestingly enough, the Château Bellevue La Forêt is actually an exceptionally good winery. It is the largest privately owned wine estate in the Southwest of France at 270 acres, producing hundreds of thousands of bottles of wine per annum. Of these 270 acres, the predominant grape is Negrette, making up 140 acres of vines, Negrette is a little known dark red grape that is only grown in the South West of France, though it is a direct descendant of the Mavro grape, often grown on the island of Cyprus.
Guests aboard Luxury Hotel Barge Rosa are lucky enough to tour both of these somewhat iconic destinations and enjoy a private wine tasting at the latter of the two. Much like the Château de Goudourville Gascony is not a particularly well known region of France, however, with its sweeping sunflower fields, exceptional wines and Basque influenced cuisine, it should not be overlooked.