Romantic destinations for wine lovers: Caunes-Minervois

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Caunes-Minervois, France

Marble from Caunes was once hardly less prized than that from Carrara. Italian exporters grew rich on it and built themselves mansions in this little town, northeast of Carcassonne, on the southern edge of the Black Mountains. In the courtyard of the 16th-century Hôtel Alibert are a Renaissance well and an open stairway that would not look out of place in a nobleman’s palace in Florence. No longer a well-kept secret, people tell friends about their amazing discovery, and every year more English voices are heard in consultation with major-domo Frédéric about his list of local wines.

Invariably, such discussions result in a list of producers well worth visiting.Year by year the discoveries grow in number and variety. ‘It’s a little wine we picked up on holiday last year,’ nostalgic visitors tell their appreciative dinner guests back home. ‘There was this extraordinary hotel…’ Year after year one thanks whatever gods there be that such places still exist in France.

Hotel recommendation:

Hôtel d’Alibert

Place de la Mairie,

11160 Caunes-Minervois, France.

Tel: + 33 4 68 78 00 54

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