After 5 days in lovely Provence, we headed west to the Roussillon, through Carcassone, Maury, Cucugnan and eventually ending up by the sea in Coullioure. While we may have been a little early for the season (and caught another dreadful wind known as Le Tramontane), the highlight of our travels was exploring the vineyards and tasting at Domaine de la Rectorie in Banyuls Sur Mer.
|The tasting room is housed in a beautiful old mansion in the town of Banyuls Sur Mer|
Our host Emilio drove us up the hair-pin turns on a one-way dirt road to give us a better sense of the growing conditions in Collioure/Banyuls. This region is famous for their terraced vineyards, with each vine tended to by hand on incredibly steep slopes as tractors and other machinery can’t cover the terrain.
|I think Mom almost lost her breakfast on the way up, but the white-knuckle ride was worth it for this view!|
|Straight down hill!|
After our vineyard tour, we headed back to town to visit the caves where the wine is stored. This bunker was used by the Nazis as a shelter during WWII.
After touring the caves we made our way back to the Domaine for tasting. The Domaine produces a little bit of everything, from crisp mineral whites to red Coullioure to sweet Banyuls.
After tasting, we headed to lunch at El Xadic del Mar. The restaurant is run by Manu, and in his one-man operation he does everything from taking your order to prepping the food. Bottles of wine line the walls for you to pick and enjoy with your meal!
After lunch we wandered the town, and made our way to the Romanesque chapel and cemetery after which Domaine de la Rectorie was named.
|The famous Banyuls wine aging in the sun in glass bottles|
|Proof of how windy it was hence the Flock of Seagulls hair ‘do!|
If you find yourself in this southwest corner of France I’d highly suggest a visit to Domaine de la Rectorie.
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