Our first vineyard visit after arriving in French wine country only spurred on the thirst for more wine.
With that, we headed over to Maison des Vins de Bergerac in, you guessed it – Bergerac, for even more wine tasting (*I ended up having to get a bottle of a rather sweet white to take back home with me).
The Maison is home to lots of wines from the region and is a great place to visit if you’re short on time or just want to do a bit of *cough* “taste research” before deciding where to head for more wines in Bergerac and the Dordogne.
Wine tasting done with, we (rather merrily) made our way over to Bistrot du Presbytère in nearby Queyssac for dinner, where I started with a gizzard salad (it came with foie gras which I had to pawn off – I’m still not a fan of foie gras), followed by Duck confit and finished off with an old favourite – crème brulee!
Truly wined and dined, we made our way back to our French Castle for a brilliant night’s sleep – ready to explore even more of French wine country the next day.
The next morning, breakfast pretty much involved me hurriedly gobbling my way through some of the most delicious, flakiest croissants you’ve ever tasted – all thanks to me getting distracted by the Chateau.
There were bits of the Chateau I hadn’t gotten round to exploring the day before and so I went off wandering through its many wings and it wasn’t till I heard Lloyd shouting my name at the other end that I realised our driver had arrived to take us to our first vineyard of the day.
By the way, having a driver or even just take a taxi around when you’re planning on spending your day drinking wine is, for very obvious, a pretty great idea.
Our first vineyard for the day would be in Château de Bélingard, set atop a hill with stunning views over the French countryside and a rather gruesome history.
See the Chateau is set on land that had previously been used by the druids long ago.
It wasn’t until (I think) a storm hit the chateau that a bit of digging had been done to repair the storm damage, which then exposed the remains of the druids – the most gruesome of which was a stone, which had been used for apparently used to chop off heads of virgins or druids-to-be who didn’t get the right sign that they could become full druids (I think the sign was that the sun would rise and shine on them).
Told you it was gruesome.
We wandered the grounds for a little bit before eventually making our way into the tasting rooms of the Château de Bélingard, via the cellars, to ‘taste’ some wine. 😉
I say taste but I never spit the wine back out – no matter how many servings I get. I came to France to drink wine not spit wine. 😄
After making a fair few glasses of wine ‘disappear’, we said farewell to the chateau and hit the road again.
Our next stop was something of an unplanned stop. The idea had originally been to go to another vineyard but we’d heard about Chateau de Monbazillac and decided we had to visit.
FYI, even from a distance, we knew we’d made the right decision! Set at the end of a vineyard, the chateau is absolutely stunning and sheer French perfection.
Suffice to say, I pretty much did what I always do when I’m impressed with a place and started to take far too many photos – for this very reason – to share them with you!
You would think that autumn/winter would be a tad late in the year to go on a wine trip around France but that would be wrong – even the vineyards, leaves turning yellow, looked beautiful in the midday haze.
Alas, mid-day is perhaps not the time to visit the chateau as its closed for entry inside between 12noon till 2pm at this time of the year (it changes month on month so be sure to check before you visit).
That being said, the exterior and grounds of the chateau are open regardless of the time and to be honest, those in themselves are even worth the trip here.
I know, this seems like a lot of photos but you don’t even want to begin to imagine how many I’ve already deleted to whittle it down to these few. 😃
After doing pretty much a 360 around the castle, pausing every so often to pick my jaw up from the floor, totally amazed by its beauty, we finally decided to head off in search of lunch!
I know I said it here, and in this post as well but there truly is no “wrong” time to visit the French wine country! 🙂 Each season brings its own special “thing” – a “Je ne sais quoi”, if you must… and there’s always wine to be drunk, no matter when you visit. 🙂