Vignobles & Découvertes label: Destination Béziers, Canal du Midi, Méditerranée
A unique area, a Languedoc trilogy created by Sea, Town and Vines, starting in the Mediterranean and climbing gently towards the foothills of the Massif Central mountains, with waterways marking out the cardinal points : the river Orb from north to south, and the Canal du Midi from east to west.
Three sides of the same story and geography
- There’s the land which the Greeks, Romans and medieval invaders made their homes in and shaped. The ‘pursuit of the Cathars’ episode was really a civil war, for which Béziers paid a high price at the beginning of the13th century;
- There’s wine-making. Two thousand years of existence have established Béziers Méditerranée at the heart of the oldest and most extensive winemaking region in the world.
- There’s the amazing achievement of Béziers-born Paul Riquet… the Canal du Midi.
The essentials of the territory
The vineyards curl their way up the hillsides, across the plains, and into every nook and cranny,accompanied by their cortège of almond trees, rosebushes, fig trees and pines. The rivers Orb, Libron and Thongue wend their way through a landscape that could easily pass for the Piemont region of Italy, with villages scattered here and there like points of reference - often where a Roman villa once stood.
A cathedral and an oppidum, like emblems, secure the area. An area that one can discover strolling around, cycling, driving... and tasting, in the welcoming wineries scattered allaround. Wine has always been important here, just as it was in the days when the wine travelled by horse and cart along the Via Domitia, or was loaded onto barges on the Canal du Midi.
- Valras-Plage fishing harbour, tha preserved natrual site of the Orpellières in Sérignan- and Valras-Plage;
- The Canal du Midi - UNESCO listed as World Heritage- created by Béziers-born Paul Riquet ; the 9 locks of Fonseranes - unique in the world- and most visited place in Hérault ; and the canal-bridge in Béziers, the tunnel of the Malpas in Ensérune;
- The archeological site and museum of Ensérune oppidum ; the now dry pond of Montady;
- The garden of Saint Adrien, in Servian (selected "French People most loved garden" in 2013);
- The cathedral of Saint Nazaire in Béziers, that was reduced to ashes during the "Pursuit of the Cathars" in 1209... in the heart of Béziers historical centre (by the way 2nd largest city conservation area in France after Paris).
A moment of unique experience and share
How can one possibly separate a landscape, a wine, a monument from the lives of the men who designed, produced and built them?
The local winemakers personify this alchaemy between man and nature, between culture and flavour. They relentlessly work for the quality, the beauty of their wines, and therefore respect the mediterranean biodiversity. That's why too, every year, their vintages are awarded more and more distinctions. Local professionals in tourism, culture have joined the people of the vineyards to welcome you :
- 15 winecellars (4 cooperative and eleven wine estates);
- 17 accommodations (hotels, camping places, bed & breakfast);
- 14 restaurants;
- 5 monuments and 4 leisure activities.
All year long, events about wine take place in the area: from march to november, 5 wine-circuits/trips were created, on various themes: bio, prestige, mountainbike, family trip and "unusual"