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Wine Appreciation Cruise – Canal du Midi
Sunday, Day 1 Trèbes
Guests are met in Narbonne** and escorted by minibus to Enchanté, moored in Trèbes. A champagne welcome followed by time to walk around the charming and historical village. Prior to dinner your wine guide will give you a brief introduction to the vineyards of the region before presenting your first wines. Dinner on board.
Monday, Day 2 Trèbes to Puichéric
A fascinating morning tour of Carcassonne. Dating back to the Gallo-Roman era, this is the most complete medieval fortified city in existence today with its 52 watchtowers, portcullis and extraordinary repertoire of defences, which resisted the many armies that tried to storm this glorious Camelot setting. On the way back to the barge, in the nearby village of Badens we sample Jean-François Orosquette’s internationally renowned wines at Château La Grave which was founded in the 12th century. In the afternoon, we cruise along the 330-year-old canal and gently circle the contours of the land through the dappled Cathedral-like canopy of the plane trees, to Puichéric lock. You might want to admire the lock-keeper’s artistic creations which surround the lock-house. Dinner on board.
Tuesday, Day 3 Puichéric to Jouarres
This morning, our cruise descends the trademark locks of the Canal du Midi as the steep relief requires them to be more numerous and deeper. This is a great opportunity to walk or cycle from one lock to the next as Enchanté cruises on, navigating the triple locking system. The afternoon excursion is a wine tour and tasting at the winery of Château Saint Jacques d’Albas in Minervois, one of the few regions to receive the much envied French mark of approval for wines known as A.O.C. (Appellation d’Origine Controlée).This informative tour offers an opportunity to sample wine in situ and find out more about the Languedoc’s long-standing and continuing wine trade. Dinner on board.
Wednesday, Day 4 Jouarres to Roubia
This morning, we visit a Benedictine Abbey founded in the 8th century. Nestled in Lagrasse, a village awarded the title of “Plus beaux villages de France” and home to many artisans who have set up workshops in the medieval centre, the restored Abbey was once one of the most prosperous thanks to Charlemagne’s charter. Then we sample some local cuisine with lunch ashore in a spectacular setting overlooking the Corbières, before visiting the Château Lalis to taste the wonderfully complex velvety wines produced from the Corbières A.O.P. This afternoon, while cruising under the shade of the plane trees which line the canal, we pass the canal bridge “l’Epanchoir”, one of the many feats of engineering invented by Pierre Riquet for the Canal du Midi. Dinner on board.
Thursday, Day 5 Roubia to Le Somail
A morning cruise through vineyards and pine trees to the charming and historical village of Le Somail, purpose-built for the Canal du Midi. This bustling little village is situated on the “grand bief”, another engineering prowess unique to the Canal du Midi. Take some time to explore the old bookstore of Le Somail. . An afternoon excursion to Château de Combebelle, owned by Master of wine Catherine Wallace who fulfilled her life-long dream by becoming one of the most acclaimed wine producers of the Saint Chinian A.O.P. We continue by minibus to Minerve, the ancient capital of the Minervois, which boasts a 12th century Cathar fort surrounded by deep limestone gorges. Besieged by Simon de Montfort in 1210, its hilltop location affords spectacular views. Dinner on board.
Friday, Day 6 Le Somail to Salleles d’Aude
This morning’s excursion is to Narbonne, a Roman Mediterranean capital where the Visigoth monarchs once lived. Enjoy a visit to the Archbishop’s Palace and the indoor market at the hub of this bustling canal side town, where you will have time to shop or simply absorb the vibrant atmosphere. During this afternoon’s cruise to Sallèles d’Aude, our wine guide presents a comparative tasting of the wines currently being produced in the Languedoc region. Finally, we enjoy a wine-tasting of the full-bodied and diverse wines at the vineyard Domaine de l’Herbe Sainte where the fiercely passionate Greuzard family apply their Burgundy know-how. Farewell Dinner on board.
Saturday, Day 7 Sallèles d’Aude
After breakfast, guests disembark Enchanté and transferred by private minibus to Narbonne**.
This is a sample itinerary and is subject to change.
On alternate weeks the cruise will be in the reverse direction.
**Alternative locations available for Private Charter bookings
If you’re seeking a glimpse of the history and viticulture of the Languedoc region, look no further than the Château de Perdiguier. Read More