In the 1970s and early 80s, and for decades before that, the Languedoc-Roussillon region made wine in vast quantities, but with little regard for quality, except in a few cases. The tide has now turned and there are hundreds of vineyards, domaines, chateaux and small producers making very classy wines. To name all the ones worth visiting would be a long list indeed, but some favorites are Domaine de Sacre Coeur in Assignan, Cave Cros in Capestang, Mas de Cynanque in Villespassans, Berlou near St Chinian, and Chateau de Combebelle in the hills behind Cruzy. With all of these you should call ahead to make sure of a warm welcome.

If you have a hankering for good local wine for very little money, the Caveau de St Laurant on the main road in Capestang is worth a look as they have wines by cepage (grape variety) or blends. The wines made in Cruzy are sold by the Cave Cooperative in Cebazan, about 10-15 minutes towards St Chinian. They are very well set up for tastings, and have English speaking staff.

If you want to do more than just taste, and have a look at the making of wine, some of the local vineyards offer free tours along with the wine-tasting. The one at La Baume between Beziers and Pezenas was great fun and very interesting to see how they turn the grapes into wine. The tour was offered in English.

Any list posted here will never be exhaustive.  The coastal plain provides literally hundreds of Domaines for superb wine-tasting – its obligatory!  Samples will be generous as will the welcome, and in many cases guided tours are provided. If you find any hidden gems, let us know!