Languedoc Property Blog: News and Information from the region

Spotlight on: Villeneuve Minervois – by Anna Sirinides

Villeneuve Minervois has that certain “je ne sais quoi” of a southern French village that many search for, but few find. Nestled between the Montagne Noir (Black Mountains) and the wine soils of the Minervois, this tree lined village is only 15 minutes from the centre ofCarcassonneand just 20 minutes from the airport.

Villeneuve Minervois

 

Originally called Saint-Etienne de Clamoux, the village has a rich historical heritage with origins after the end of the Albigensian or Cathar Crusade (1209–1229). In the past, the village was primarily known as that of a wine-growing village, but in more recent years, Villeneuve has become famed for the production of  Truffles- and nicknamed ‘Black Diamonds’. The commune and its surroundings encompass more than40 hectaresin plantations of truffle oaks. Secrecy surrounds the harvesting of the truffle, but an estimate suggests production of the ‘Black Diamond’ at several tens of kilos. Truffle festivals take place in December, January and February each year, and in years to come, the truffle will develop into an important economic and cultural part of the village.

The village offers most of the commerce you would want: a doctor, pharmacy, mini-supermarket, bakery, butchers, post office, takeaways, and hairdressers/barbers. Enjoy a bite to eat and cool drink at the local café/bar, or a delicious meal at the Auberge. A third restaurant will open soon.  The village boasts several wineries, open for tastings during the summer months. Visit Domaine Bezneath for a guided tour of the working windmill- used for the manufacture of flour.

The village is in close proximity to three extremely popular tourist attractions. The Châteaux de Lastours are four so-called Cathar castles built on a rocky spur above the villageof Lastours. Isolated by the deep valleys of the Orbeil and Grésilhou rivers, the site has been classified monument historique (historic monument) by the French Ministry of Culture since 1905, and archaeological digs are still in progress. The Gouffre Geante de Cabrespine, or Chasm of Cabrespine, was  first discovered in the 1970s and is one of the largest caves in the world that is open to the public.  The cave is150 meters long and almost300 meters high! The world famous Grotte of Limousis dates back at least to the Neolithic Period, when it was inhabited by man. It was also used in Roman times and in the Middle-Ages. The cave was formed from limestone in the primary era, and hollowed out by an underground river.

Further a field, the village is just 25 minutes from the Canal du Midi and Lac Jouarres, with the Mediterranean coast 50 minutes drive. This perfect location is a year-round haven for hikers, cyclists, wine connoisseurs and tourists alike. Why not try your hand at caving, barging on the canal, sailing, water skiing, wind surfing or snow skiing/boarding? Fancy a day-trip toSpain? Not a problem!Spainis just 90 minutes away.

We have a number of properties for sale in this fantastic village. Check out our ‘Property of the Week’- a superbly renovated four bedroom home with income-producing opportunity!